Have You Tried the 5‑P Program to Prepare for Pitches?

BY Jessica Helinski
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Is there a huge potential deal on your horizon? You can boost your chances of winning big by simply following five steps to prep: “The 5 Ps.” This pre-​pitch system, according to Inc. contributor Bob Dorf, is crucial to closing a deal. “When an important negotiation is imminent, take a step back and actually prepare,” he writes in a recent article. Dorf goes on to share the details of the 5‑P program, which was originally introduced to him by sales leader Craig Mullett. Reps can greatly benefit from these basic five steps. Check out the first two below:


Information is powerful. And, it can be more powerful than flashy presentations, high-​priced lunches, or a list of big-​name clients. Reps who feel that they aren't up to par with larger competitors can gain an edge with good prep. “Spending time researching the other party's interests and possible positions, as well as accurately understanding your own, is the first key part of preparation,” Dorf explains. Explore and analyze the prospect’s needs, financials, strategic options, and potential negotiation outcomes. These preparations will help you be able to respond quickly once negotiations begin.


Before meeting with the prospect, clarify any assumptions you may have. Compile a list of key questions to email him or her prior to the meeting. Once they’re answered, craft some follow-​up questions to ask in-​person during the actual meeting. Additionally, share a draft of the agenda and ask the prospect for comments, questions, and suggestions. All of this preparation will give you valuable insights into the prospect, which in turn will set you up for success. “Being able to understand the mindset of the other party provides valuable indicators on what will lead to the most successful deal,” Dorf writes.

Curious about what the other “Ps” are in this process? Check out the rest of Dorf’s article. By following each step, you give yourself a powerful edge when it’s time to pitch.