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Road Rules - Rule 14

Travel plans mean backup plans.

Who: Zac Ben Zaken (zbenzaken@hotmail.com), international-sales manager, IFN Systems Ltd.

Home Base: Tel Aviv, Israel

Mileage:150,000 miles a year

Favorite Destination: Paris or Bangkok

Don't Leave Home Without: Lightweight running shoes and gym clothes

"Whether I'm going to a trade show, to a sales-training seminar, or on an important sales call, I carry everything I need on the plane. If I'm bringing a demonstration unit, I'll check my bag and carry the unit on the plane, along with a spare shirt, a tie, and a toiletry kit. If the trade show is really important, I'll carry a demo pack on the plane with me, stow another one under the plane with my baggage, and send yet another one ahead via FedEx. If I'm shipping a really great booth to a trade show, I'll also a carry a portable one on the plane with me."

"Does that sound like excessive planning? Think about how your sales year would look if you missed a show because you lost your equipment. Then think about whether it's worth carrying a backup booth."

"I also back up my technology. For example, I always carry an external disk drive. That way, if my computer monitor or my projector fails, I can still print and fax documents from a diskette. To prepare for that worst-case scenario in which my laptop doesn't work, I carry a boot disk and a backup CD on which I store all of my presentations, along with a screen shot of our document-management product. So, even if my computer is stolen or smashed, I can still do a demo on somebody else's computer."

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