On occasion I will ask a client what the name of their Act database is and they do not know the answer to that question.
To determine the name of your database simply look up in the top left corner of Act when your database is open. On the title bar, you will see the name of your database. In this example my database is called Act_tips_2018. I do recommend you write it down for future reference in case you need assistance with Act.
Last week an act user contacted me because they had deleted thousands of act contacts by mistake.
Luckily, or so they thought, they had a backup of act via an online backup service. Unfortunately, act has some moving parts and the way these services backup act files is less-than-perfect. Here are my tips for deleting act contacts.
First and foremost: it is imperative that you have regular backups of your act database.
Second: it is vital that you have a company policy and or personal policy for how you handle contacts that you would like to delete. This is how I would recommend you handle deleting contacts in act.
One of the most important fields in act is the ID status field. When I work with a client I will set up the word “delete” as one of the options in the ID status field. When you have the urge to delete a contact or a group of contacts, don’t do it. Make the assumption that something could go wrong in you might delete more contacts than you intended to delete. Instead, simply mark the ID status as delete for all the contacts that you would like to delete. I can show you how to edit multiple contacts at once if you contact me.
If you feel you must delete all of those contacts, this approach will give you time to make sure you have a complete and total backup of your database first before you delete them. In fact, I would urge you to make multiple backups. I would also urge you to only delete your contacts once a month. This will give you time to evaluate their importance to your organization. In a large company that uses act via a shared database, this is a no-brainer. To take it a step further, you can create permissions for individual users that will prevent them from deleting contacts.
LinkedIn: Another reason not to delete contacts
My experience has been that if the contact leaves the company they will often go to another company in which they do the same thing or something very similar. If they were a client or prospect in their old company there is a chance they could be a client or prospect at their new company. If a contact has left a company and you think you want to delete them, wait a little while. Come back and review them down the road and see if there LinkedIn profile tells you where you can contact them today.
If you plan on adding contacts to act via an outside resource, such as a service in which you buy leads or contacts, I will always urge you not to delete contacts. Why? When you import new contacts there is no point in importing the same contacts you had previously deleted. Trust me, it happens. Then you are left to continue working on old contacts that might not be familiar to you that you had previously deleted. By leaving those contacts in your database you can avoid duplication and duplicate work.
Scheduling act backups
You have the ability to schedule regular backups in act. The file that is created is called the zip file and there are no moving parts. If you back that zip file up to your computer and have an online backup service, the zip file will eventually be backed up and will be much easier to work with should you need it.
Personally, I think the biggest benefit of Act’s companies feature is the visual clue it gives you when you look at a company name.
Act shows you a blue hyperlink in the company field to alert you to the fact that a contact is not alone and part of a larger group of individual contacts at a particular company. The second best thing is the fact that you can automate the company process in Act 17. By utilizing the act preferences tool you can decide on a minimum number of contacts that are required before you link them together as a company. For example, if you set that number at five and you only have four contacts at the ABC Company, they won’t be linked together. But the minute you add contact number five they are all linked together automatically.
Act Companies vs. Groups
For those of you that have used the groups feature in act you might find that some of the characteristics of companies is very similar to working with groups in act. They are, but I assure you the subtle differences can make a big difference in how you view and work with contacts within act. In my next video tutorial, I will describe why this is an important feature of act and show you how to use it to your full advantage. Please watch the video below for more complete explanation of working with companies in act.