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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

How You Should Introduce Yourself Over Email and Be Ridiculously Successful

We write emails everyday, and it's easy for everyone to write anything they intend to say to anyone

But writing an email to a stranger to get a response. That's not so easy. 

As most doing sales in Malaysia would point out. The typical professional email gets drowned out on a daily basis and having them open up the email would be a miracle.

Here's a framework we developed for Sales professionals here in Malaysia to introduce yourself in an email:

  1. Write a motivating subject line.
  2. Customize your greeting to the industry and situation.
  3. Make your first line about the person you are writing.
  4. Make sure to explain why you're reaching out.
  5. Your email should have a purpose and provide a value.
  6. Always include a call to action so the person knows what to do next.
  7. Say thank you. Courtesy goes a long way.
  8. Send follow ups.

This is a good place to start: By Way of Introduction

When introducing a new topic, person, or idea, you would say, "By way of introduction ...".

You can do this by including examples or a short interesting story to give your new subject context.

For example: Our next guest will be Bryan, by way of introduction, I'd like to share a few of Bryan's accomplishments with you.

Send great email reliably with 99.99% uptime. Discover emails tailor made for Malaysian business professionals just like you.

The steps for Malaysians to introduce yourself over email and be ridiculously successful

Step 1: Choose a strong subject line

This is the 1st thing any recipient sees when they receive your email. The importance of the subject line should not be overlooked.

The key is to pique their curiosity. Unless it is an email from someone they expect or recognize, there's little guarantee they'll read yours.

Here's a list of subject line examples you can use:

  1. Question about [goal]?
  2. [Mutual connection] recommended I get in touch
  3. Hoping to help
  4. Idea for [topic the prospect cares about]

Step 2: Pick a salutation

This is the first word of your email body. The greeting you choose makes a difference and depending on industry the conservative nature requires an expectation to the tone.

If it is a traditionally conservative industry, like in finance or government, the traditional "Dear" salutation is generally accepted.

However, if you're in a more relaxed industry such as, tech, media, travel, or fashion, use "Hi", "Hello", or even "Hey".

This might not mean much, but it shows you've done your research.

After a salutation, you'd normally follow with the person's 1st name. These days, this is the norm across most industries.

Please do not include their last name (surname) it will make you sound robotic and including a Mrs./Mr./Ms. gives the impression that you are too young.

Step 3: Compose a strong opening sentence

This is the hook. The opening line is the most important part of an introductory email.

Why it's important? If your opening line succeeds you give your recipient reason to keep on reading.

Avoid, "My name is [name] and I'm reaching out because ...". Your recipient receives numerous introductory emails over time.

It is very likely when receiving emails with this opening line, your recipient would read your email with haste. Why? Because there's no reason for them to continue reading.

Consider these instead:

  1. I noticed you manage the procurement teams at [company].
  2. Have you ever thought about taking your current advertising efforts online?
  3. Just heard your segment on radio about [topic], and I've never learned so much over radio before!

Step 4: Explain your reason for contacting him/her

Here's where you continue to pique their interest and to connect the dots.

The key here is to make your explanation as relevant as possible. You want them to feel that they are not just a person on a list that you're just emailing.

If your 1st line is: Have you ever thought about taking your current advertising efforts online?

Your 2nd line could be: I would with companies like [company A] and [company B] to help them manage their advertisements online.

Step 5: Add value

The basic principle is to give before receiving. Before you ask for anything, you want to make sure you 1st provide the recipient with value.

Adding value does not necessarily require Ringgits and Cents. A thoughtful, authentic compliment is also a way of providing value.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Recommend an article they might find helpful
  2. Suggest a useful app or tool they can use
  3. Offer to make an introduction to someone who they'd benefit from knowing

Step 6: Make a request

Here's the crux of it. Your call-to-action (CTA).

The goal is to remove as much friction from your task as possible. For example if you would like them to meet with you, provide a link to your meetings tool so they can instantly see when you're both available and book a time.

Here's some ideas on how to write for your CTA:

  1. If you're thinking about how [proposed idea] could apply to [topic interested in], I have some ideas I'd love to share. Here's the link to my calendar: [link].
  2. Would you be willing to comment on the [blog post] I wrote? It would be great to have your unique perspective (and hopefully get some discussion going). Here's the link: [link].
  3. Are you open to answering a few questions about [topic]? Happy to chat over phone or email, whichever's most convenient.

Step 7: Say "Thanks" and sign off

The best emails are short, sweet, and concise. Additional information and unnecessary details reduce the the probability of your recipient reading your email.

Just say, "thanks", "thank you".

Step 8: Follow up

There's a chance that when you send this incredible introduction email, that they don't respond.

Here are a few things you could try:

  1. Send them actionable advice.
  2. Send a how-to guide and offer to follow up in person.
  3. Invite them to an upcoming event.
  4. Bring up a pain point your buyers have faced previously and present the solution that you've provided.

Emails are digitally transmitted messages, and it's widely used in Malaysia today. We've included some ideas above on how to improve your sales efforts through email.

If this guide has helped you please share with us your experiences below - this hopefully will help others in their quest as well.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Convert 10x More Sales Conversations in 15 Seconds

We're going to let you in on a secret. This secret is going to help you convert your conversations into sales.

All it takes is a 15 seconds adjustment.

What's the secret? Make an Upfront Contract.

An Upfront Contract means that an agreement is made ahead of time, about what will take place during any meeting or discussion.

Don't overlook the importance of an upfront contract. It helps to clarify the roles of each person during any meeting or discussion and helps to form an informal agreement between both parties.

There's a catch. Always remember, that only one person can lead this discussion. It's always either the seller or buyer, never both at the same time.

To be successful in any of your negotiations you should strive to lead from the front, and the Upfront Contract allows you to do just that.

I've tested this during my sales conversations in different scenarios and with different personalities in Malaysia. It's helped me to move ahead in negotiations and increased my probability to close.

*Additional reading: If you're interested to learn more on how to negotiate successfully here are 5 tactics to help you.

Find below 5 uses for the the Upfront Contract to help you close more sales conversations:

1. Set a time limit.

Most times, you're meeting any "prospect" for the first time. It's common for sales professionals to overlook "prospects" to be just a means to an objective.

Don't forget, "prospects" are people too. Your goal is to make them feel comfortable with you. One failsafe method is to show appreciation for their time.

A little courtesy, goes a long way.

It's important to thank the person for their time and honestly inform them how long you expect this conversation is going to take.

Be truthful with how long you expect the conversation to take. Establish the right expectation and trust early on.

You don't want to be the forceful telesales representative which nobody wants to associate with.

Here's a script to get you started:

You - Hello [name], thanks for [taking this call today]. I would like to [purpose of conversation] and this would take around 20 minutes of your time. Is this a convenient time for you now? 

Prospect - {yes / no}

You - #if no: oh I'm sorry, I'll call you back later this afternoon. Thank you.

2. Provide an agenda

You want to be clear. This helps you to clarify the roles of each person in the conversation, and establishes the right expectation.

Some may argue against this. However, in my experience, providing an agenda early on allows your prospect to determine if they are able to help you.

It's common to approach the wrong department and it saves you time through a recommendation to find the right person early on.

Here's an example of a clear agenda / purpose:

You - Hello [name]. I would like to discuss about ways our products can help you to increase the value of each distribution point you make. Are you the right person I should speak with to discuss this further?

3. Describe the potential outcomes

Here's where the Upfront Contract technique is applied.

Give 2 options to your prospect. Make them decide to either continue the conversation or to decide against it.

It's important to give your prospect an option to throw in the towel at any time. Offer to end the conversation if your prospect does not like the offer.

Make sure you tell them it is perfectly okay to tell you {no} and you'll accept it without pursuing any further.

The objective of this is to gain your prospect's trust. Do this by putting them in control.

Here's an example:

You - If at the end of this conversation, you feel that this may not be something you are interested in, feel free to let me know, and I'll stop immediately.

Below I've prepared an example sales conversation template for you:

You - Thanks for [taking this call today]. I would like to discuss about [clear agenda / purpose]. Are you the right person I should speak with to discuss this further?

Prospect - {yes / no}

You - #if yes: This would take around 20 minutes of your time, is it convenient now for us to talk?

Prospect - {yes / no}

You - #if yes: If at the end of this conversation, you feel that this may not be something you are interested in, feel free to let me know, and I'll stop immediately.


Interested in what we do?

We help sales professionals and sales focused organizations to maintain reliable email communications with their customers.

We ensure this by ensuring your email is equipped with anti-spam and is 99.99% up and secure.

Learn more.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

5 Creative Content Ideas To Help Your Website Stand Out

Gone were the days where a picture and a description is all that's needed to sell.

This is no different for any business in Malaysia. Don't just write a statement and expect sales.

To sell, a lifestyle is required more than ever. Which means more demand for high quality content.

Over 2 million posts go onto the Internet everyday (Smart Insights). You'll need to find strategies to help you to stand out from the crowd.

Develop targeted content for your audience, it's found out to be the best way to reach your audience. Get great insights on how your Malaysian business can advertise on the Internet for free.

Here are 5 creative content ideas to help your website stand out:

1. Expert advice

For some businesses a blog isn't enough. Their audience demands specific advice to aid them in their purchase decisions.

REI has done this by integrating advice into their shopping experience. Their objective: Help users to learn while shopping to find the best product fit relative to their needs.

2. User-made Instagram Posts

Social Media is real and is now a part of our everyday lives. The buying influence Social Media has on customers is also very real.

Take your content to new heights, by having your customers engage with your business on a personal level. The business benefit of doing this is, it establishes social proof to your products.

3. User-made Video

This is unique. Video draws the largest engagement on the Internet. Consider republishing video content submitted by your fans to your official YouTube channel to encourage engagement.

4. Music Influencers

Bands are still a cool thing. Music is a universal language. Consider pairing your brand with local artists providing added exposure to their fans, and establishes credibility that your customers can't ignore.

5. Buying Guides (Product Tutorials)

Is your product complicated? Provide easy and clear tutorials. Most brands fail to communicate this initiative clearly to their customers. Avoid this by carefully placing call-to-actions in strategic places on your web page.

Improve your conversion rates on your buying guide pages by placing well-planned call-to-actions.

Learn more about how we help you to launch your website onto the Internet. To ensure your content is delivered always, we don't limit the amount of data transfers.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

5 Tactics to Help You Negotiate Successfully in Malaysia

Hours of hard-work and persistent follow-up have lead you to this day.

It's the final meeting, and you're about to close your biggest deal.

You've conducted the product demo, answered any question that has come your way, and continued to make convincing points which put you in a promising position.

You're doing well. At least that's what you think.

Business negotiations are fragile. It's easier said than done. There's a lot going on and stakes are high. This is especially true, when put in the context of Malaysia.

Malaysia is a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities. Malaysians are brought up with different beliefs and standards that it is hard to put a nail on any single method that would work for everyone.

Here are some tips from us to increase your odds of success during any negotiation in Malaysia because of our understanding and experience of the cultural diversity in this country.

Here are 6 tactics to help you to negotiate successfully in Malaysia:

1. Make it into a conversation

Turn the tables: It should be about interests and objectives.

Making it into a conversation is active listening. A conversation about interests and objectives helps you to not just understand requirements, but also identify areas of value to your customer.

You learn which features matter most and which don't. This effectively positions your proposition to the decision maker and enables you to put your best foot forward.

Some questions you can ask are:

  1. Can you share with me what is important to you in any solution we provide for you? For example "frequent progress updates is important to ensure project timelines".
  2. Which is most important to you?

It's important to prompt for a specific response, because this will help you form a more accurate proposal.

For example: When receiving a general response, "timeliness is important to us" try to gain more information such as "Timeliness is an issue for us as we need to ensure Marketing is given enough time to prepare and our customers expectations are managed. We don't want to get into a farce where we have made an announcement to our customers, only for us not to deliver."

2. Don't be the 1st to propose

When negotiating, you rarely want to go first. You don't want to give more information without getting much back in return.

You can avoid this by asking if there is a budget that they have in mind or what were their previous experiences with solutions similar to the one you are offering.

Validating first before proposing allows you to work around situations:

  1. Tactic when the cost you're proposing is more than their expectations: Demonstration of value which other similar companies have received through your claims.
  2. Tactic to counter Objections: Find the reason why. The additional information will help you to counter with solutions which match their interests.
  3. Tactic when a Quotation is requested: If you've covered adequate ground (understood ROIs, buying cycles, budget constraints, logistical requirements, etc.), all you have to do is ask for the business.

3. Have your customer propose

*Only try this after you have clearly presented the value of your solution. If you skip presenting the value of your solution, any proposition you have will always be too expensive.

Sometimes people resist your advances.

If you are faced with this situation, don't be afraid to ask the customer for their opinion. You could ask, " What would a proposal they would sign off on look like? ".

If what they offer is beyond you on cost, let the customer know right away and immediately make a counter offer. This puts you in a better position and allows you to manage your customers expectations.

4. Find the middle ground

*Do this only if your margin allows for it

When negotiations seem to hit a speed bump, consider splitting the difference.

This cuts through the noise in any price negotiations, and it helps you jump to the middle between you and your customer's valuation.

Be careful when employing this, because this would only make sense if both parties are losing ground equally.

5. Build an agreement early

There's plenty to discuss, and you've already identified the points that matter most to your customer. It should be relatively easy for you to build an agreement on smaller issues that have less friction.

This might seem counterintuitive, but building an agreement early on helps you to set the tone as you build towards more sensitive topics.

Build rapport with your customer and paint that you are someone that is willing to work with them and can establish the link-and-trade early on into the conversation. This will help you to build momentum as you move later into the negotiation stage.

Keep track of your negotiation topics and establish reliable communications. 

Do it with professional email.

Comes with anti-spam filters so you don't have pesky email to clutter your important deals.

Learn more

*Fact: 86% of business professionals choose email as their number 1 choice when it comes to managing their communications.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

8 Ideas for Malaysian Small Business to Advertise Online for Free

Advertising is important, and you know this too.

Business is tough, as costs continue to rise and it's a strain for your small business. There's just no budget left for advertising.

The most common reason?

There's too much fluidity. There isn't a concrete budget that can guarantee a specific result.

Today's post is for anyone who is struggling with prioritizing for advertising. Our objective is to share ideas that would help you to advertise your business without having to break your bank to do it.

Here are 14 ideas you can advertise online for free:

1. Use "Google My Business"

This is a free service from Google, allowing your business to list on Google Maps.

For example, if you are in the business of selling second-hand cars in Mahkota Cheras, people searching for "second-hand cars in Cheras" is more likely to discover your business if your business is listed on Google Maps.

2. Take advantage of Yext's free scanning service

Yext is a an online service which helps you to scan the Internet to find every place your business is listed on.

The service for Yext is not cheap, but take advantage of their free scanning service. Use Yext to ensure that all links and information about your business online is up-to-date.

One way for your business to advertise online is to gain credibility through search. SEO is free, but it does require active maintenance. One of the many criteria Google has for your site to rank higher in its search index is to "ensure that all links go to live web pages".

(*Learn how you can improve your Malaysia SEO instantly)

3. Write guest posts for other blogs

When advertising your business it is important to establish rapport within your industry.

Contributing expert content on another blog, will help you to demonstrate your expertise in a topic and gives you exposure to an already engaged audience. This helps you to validate that you are a thought leader within your community.

4. Answer questions people have on the Internet

Malaysia's most popular online forum is Lowyat.net.

Your activities on the Internet is guided with the objective of helping people discover how your business is able to help them solve a problem they face with.

Attending to a specific question from one person also exposes your answer to other people who face the same problems. This opens an opportunity for you to converse with real people and to provide real solutions which people can trust and rely on.

5. Publish content through Social Media

The social platform where all Malaysians are on is Facebook and Instagram (based on this Soya Cincau Article).

It is free to create a Facebook Page. A Facebook Page is a platform for you to share announcements, promotions, new updates to people who follow your brand.

6. Do interviews on Podcasts

Some of the ideas already covered included search, blogs, Internet forums, and social media.

Realistically, not all audiences reside in these channels. Some are more inclined to consume new content by listening to podcasts.

Podcasts are the modern equivalent of the radio - the difference, people can freely listen as long as they have an Internet connection. (To start: Here's a list of 10 podcasts you can tune in to)

7. Use your Email Signature

This is an often overlooked space.

You send email everyday. Take advantage of this valuable screen real-estate, make use of the promotional potential within your email signature.

Your email is a great place to start. It's free, and most importantly you are in full control. Hubspot has a great article on 10 great ways on how you can use your email signature to support your marketing campaigns.

8. Send Email Newsletters

Email isn't dead. Email is the 3rd most influential source for information for B2B audiences (Wordstream Article).

With the right time investment, email newsletters can be a useful way to keep your prospects informed and a great way to remind your audience of your expertise.

That's it for this week! It's great that you're making an effort to find quality articles, but make sure you take action to implement these free ideas now.

Interested to take the next step? Get custom email (yourname@company.com)

We provide professional email, with anti-spam protection.

While, your content helps you to establish thought leadership;
your email gives your customers confidence in your brand.

Learn more 

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

How to improve your Malaysia SEO instantly? (Choose the best web hosting)

Even the most skilled SEO professionals still have trouble positioning their businesses on search.


Search engines constantly evolve. Take Google for example, every algorithm change impacts all SEO strategies. This is ever more real for Malaysia SEO.

What used to work before, does not work today. Now, the devil is in the details.

There is a never ending list of possibilities that can effect your SEO. One detail we noticed, which is often overlooked, is in your choice of web host.

*In this article we'll use Google search as the guiding principle, because Google continues to maintain the largest market share for search globally at 90% (Business Insider Article). 

How does your choice of web host affect you? (4 ways your web host is affecting your rankings.)

  1. Site Speed: This is important. Google places an emphasis on maintaining a good user experience. The best web hosting providers never slow you down.
  2. Uptime: Ranking on Google is dependent on users finding your content relevant to the topic they are searching for. Having your website down often discourages users from relying on your content. The best web hosting providers ensure 99.9% uptime.
  3. Server Location & Performance: This is directly related to Site Speed. The location of your servers relative to the location of your search audience affects your site speed. The best web hosting providers ensure servers which are always performance and location optimized to deliver results quickly to your search audience.
  4. Backup to prevent Data Loss: Although remote, this does happen. Google needs to index your data for it to suggest relevant search results. Having no data affects your search ranking. The best web hosting providers automatically back up your data over intervals, ensuring you recover quickly.

Here's proof to support our claim.

Google has released a General Guideline to help us to understand what are the quality standards Google looks for when indexing a site.

Under "Help visitors use your pages": Google suggests the importance of optimizing your page load times (recommending these tools to check: PageSpeed Insights and Webpagetest.org).

Exercise: Find the best web hosting that will improve your Malaysia SEO.

Here we'll put it all together to help you:

  1. Prioritize Site Speed, Uptime, Server Location & Performance, and Periodic Backups.
  2. Choose a reputable web hosting provider that can scale as your internet needs grow. 
  3. Price alone shouldn't influence your decision. Rest assured the web hosting space in Malaysia is very competitive and generally web hosting in Malaysia is affordable.
  4. Find a web hosting provider in Malaysia that gives you service-level guarantees (SLAs). SLAs give you an additional layer of assurance.

If you are interested in what we do: 

We run a web hosting service in Malaysia which prioritizes Site Speed, Uptime, Server Performance, Free Backup and a 99.99% SLA.

Learn more.

Further reading: 

  1. MOZ covers the history of Google's algorithm change here.

Friday, 30 March 2018

How You Can Be More Efficient With Email At Work

..Runs into the lift
..Rushes out to the door
beep..8:59am "phew, just on time"
Boots computer.. "first things first, gotta check email to see what's the status from Atikah and Wong"

This daily routine sounds familiar doesn't it? I'm attached to checking email constantly. This isn't surprising because email has been and continues to be the most popular form of communicating for businesses.

Times are changing, and there's an increasing amount of options for workplace communications options. Apps like Slack and Workplace by Facebook are changing the way for workplace communications. However, there are some that still prefer having a conversation in person, where apps like Skype help to streamline the distance gap.

Even with an increasing number of new technology, email isn't a thing of the past -- at least not yet --. Increasing options of communications is making it trickier to remember the right "etiquette" when emailing.

Email helps us to recap, reconcile and remember important conversations and helps to streamline when there's too much going on. Until a new more organised approach is introduced to the world and is universally accepted, email is staying, and that's why it's important to make effective use of email.

"Read on. Here's a quick and easy list of Do's and Don'ts to help you maintain effective use of email."

How to use your email in the workplace effectively

The Do's

1) Personalise

It's really important to personalize your emails, no one likes talking to a robot. You should come to realize that the person who is receiving your email is a real life human being, not a computer robot that is processing your request. Adding some personality to your email will make it easier for the person receiving it to relate better with your email's intended purpose.

2) Adapt

There's a saying that different people respond differently and these reactions are largely bound by the characteristics of the person. Here's an example, what if you sent a data focused email to someone who isn't motivated by data. This person receiving this email would not know how to adequately respond to your objective, because there's a disconnect. Learn to adapt your writing style, content body, etc. to the person receiving it. This will greatly increase your email's effectiveness.

3) Always check before clicking "send"

This should go without discussion, really. It's actually very shocking to receive an email that has not been checked. Spelling errors, and grammar mistakes are not game changers. However, if your email had been written in a manner you did not intend it to be and its been interpreted wrongly, this would demotivate the receiver from cooperating with your intentions.

4) Check your email on your own time

Like with most tasks, email shouldn't be treated any differently. Some emails are urgent and require immediate response. However, more often than not most emails can wait and I do encourage you to take the time to think carefully before responding.

5) Keep your inbox clean

It's shocking. How everyone is not making an effort to ensure that they're email inbox is sorted and kept tidy. I've witnessed the amount of wasted time anyone goes through when backtracking their email to search for urgent information. Here's how you can clean up the mess.


Email is still an important tool for business communication today. Take advantage of the sheer amount of email use everyday by implementing strategies to harness its wide user base. Learn more here.