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How to Find and Approach New Clients on LinkedIn

Posted Thu, August 8, 2013 by Julie Short

When it comes to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, most of us revert back to being like grade school children – first we seek out people we know, and then let things branch out naturally to make new friends and contacts. When it comes to LinkedIn, however, things can be a little tougher. 

For one thing, the site has a professional focus, which makes it feel more like a professional networking event than a cocktail party. And for another, the stakes can be higher. Although a lot of CEOs, executives, and other VIPs don't have time to use other social sites, most of them are on LinkedIn and involved in company or industry-related discussions.

So, how do you find and approach new prospects on LinkedIn? Here are a handful of steps to help you get started:

Begin with the familiar. As with most parts of social media, and your business life in general, it's a good idea to begin by thinking about who you already know that's on LinkedIn, and who they might know in return. In other words, see if you have contacts who can make introductions on your behalf.

Be visible in the right places. Your LinkedIn profile is important, but industry-related discussion groups can be your greatest sources of information. That's because you won't just be able to see who is posting and getting involved, but also what kinds of topics are on their minds.

Ask, listen, and learn. The more you ask questions and pay attention to others, the easier it will be to grow your network. Try not to dominate every discussion, or give endless sales pitches at every opportunity – others on LinkedIn will tune you out, or ban you from their groups altogether.

Introduce yourself carefully. When the time is right (which means you know who you want to approach, what company they are with, and how you can help them), try to add them to your connections and send a simple, benefit-centered note. Explain why you want to add them, and then what you hope to do for them or their company.

Take the next logical step. This could be a phone call, an online presentation, a face-to-face meeting, or something else altogether. The point is to take the relationship beyond LinkedIn if possible, so you can turn the contact into a genuine sales opportunity.

Networking and finding new prospects through LinkedIn isn't an instant process, but it's one that can be very important to you as a salesperson, executive, or business owner. Learn to make smart connections through the site and you just might be able to open accounts and create relationships that you wouldn't have been able to build anywhere else.

Posted in : Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : linkedin


Do You Know How to Find Prospects and Clients on Twitter?

Posted Thu, August 1, 2013 by Julie Short

At a time when business owners and executives seem to think that social media can cure just about any business problem, it's surprising how many companies aren't utilizing Twitter to its fullest. In particular, more companies and salespeople could be using their Twitter profiles to find, approach, and interest new prospects.

Here are five easy steps you can follow to find new prospects and clients using Twitter:

1. Create the right profile. Simply being "on" Twitter isn't going to do much for your business. You need to have a profile that stands out and establishes you as a key professional or vendor. That includes the right username, a professional photo, a custom background, and current contact information so prospects can reach out to you both on and off of Twitter.

2. Start using Twitter's search tool. You can search through users and messages by name, hashtag, or keyword. That should make it easy for you to start locating good targets. Once you have some good candidates for new sales opportunities, you can follow them, or even send a personal introduction. It's a good idea to do both, since you can learn a lot about a potential client from their Twitter feed.

3. Use each new contact as a starting point. The great thing about finding a good prospect on Twitter is that they are likely to know and follow other good prospects, too. By using this approach, you can quickly identify several (or maybe even dozens) of individuals and/or businesses that you might like to work with in the future.

4. Do Twitter marketing the right way. Although your initial efforts might be focused on personal introductions, you want your Twitter account to be a source of new information and insights. That way, your prospects have a reason to follow you. Also, a healthy Twitter marketing campaign can attract new prospects that you hadn't previously targeted all on its own.

5. Create a sales pipeline. If you're going to turn Twitter contacts into customers, you'll probably have to have a process that involves other social profiles, your business website, or even a phone call at some point. Twitter is great for making introductions and spreading information, but most businesses won’t want to rely on it when it comes to furthering opportunities or closing the deal.

Twitter can be a great tool for creating sales and beginning new business relationships, but you need to make the most of every contact and every tweet. So, get started with these tips, and when you need more help – or to take your social media marketing to the next level – get in touch with the WebRevelation team so we can create a plan just for you.

Posted in : Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : twitter


Why Customers Want ERP-Ready Manufacturers

Posted Tue, July 30, 2013 by Julie Short

Usually, when manufacturing clients come to us wanting to explore ERP packages, it's because they are interested in cutting costs, or want to keep a closer eye on supply chains and other details. But what about the other side of the bottom-line equation? Did you know that investing in the right ERP can help you gain more customers, too?

Although buyers might not ask your company for or about an ERP directly, that doesn't mean they don't want you to have one. That's because manufacturers that are taking advantage of enterprise resource planning can do more, do it more quickly, and at better prices. In other words, they become the kinds of businesses your best customers want to work with and order from.

To see why that might be, consider three important advantages from your customer’s point of view:

Speed is critical in choosing a manufacturer. In today's market, speed is every bit as important as price and quality. Margins might be tighter, but so are schedules. If you can reliably deliver products based on aggressive schedules, you become virtually priceless to buyers. That means they'll come back to you time and time again, and may even pay a premium to do so.

Cost competitiveness is changing everything. Of course, margins are getting tighter across every type of manufacturing market. By having more control over your supply chain, and real-time information about input prices, you can produce better, more accurate quotes for your customers. Staying competitive and profitable at the same time is always a winning strategy.

They want a manufacturer who can adjust to new conditions quickly. When delivery dates, quantities, and locations change, it's the manufacturer that is equipped with a strong ERP that's ready to step in and meet buyer needs. Your customers want a manufacturer they can count on… when you're taking advantage of the right ERP, it's easy to be the supplier of choice.

You already know that success in manufacturing is all about delivering the right product and service at the right price, and on the customer's schedule. A strong ERP platform helps you achieve all of those, which leads to increased customer loyalty and helps your profitability on every account.

To learn more about our ERP systems – and to see case studies that show how we have helped manufacturing companies just like yours – call or e-mail a member of our team and request a free consultation. It won't take long for us to show you why you shouldn't ignore this technology.

Posted in : ERP | 
Tags : erp , manufacturer


Why ERP Packages Have Gotten Even Better Lately

Posted Tue, July 16, 2013 by Julie Short

While ERP packages that help manufacturers get better information at every step in the design and production process aren't new, their capabilities have grown significantly in recent years. In fact, any manufacturer that isn't using a strong ERP in 2013 is facing a serious competitive disadvantage.

There are a number of reasons that statement is true, but one change has significantly affected the way that ERP platforms operate: cloud computing.

Why is cloud computing such an important addition to ERP development? It allows for true, real-time communication and collaboration not just between departments, but even between vendors and entire companies. Because any part of an order can be updated instantaneously, different groups can adapt to one another seamlessly. And they can do it without long meetings, telephone calls, reports, and other bottlenecks.

What kinds of information might you want real-time? Here are just a few of the best examples:

  • The number (and contents) of current estimates and proposals that could be accepted at any time
  • Raw material prices for key inputs into your products, including quotes from suppliers
  • Delivery schedules for secondary components that you need to receive for product delivery
  • Transportation and logistical schedules and updates from trucking companies
  • Employee availability and current labor costs per-project

The list could go on and on, but the point is that you want to keep tabs on every factor that could affect the delivery scheduler bottom-line, and you want to know what's happening now, without having to make phone calls or bring managers into your office for continual updates. That's especially true if you're facing a situation where needs and priorities are changing quickly.

Real-time information – combined with industrial-grade efficiency – is always going to give a manufacturer an important competitive advantage. The more you know about your business, changing customer needs, supplier activities and timelines, current material costs and estimates, etc., the easier it is to maximize your profitability in any situation. That's why the ERP/cloud computing combination is one that can literally transform the way manufacturing companies operate.

Want to learn more about ERP solutions and how they offer real-time insight into your business? Contact us today and ask for a free demonstration so you can see the possibilities for yourself.

Posted in : ERP | 
Tags : erp


How to Grow Your Manufacturing Company Without Adding People or Equipment

Posted Tue, July 9, 2013 by Julie Short

Conventional wisdom says that growing your manufacturing operation requires bigger inputs – usually in the form of capital, labor, or new equipment. But, what if there was a way you could make your business "bigger," growing your profits right along with it, without any of those investments?

That's not an impossible scenario. By installing or upgrading an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software package, you essentially get a bigger business than the one you have now, if only because you're getting more from the labor, cash, and equipment you already own.

In other words, an ERP system (which puts critical information about production schedules, input costs, supply  chain data, and more at your fingertips) makes every other part of your manufacturing operation more efficient. That means you can better manage costs, calendars, and even new customer opportunities in real-time.

Imagine having access to more detailed information about:

People and materials. When delivery deadlines are tight, you want to know which employees you need, where key inputs are located, and what kinds of potential problems might hold up delivery dates. Within ERP, you have full visibility of every important factor, so you can deal with any issues – even those relating to costs – before they become limiting problems.

Work and delivery schedules. In manufacturing, the "when" is just as important as the "where" or "how." That's why our advanced ERP systems feature detailed scheduling and forecasting options, so you can combine them with budgets, input lists, and other tools to make sure that times, locations, and finances all add up the way they should.

Bottlenecks and cost factors. Often, unexpected production bottlenecks end up being an anchor on your bottom-line performance, forcing you to give discounts and make other concessions because of delayed delivery dates. With the right ERP, you can anticipate virtually any kind of delay (sometimes even at the estimation and  proposal stage) to ensure on-time delivery or adjust your budget for accelerated production.

In any business, and especially manufacturing, you always get the biggest return on investment from optimizing what you already have, rather than purchasing more inputs. That's why our clients love ERP solutions that let them squeeze more efficiency from their operations without big investments and equipment, industrial space, etc.

To see firsthand how the right ERP can transform your manufacturing company – and your bottom line – call or e-mail a member of our team today and ask for a no-obligation demo of our packages.

Posted in : ERP | 
Tags : manufacturer , erp


4 Ways the Right ERP Solution Helps Your Company Save Money

Posted Tue, July 2, 2013 by Julie Short

If you are a manufacturer that isn't using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) – or you're using an ERP that's out of date – then you could be missing out on the chance to literally save millions of dollars. That's because these integrated software packages help you handle design, production, and customer interaction at every stage of the process, giving you more information, control, and flexibility than has ever been available to businesses at any time in history.

How does that translate into actual, bottom-line savings? Here are four of the most important ways:

1. By letting you produce better estimates. When you can see the prices, availability, and even location of inputs in real-time, you can better forecast production costs and schedules. That includes raw materials, components, inventories, and even people. Having a strong ERP packages is like having your finger on the pulse of every part of your business, and then being able to set prices accordingly. 

2. With more accurate financial planning. Your internal budgeting and accounting is every bit as important as the estimates and proposals you submit to customers. With integrated ERP financial features, you can examine things like revenue, supply chain costs, and even trends for expenses, so you can minimize waste at every step in the production process.

3. By removing production bottlenecks. When manufacturing isn't moving along as expected, it's going to cost you money. That's because delayed delivery dates and other unexpected setbacks lead to discounts, smaller orders, and other issues that reduce already-thin margins. The more of your own scheduled profits you can recoup, the less you give away unnecessarily.

4. With a better reputation in your market. Once you become known as a manufacturer who can meet tough deadlines and deliver a quality product on-time and within budget, your sales figures grow quickly. In other words, the capabilities that you get from the right ERP often translate into bigger sales and more sustainable accounts over time. Keeping customers happy is always the name of the game, and having the right information at your fingertips makes it a lot easier to achieve buyer satisfaction.

Whether you're a small manufacturer or a growing producer, it's vital that you have the best ERP technology on your side, and are taking advantage of all of its features. Why not call or e-mail us today to arrange for a free demo and consultation to see how our packages can help you save big money every quarter?

Posted in : ERP | 
Tags : EPR , manufacturer


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