they raise defenses and look for reasons to say no. I wanted prospective clients to see me as a helpful advisor or someone who could contribute to their efforts – and let the business relationship naturally evolve.
The second objective was to help the smaller or less advanced companies in the region learn more about disaster planning and recovery techniques and even the very need for it. One of the factors limiting datacenter sales was the lack of DR/BC (Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity) understanding. Companies frequently suffered outages and disruptions but rarely put preventative measures in place to minimize impact of future disruptions.
I came up with a great URL “disastertaskforce.com” and designed/developed a site that mentioned the OnePartner datacenter only peripherally.
I also conceived some interesting ways to make the DTF site valuable.
I needed to give regional information technology leaders data to justify expenditures for DR/BC. I came up with the concept of “disaster scenarios” to give them real-life threats that could occur in the region. I researched these scenarios and collected facts on the outage. I interviewed utilities representatives from Kentucky who fought freezing temperatures for weeks to restore power after an ice storm and I interviewed representatives from a hospital in Georgia who were still trying to get back to normal years after an F3 tornado.
The intent of the scenario was to collect and summarize information to help regional businesses assess the impact of a similar event on their operational integrity.
Zombie Apocalypse Scenario
I came up with the idea for a Zombie Apocalypse Scenario as a way to draw the participation of non-information technology management into the discussion. One of the toughest challenges in selling an information technology service is the hesitancy of management to involve themselves in information technology decisions. This hesitancy really slows down decisions on buying any information technology services that aren’t of immediate necessity – like DR/BC.
So I wanted the business managers to feel comfortable involving themselves in the process. Since information technology and business management have an essentially equal level of understanding of zombies – there would be a level playing field, and hopefully more discussion of DR/BC throughout the organization.
This proved to be a great approach and resulted in an article in the regional business journal. It gave me a great indirect sales “in” with regional representatives with something fun and interesting as a lead. It was also copied by the CDC in a multimillion dollar campaign.
Utility power disruptions occur several times a year for regional businesses. The disruptions cause a great deal of frustration and lost revenue for businesses, yet just a few days afterward the interest in avoiding future incidents fades with the reassertion of daily firefighting.
I wanted prospective clients to be thinking about the impact of these less-than-disaster scale disruptions. I came up with a game where anyone in the region (identified by county) could predict the dates that outages would occur. If outages were reported by the utilities in the participating areas, participants would be registered to win an iPad.
I wanted to achieve two things with the Disaster Task Force site.
First, I wanted a way to sell datacenter services that didn’t just drive into prospective clients head-on. When people feel they’re being “sold”