4 Ways to Be More Valuable to Your Network

4 Ways to Be More Valuable to Your Network

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Networking is a business tool that can add substantial value to your business. In order for that to happen, however, you need to make yourself a strong member of your network. 


If you want to be a valuable networker, you need to be a connection that tries to give better than you get. Just remember, If you make yourself more valuable to your network, that network will become more valuable to you.

Ways to Be More Valuable To Your Network

Quality Better Than Quantity

At networking functions, don’t just stand there passing out your business card randomly. This type of connection gathering can be a real turn off to many attending these functions. On the same note, do not spend the entire time ‘working the room’. This makes you appear as if you are on the hunt for the next professional hookup, and people tend to take offense to that. 


A better use of your time at these networking events is to ‘cherry pick’ prospective connections. You should find people in your industry that may be in the same position as you, or came from a similar background. See if you have any outside interests (hobbies, etc.) with this person. 


 It is best to leave a networking event with a handful of choice connections that will benefit your business the most.

Make A Real Connection

Try to have more than just a superficial relationship with those in your network. Establishing a true connection with a select few in your network is ultimately more productive than having many vague connections. Over time, those connections will just fade and become little more than a name on your LinkedIn connections list.


You can do this by making a case for building the relationship. Find a compelling reason for this person to see you, other than employment requests, which many may be overrun with requests. 


Make sure you exchange industry stories with your prospective connection. This is a great way to key pieces of information about a connection at the start of the professional relationship. 


When you feel you are simpatico with a connection, you can then start discussing how you can begin a mutually beneficial business relationship. That real connection hopefully will grow over time.

Respond To Professional Challenges

The best way to solidify a new business relationship is to help out your colleague with a pressing problem. If someone mentions a particular challenge they are having with their business at the moment, respond to them as soon as possible. Bring something of value to the table that helps to address their particular issue.


 If you make yourself a useful entity in your network, the time may come when those connections will gladly reciprocate. This is also a great way to set yourself up for future contacts. You hope that your assistance in helping your new connection in their challenge will become news in your network. Hopefully, this can lead to more people reaching out to you to connect.

Plug Yourself On Social Media

Use your various social media outlets to increase your network value. Social media posting is one of the most efficient ways to keep your network active. Just be aware that social media networking should be done with care, as you don’t want to overexpose yourself to the point of becoming spam. Be selective with your social media posts. Keep in mind that these virtual contacts are meant to supplement face to face meetings, not take over for them. 


PS Inc.can help you become a more valuable member of your business network. We have the tools you need to help you grow your business. Contact us today to get started.

The Pros and Cons of Relationship Management Tools

The Pros and Cons of Relationship Management Tools

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are designed to compile information about your customers. Many industries have CRMs designed specifically that specifically fit into their criteria, while others may need to manually add their data. 


Although using a CRM to manage our business has many advantages, there are a handful of disadvantages with CRMs as well.

Pros of Relationship Management Tools

A CRM system, when properly implemented, can streamline your sales process.

The Dashboard Streamlines Sales Activities

If you customize your CRM dashboard, you can make tasks more organized for you and your team. The majority of CRMs allow you to set up how your information appears, so that the most relevant data is at the top of the screen.

Automatic Data Entry Makes It Easy

There are still a few CRMs that rely on manual data entry. An investment in a top of the line CRM can remedy this as these CRMs automate as much as possible. You can also integrate your CRM with Google and social media searches. This method helps save time for you and your sales teams, as hours of research are avoided by this automatic data entry.

Additional Revenue

Although your CRM is an expense for your business, there is still a benefit. Your CRM use is directly connected to a boost in revenue. For example, HubSpot discovered that for every dollar invested into a CRM, the business sees an estimated return of $5.60 on their investment.

Much Easier Collaboration

If all your customer data is in one place, it will be much easier for you and your team to collaborate and monitor pending deals. You can also store your company’s marketing materials in a centralized library so your team can use this content to facilitate sales.

The Automation of Repetitive Tasks

Besides automated data entry, CRMs allow your team to automate tasks to boost efficiency and ultimately close more sales. Your CRM can do many tasks including lead prioritization, logging phone calls and emails, automate reporting and the ability to create and save email templates.

Scalable CRMs

This means that your CRM can grow along with your business. As your customer list increases, it will be easy to add new users and capabilities. 

Cons of Relationship Management Tools

Although CRMs are extremely helpful with your sales process, there are a few drawbacks.

The Burdensome Data Entry

It really depends on the CRM you choose, but all data may need to be added manually. Anyone that has ever done major data entry knows how time consuming this can be. The time spent manually adding this data takes time away from active selling.

It’s Dependent on Proper Set Up

If the CRM components are not set up properly from the start, using it may become difficult. If the system is tedious for your sales team to use, they may be discouraged from using the system.

The CRM Is Focused on Wrong Person

One common mistake made when implementing a CRM system is putting the focus on the wrong person. Many companies have their CRM tool focused on the needs of the sales manager. The CRM focus should be helping the reps sell to the customers.

It's A Time Waster if Incorrect

Having a CRM without a firm process can be a waste of time. The first step is implementing the CRM. If you neglect to follow through with the other half of the process, the CRM is pointless. The second step is to implement a regimented sales process for your team. If this plan is not expedited, your CRM may become a disorganized mountain of data.

It Can Be Costly

A CRM system can be costly depending on the number of users the system has. There also may be a need to hire an outside consultant or in house administrator to monitor the system and users. For small and mid-sized businesses, this could be a major expense. 

CRMs and relationship management are vital in establishing and growing your business. You need to choose a CRM that is compatible with your business needs. PS Inc.can help you every step of the way. Contact us to get started.

The Benefits of Relationship Management

The Benefits of Relationship Management

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In business, the relationships you establish can make or break your success. Finding new customers for your business is very challenging in of itself. The next biggest challenge is establishing and maintaining strong, productive relationships with these connections. 


Just remember, the better the relationship, the better the customer satisfaction will be.

Benefits of Relationship Management

If you wonder why relationship management is so important, we have outlined the benefits of relationship management.

Better Customer Knowledge

It is best to know your customer inside and out, and CRMs can help you do that. Your CRM is a one stop customer information system. The data you have stored on your customers such as address, social media accounts, website, etc. are key in continuing the communication process. 


The CRM is also able to track all interactions with you and the contact at various business functions, past sales, orders, and more. This information will help you to know your contact better and  anticipate what the customer will want in the future

Better Segmentation

The CRM is a great tool for segmentation. You want your brand to be in front of the right audience. When you segment your contacts into a target audience, you make sure that the right message is getting to the right people. 


A CRM enables you to categorize all your contacts’ criteria and funnels it into a focused target list. This allows you to create specific marketing campaigns and analyze the sales process and your leads. 


When you know the specific details of your target audience, the customized marketing possibilities are endless. You can then make personalized customer offers and sales pitches. You can even adjust your overall sales tactics as well.

Better Customer Retention

A CRM system can help you keep your customers happy, and then retain them. The CRM helps with customer retention in many ways. First, it reminds you of all appointments with the customer, and reminders to send follow ups. Secondly, a CRM can prompt you to reconnect with inactive or ‘stale’ customers. Lastly, the CRM can help you organize marketing events and activities, special offers and customer surveys, etc. at the proper times.

Better Anticipation of the Customer’s Needs

A business just works better when it knows what to expect. When you track a customer’s buying habits, it will be easier to cross-sell or upsell your customers with a CRM system. 


If your sales team has access to an entire customer sales history, it can help them sell more and sell faster due to the ability to anticipate the customer’s needs.

Better Communication with Customers

Just like most people, your customers hate to wait. A quick reply to a customer request is the utmost in professionalism. 

A CRM can help you establish a set of customizable, ready to use marketing materials. At your fingertips, you can have a selection of email templates, form letters, documents, newsletters, proposals, etc. to help facilitate speedy communication with the customer. 

A CRM has an autoresponder, which sends a quick acknowledgement to the customer. A reported
90 percent of companies fail to use autoresponders to acknowledge a customer service email. A template email acknowledgement of a customer contact can put your business out in front of the competition.

Data Privacy

A CRM system can help you document your customer’s permission to store and use their personal details. Along with these consents, you can also manage your customer’s email preferences, and apply rules for updating details for contact groups-all simultaneously. In the past, doing this task manually was time consuming and had a high risk of mistakes. 


Effective relationship management is vital to growing and maintaining your business. PS Inc. can help with all your relationship management needs. Contact us today to get started.

10 Reasons Why People Resist Networking

10 Reasons Why People Resist Networking

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Networking has to be one of the most important elements of growing a business. Although this fact is universally known, there are still many people out there that resist networking. Why would someone avoid doing something that will improve the vitality of their business? If we can recognize the reasons why some resist networking, perhaps these same people can be convinced to give networking a try.

Reasons People Resist Networking


Many people are not comfortable in large groups or speaking to strangers. If this is an issue for you, try to build your courage to speak to people. 

Don’t allow shyness to prevent you from networking. You can begin a conversation with someone new just with basic chat about current news or a common subject. After the ice is broken and you feel that you have a rapport with someone, then you can begin to lay the networking groundwork.

Fear of Rejection

Rejection is not an easy thing to hear and take. Some may be so frazzled by a fear of rejection that it prevents them from growing their business. You cannot allow the fear of rejection to prevent you from reaching out to others. Just remember the old saying, ‘If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no’.

Uncomfortable Talking About Yourself

Rejection is not an easy thing to hear and take. Some may be so frazzled by a fear of rejection that it prevents them from growing their business. You cannot allow the fear of rejection to prevent you from reaching out to others. Just remember the old saying, ‘If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no’.

Time Restraints

Networking is an ongoing activity that is very time consuming. Some are just too busy with their work that they are unable to find time to attend networking events.

Lack of Networking Knowledge

There are a few out there that do not understand the whole networking process. To network effectively, you need to exchange information, build relationships on trust and reciprocity, leverage your existing relationships to create new ones, and invent ways to keep in touch.

Don’t Want Others Knowing Your Business

Are you looking for work but too ashamed to admit it? Networking is not exactly asking for a job, it is more of a way to find out what is out there and meet other people in your industry. If you are on the job hunt and you do not network, you may be searching for that job for quite a long time.

Impatient for Results

You will not see immediate results with networking. Networking, just like anything else worthwhile, takes quite a bit of time and patience. You need to understand that it may take you quite a bit of time until you find a person involved in making a hiring decision. 

In order for your networking to be successful, you need to first take the time to build the relationship.

Don’t Want to Sell/Be Sold To

Many people still confuse networking with selling. After all, in a way you are selling yourself to new contacts via networking. 


Networking is not a ‘cold call’ sales pitch. It is a conversation that involves listening on both ends. Both parties can get to know each other, and get comfortable in the relationship.

Unaware of Effectiveness of Networking

Searching for work the traditional way through recruiters and job boards can be a daunting task. You are searching and applying for work through the mass market, and thousands are your competition for work. 


Networking is like an underground job market. Employment is not filled through job boards, but word of mouth through connections. You have a better chance of obtaining employment though this smaller channel than if you had canvassed and applied to the same job boards the masses apply to.

Failure to Network Consistently

Networking is a task that needs constant cultivation. To keep your relationships strong, you must pay attention to those in your network. You need to take care of your network. Ultimately, in time your network will take care of you too. 

Networking is one of the most important tasks that a new business owner can do to help grow their business. We realize that some people need guidance in building their networking skills. PS Inc. can help you get started on improving your networking skills.

The 15 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips To Make Your Profile Stand Out

The 15 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips To Make Your Profile Stand Out

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We all know LinkedIn is a great tool that you can use for networking or finding a new career, but we don’t always take full advantage of its capabilities. It’s easy for first-time users to set up, and even easier to start making connections or looking for jobs. However, an important thing that some people forget about LinkedIn is it’s a great way for you to build your brand. 


One of the ways you can do this is by making your profile stand out. 


So, if you’re a new user just getting started on the platform, or you’ve been on LinkedIn for a while and you just want to spruce up your profile, you’re going to want to dive into our 15 best LinkedIn profile tips to make your profile stand out. 


Tip #1: The first thing you’re going to want to do is make sure you’ve selected a profile photo that showcases who you are. You will want to make sure that your face is easily seen in the photo and that you’re dressed professionally (or at least dressed how you would dress for your dream job). A recent trend with profile photos is adding a bright-colored background to your headshot. The bright colors help to make your picture stand out, and the pop of color has been said to “stop the scroll” so that people spend more time looking at your profile. 


Tip #2: While you’re focusing on photos, the next thing you’ll want to do is add a banner image. This should be unique to you, your business, or something you’re passionate about. There are several ready-to-use images available on LinkedIn, which change seasonally. You can also use photo-editing software or a site like Canva to help you design the perfect banner for your profile. 


Tip #3: Once you’ve got the perfect profile photo and banner, the next step is to craft an engaging headline. You’ve got 220 characters, so it doesn’t have to be limited to just your job title. Your headline is your chance to stand out by showcasing your skills, and even show recruiters that you might be seeking a new position. An example of this might look like “your current position or the position you’re seeking | a couple skills | seeking a full-time opportunity.” Using vertical lines / or pipes | is a good way to separate the keywords in your headline and make it look more organized. 


Tip #4: Take your time and write an “About” section that showcases who you are, where you’ve been, and where you are looking to go with your career. This is one of the most important steps, and, believe it or not, a lot of people skip this section. You’ll want to spend some quality time on this to make sure you get it right. You have 2,000 characters to show your skills and tell your story. Don’t use this section to just list your skills and accomplishments. Share examples of your skills at work. The “About” section is a great way for connections and recruiters to get to know you, so you want to make sure you include as much detail as possible. 


Tip #5: Now that your profile is set up, you’re ready to start networking. One easy way that you can start growing your network is to sync your email address book to your LinkedIn profile. This helps you find tons of people that you probably already know are on LinkedIn. Once you start making those connections, your profile will become visible to their connections, as well. 


Tip #6: We all have hard and soft skills that we capitalize on to help us make connections and get jobs. Luckily, there is a section on your profile where you can list these skills. As you start making connections, people can endorse you for them, as well. This is a great tool to use to show recruiters what you are capable of, and once you have a few endorsements, it shows that not only do you claim it’s a skill, but others actually agree. You don’t want to create a long list of irrelevant skills, but definitely take time to go through the list, and find the skills that are important to you and the job you do or are looking to do. 


Tip #7: Once you’ve added your skills and you’re ready for some endorsements, you can start endorsing others. Go through your network to find people you have worked closely with in the past, and start endorsing them for some of the skills they’ve listed on their profile. Typically when someone receives an endorsement, they will return the favor, so this is a great way for you to encourage others to endorse you, too. 


Tip #8: Being endorsed for a skill isn’t enough sometimes. You might want to show that you possess a skill by taking a skills assessment. These are fairly new to LinkedIn, but they are a great way to showcase your skills, and they even earn you a cool Verified Skills badge to display on your profile. These online tests typically require you to pass with at least a 70% or better and cover a wide variety of skills like Excel, Powerpoint, SEO, and so much more. The skills assessments are voluntary and if you don’t pass the first time, you can always retake them. 


Tip #9: Outside of skills and endorsements, LinkedIn also has recommendations. These are basically personal testimonials from people who you’ve worked within the past. LinkedIn makes it very easy to request recommendations by providing a drop-down menu that allows you to choose the person and reminds them of your work position. LinkedIn also provides you the final say in whether or not these recommendations are shown on your profile. 


Tip #10: You can never go wrong with adding your education and things you’ve learned to your profile. A great way to show that you are continually working to learn and grow is by adding LinkedIn Learning to your profile. These courses allow you to earn certifications for a wide variety of topics, and these certificates can be easily added to your profile. This shows others that you are consistently working to be more knowledgeable and want to stand out in your industry. 


Tip #11: If you are a content creator, then this next tip is for you. There is a section on your LinkedIn profile called Featured and this is where you can add projects you’ve worked on, blogs you’ve published, content you’ve created, basically anything that will help you stand out. It’s important that if you add content to the Featured section that it is your original content, and you keep it fresh and update it frequently. 


Tip #12: You can follow all of these tips and create an amazing profile, but it’s not going to stand out if you aren’t sharing content and putting your profile out there for others to see. This doesn’t have to be content that you create, it can be shared from other people, but it will make your profile more visible if you are regularly active. 


Tip #13: LinkedIn is all about algorithms, so the more you interact, the more others will see your content and be able to interact with you. Even if you are sharing content regularly, it’s not guaranteed that others will see it, so an easy way to ensure your profile and your content are getting the impressions you want is by engaging with other people’s content. This is as easy as a comment on someone’s post. You want your comment to be thoughtful because it will be seen by all of your connection’s connections. This is a great way to get your profile in front of even more people and create new network connections. 


Tip #14: To ensure that you have relevant content in your feed to share, you will want to follow relevant influencers within your industry. As these influencers share content you find interesting you can share it for your network to see. The important thing to remember is that you need to add thoughtful commentary to the post, don’t just share it directly from the influencer. As people see you sharing content that is relevant to your industry, they will see that you have a passion for what you do and will understand more about what you have in your profile. 


Tip #15: Another way to showcase your passion for your industry and to make your profile stand out is to use LinkedIn as a platform for publishing long-form content. You can share articles and blogs you’ve written and use these as ways to start conversations. If others find your articles to be beneficial, then they will seek out your profile so they can read more of your work. 


This might seem like a lot of steps and feel a little overwhelming, but making your profile stand out doesn’t have to happen all in one day. You can break this down into small tasks and work on it over time. The important thing is to make sure you’re taking steps to make your profile stand out so that you can grow your network and pave a path to success.