The Power of Google+ – Hangout with Your Clients and Prospects

Experience Your First Hangout

Collaboration – a big trend in 2013, and growing quickly.

Have you been out to Google+ yet?  I mean for business…this is a growing powerful tool for business development and marketing.

The best thing is, it’s free.

Over the past ten years I’ve seen a significant move toward online collaboration and training – and it’s moving faster than ever.  In fact, 7 or 8 years ago all of my workshops were onsite – live.  This made quality training programs overly expensive for the smaller companies, and almost impossible for geographically dispersed companies.  Today, that’s all changed.  In 2013, while I still managed to rack up over 130,000 miles on USAirways, over half of my training programs were delivered online.

What I like About Google+ Hangouts

There are many web-based collaboration tools out there, but most are expensive and proprietary.

For instance, if you want to record your sessions, on most of the older platforms, you’ll run into additional fees for disk space, file types that you can’t easily upload to YouTube or Vimeo, and a number of other hurdles making it hard to edit and share.

If you are looking to do an event with a big group, you might just find that your account limits you to 25 or that there’s a significant cost to going over.  While Google is somewhat limited in large group collaboration – on the training side (You can’t interact with voice in a large group), it’s video delivery platform is excellent.  You can deliver content to thousands at one time.  But unlike television, you can interact through various chat utilities including a tool I use called Comment Tracker.  This allows the speaker to aggregate comments from a number of sources including Twitter and YouTube comments.  In Summary:

  • You can reach thousands for free.
  • Interact via chat with everyone from anywhere, on a variety of platforms.
  • Save your program automatically to YouTube (and edit it). The end-result is a a video in a format easily shared.
  • Share it with anyone, or just a select few. Or make it private.
  • Get it for free.
  • And for training purposes, attendees can actually stop the tape!  If they have to step out for 15 minutes they can actually rewind just like a pre-recorded session. Of course they’ll be behind the rest of the class making their questions seems out of sync, but at least it’s possible

One-on-One and Small Group Interaction on the Google+ Hangouts

Google+ looks like a great way to work with clients and prospects.  I use it for coaching and interviewing.

In a coaching session, I can record the session and make it available to the person I am working with – this is a huge step forward for the coaching industry.  Way better than a phone call where you have to keep up with note taking.  It also gives me that face to face interaction needed when building a relationship.

If you’re in sales, you know that in-person meetings are more effective than phone meetings. The problem is, if you sell to a large territory, you can’t really meet everyone face to face.  I had one client years ago who was constantly driving out to Knoxville from Charlotte.  That’s a 4 hour trip!  Many times he would end up with one meeting, maybe two.  That means he worked about 2 hours that day and spent the rest of him day listening to the radio in his car.  He probably made some calls on the cell phone, but we all know how effective that is.

Shorting out Google+ Hangouts, Hangouts on Air, and Live Events

Getting started may not be as simple as it sounds.  There are a few confusing things to navigate through.

First, there are Google hangouts, and there are Hangouts On Air (HOA).  They are not the same. The first is for small groups, the second for larger group interaction.  And then there’s the Live Events from the YouTube side – which is sort of the same thing as HOA, but it’s actually different.

A “Private” HOA can only be started from the YouTube side right now.  And if you use the Q&A app, (apps can be added to the toolset), it is only available from the HOA side – but Comment Tracker is similar and can be used by either.  There’s too much to go into here – but here’s how I figured it out:

Ronnie Bincer – The Hangout Helper.  Google him and you’ll see dozens of instructional videos, and an option to pay a monthly fee to join his mastery program (which I did join).  I also took it a step further and hired him to coach me through getting set up.  It was well worth his fee, and of course we did it on Google Hangouts, so I have the recorded session.

More Tools Coming

The best part is, this is a growing community – new tools and apps are being created as I write. There are several overlay options that give this platform incredible functionality for training, marketing, and more.  Some are fee based, some are free…joining Ronnie’s group keeps me up to date on this, so if you find yourself using this extensively, it might be worth checking him out.

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S.  This Friday, on the 24th, I will be conducting a live training session on How to Attract New Clients – using Google+.  This session is private – but if you sign up for my Two Month Free Trial – you can attend the class free of charge!  Hope to see you there – I’ll also be explaining how to use this tool in your sales process.


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