Using Dropbox to stay in touch with clients

A key component of my business coaching service for clients is to keep a close eye on their key financial performance indicators.

In a perfect world, I like to see monthly details of:

  • profit & loss statements
  • KPI’s
    • lab
    • materials
    • staff
    • net profit
  • all as a % of sales for the month
  • average daily production of all fee-earners
  • associate profitability

In that way, we can create a set of early warning signals that will help the client to change tack if the practice is blown off course.
Historically, I have had to nag, nag, nag to get the information.

It still surprises me that clients will pay a coaching fee and then forget to send the homework in – which reminds me agin of Dan Sullivan’s definition of the perfect client:

“slow learners with deep pockets”.

I’ve recently started using Dropbox as a super service to store my own critical information on a server – so that I can access it from ANY computer, iPad, iPhone – and that can also be accessed and updated by Phillippa and anybody else I specify.

Now – we take the idea to the next level.

Cue Neil Harris, principal at HRS Dentalcare.

I was showing him Dropbox last week during a practice visit and it suddenly occurred to both of us that Neil could open a Dropbox account for himself, add me to share files – and presto – I can access his financial data anytime I fancy a peek to comment – or he can email me monthly to say that the data has been updated by his Practice Manager and is there to take a look at.

So this morning, for the first time, I open his Dropbox folder to look at the financials – no need to email file attachments.

On Dropbox we can share letters, templates, documents, PDF’s of marketing literature, spreadsheets, presentations – anything.

Simple, easy, portable – a foretaste of what I mentioned a few days ago – the end of the hard drive.

I’ll be asking all of my clients to follow suit.



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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.