What Is Your [Bakers Dozen]?

Before we go any further you may be asking “What is a ‘bakers dozen’ and how is it relevant to me and my sales profession?” Both are fair questions.

Legend has it that in 13th century, bakers in England could lose a hand for selling rolls or loaves of bread if they were asked for a dozen and were one short. The term entered the picture when the baker decided to throw in one more just to make sure thus creating a total of 13 or a “bakers dozen”. In today’s vernacular we could say ‘go the extra mile’.

Now for the second question – how is this relevant? Or better yet is it relevant? Sure it is, especially in the area of preparing your customer’s on-boarding process and long-term growth strategy.

Recent application…

In working with one of our key customers we recently opened a large national group and were preparing for the first review meeting with their senior team in Pittsburgh, Pa.

As time drew near I was reminded of the “bakers dozen” concept that I read earlier in The Encore Effect by Mark Sanborn, stating the importance of ‘extra’ preparation, and ‘extra’ attention to detail.

During the buying cycle we learned about their requirements and expectations and adhered to them closely. One area of prime importance was product usage.

As we were preparing our meeting objectives we created our “bakers dozen”. With regard to product usage, we wanted to demonstrate to their team that we were willing and capable of going the extra mile. In doing so we crafted a special usage report that included metrics that they had noted as important in the buying cycle. However as the meeting progressed we learned of two additional components that were now important due to recent design changes in their offering.

As you prepare your growth strategy ask the following questions of you and your team:

  1. Do I have a clear understanding of my customers requirements and expectations?
  2. Has their design changed or priorities shifted?
  3. Do I have a solution that goes the extra mile in supporting my customers best interest?

Once you have these in place you are ready to create your unique “bakers dozen” and demonstrate your willingness go the extra mile.

To your success,

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