Everyone thinks that they are invincible and immortal until something vincible or mortal happens to them. This is especially true of people who already know everything, like salespeople and entrepreneurs.
Six weeks ago when one of those goofy ninja turtle or the Ming dynasty viruses hit (I don’t pay much attention to them because I have a Macintosh), our www.trainone.com Web site caught the bug.
People started to e-mail us immediately. I didn’t think too much of it but our server was in Raleigh and we were in Charlotte. Turns out we were only missing one thing, someone capable of fixing it. To make a long story short, we couldn’t find a repair person in Raleigh, and upon realizing our jeopardy, dispatched professional help from Charlotte, who picked up our virus- infested servers (but not contagious) and brought them home to Charlotte.
To make matters worse, when we began to take our server apart, we realized one thing was missing, a backup. So now we had damaged data and no clean copy. Solution: pay money, hire experts, reconstruct data, frustrate customers, lose six days worth of business, look incompetent to our customers, have egg on our face, and did I mention pay money? Monday morning quarterback: We began an intensive search for a safe harbor for our server and a backup resource for our data.
One company offered both.
Peak 10 came to visit us immediately. I met with the CEO and a team of experts to discuss how this may never happen again. And all I have to do is — you guessed it — pay money. Much less money than it cost me to reconstruct my own data and look foolish to my own customers.
NOTE WELL: If you’re in a position where you have valuable data, valuable database and valuable content on your Web site or on your server, your only option is to select a company that can preserve and protect your priceless assets. We were lucky to find Peak 10, and we make our monthly insurance payment to make certain that we are protected.
And now, as Paul Harvey says, here is the rest of the story…
They say that bad news comes in threes. What they don’t say is stupidity comes in pairs.
Fearing that our server virus would spread internally into our own data, we immediately brought in the virus protection squad. We thought we had a backup, but as it turns out, one of our major files “didn’t copy” the night before. Our virus team erased our hard drive to rebuild it to make sure we were virus free thereby erasing all of our data. When we re-entered our data, we found we were missing a third of our data, including our financial records and our customer database.
This led to widespread panic.
By the grace of God, Traci Capraro our internal Web queen suggested that we try a data recovery service for our overwritten hard drive. So we rushed our hard drive over to Ron Davis at the Data Recovery Group located less than five miles away in Charlotte.
We lucked out. We recovered three-quarters of our lost third. All we had to do was spend money. We have since reconstructed everything and all we had to do to accomplish that was to spend money and use internal manpower. HOWEVER, no amount of money can measure the lost data. No amount of money can replace the fear, the anxiety, the disappointment caused by the loss of data.
AND ALL OF THIS WAS 100% PREVENTABLE.
Solution: Look at every piece of data you possess. Ask yourself, what would happen if I lost this information. After you’ve recovered from turning white and feeling faint, use a round robin on-site/off-site backup system that is fool proof and has a fail safe. In other words, back up your data daily, and at least once a week, take a duplicate copy home.
What does this have to do with sales?
In order for sales to take place, your business must function seamlessly, and the attitudes of your team must be at their positive peak. Any internal chaos, whether it is related to data or not, will cause a lower percentage of sales calls to be made, a lower level of service provided to customers, a higher ratio of customer complaints, and an overall loss of good will.
I am not an expert at data safety and most likely neither are you. So I offer you the following three words: Seek professional help.
And be the early bird that gets there before the worm strikes.
Free GitBit — We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Peak 10 and Data Recovery Service. Peak 10 has offered to make available their list of 10 biggest technology vulnerabilities that businesses face and how to protect against them. Just go to www.gitomer.com, register if you are a first time user, and enter the words “PEAK 10” in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of “The Sales Bible” and “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless,” is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail