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Briefing 5Ps 2018 – Which P is most important?

This year's 5P conference was an interesting and thought-provoking day, which was packed full of great speakers and useful insight and tips. The Enable team were proud to be involved and pleased to see so many of our PitchPerfect clients and contacts attending.

Tim Arthur from Virgin Money introduced many themes which proved key throughout the day. He emphasised the importance of organisations reacting to change (with an interesting case study about how Time-Out reacted to the changing ways consumers wanted their content) and reminded us that the customer should always remain at the heart of everything we do. To emphasise this he suggested that the People “P” in 5Ps should come first, as understanding people is crucial before we can attempt to get the other Ps right.      

Meirion Jones from Client Critical talked about how to really differentiate firms when pitching. Meirion reminded us that understanding the prospect is the key to offering any real differentiation. He referred to being “brave and relentless” in “peeling back the layers” to really find out and understand the unique drivers which shape the prospect. When you understand these drivers, you can begin to offer something valuable and relevant. He also acknowledged that preparing pitch documents is extremely resource consumptive, which unfortunately often hinders the all so important drilling down. So, making the document preparation stage as efficient as possible (using pitch software such as PitchPerfect) can be very valuable! Meirion finished his session with a useful summary, highlighting three inter-related elements that firms need to remember when pitching: really understand the prospect, align the offering accordingly, and give solid evidence about how you can and have done this before. 

Greg Bott from Addleshaw Goddard provided interesting insight and research regarding the client relationship partner role. He explored the challenges firms face in getting the best from this relationship and discussed whether lawyers were the right people for this role, and how firms can support them if they are going to be doing it.   

It wasn’t all listening (and eating Enable fortune cookies), Alex from Reed Smith chaired the interesting proposals game, which was a chance to meet new people, share ideas, and apply some of the learning from throughout the day. It was time to agree on a winning value proposition - in what felt like 5 minutes!

 A favourite session for many was the GC panel. Hearing directly from GCs about their needs, likes and dislikes is so valuable. It is sometimes things we know, but hearing it first-hand not only reinforces this but gives us real evidence to take back to conversations in the office. The need for “understanding our business”, “cultural fit”, “no (fee) surprises” and the “right people" came up more than once. There were also some useful recommendations to “pick up the phone”, don’t give advice “on an assumption”, speak to clients and truly understand their actual issues. 

The pricing panel also covered lots of interesting issues and challenges. One of the conclusions was that no one strategy fits all, but articulating value, and understanding and communicating a clear value proposition is always key.   

Back to the proposals game, with post-it-notes flying and nerves increasing, it was time to pitch to the GCs. All the teams delivered great presentations (with a bit of improv!), but it was Team 2 that were crowned the winners. They had a clear value proposition which showed they understood the prospect and could offer real solutions to their growth issues - well-done Team 2. Enjoy the Champagne and don’t forget to show off your Enable trophies in your offices! 

So, with plenty of notes and ideas to take back to the office, it was time for drinks and networking to end a great day. Thank you to everyone involved. And remember it is Prosecco, sorry I mean People first!