Preparation Time (Issue 974)

In which we are reminded that thorough sales call preparation takes time, often more than we think.

No sailing this weekend. Too cold and quiet for us – post-snow fall Saturday temperatures in the mid-40s, blue skies, and no wind.  Not a good day to be sitting in an open sail boat on the Charles River.  “Sitting” being the operative word. So, we turned our attention to cooking.

Our son gave us the very nice gift of “Home Chef”, one of the services that delivers food ingredients to your doorstep; our job is to understand the recipe, then prepare, cook, and serve the food. No grocery shopping.

The main dish last night was a roasted sweet potato tortilla soup. Ingredients included 2 sweet potatoes, an onion, a poblano pepper, 5 ounces of corn kernels, guacamole, sour cream, tortilla chip strips, some spices and other odds and ends. Home Chef’s plan said “30 – 40 minutes preparation and cooking time.”   Right. Sounded quick and easy enough. No problem.

We started preparations at about 5:00 PM – pulling everything out of the shipping bags; laying the ingredients out on the counter; reviewing the recipe; planning the work; pulling out the pots, pans, mixing bowls, and knives; then cleaning all the vegetables; dicing the sweet potatoes into half inch cubes; dicing the peppers; mincing the onions; and so on.

We got the sweet potatoes on a baking pan and into the oven to roast at around 6:00PM. We served dinner at around 6:30 PM. So, about  90 minutes from start to serve.

The soup was tremendous; Home Chef provided a killer package and…  it took two to three times more time than we thought to prepare a simple plan for a 30 minute conversation and meal – a lot more than “just show up a few minutes early, throw some vegetables in the pot, and hope it turns out OK”.

Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at .

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