In the last section we discussed the five main sections your capability statement needs, and the bonus sixth section for a call to action. As a brief review, here are those sections again:
Now we will discuss exactly what you need to be writing in each of those section in order to make your capability statement stand out and convert bids to contracts. To do that successfully, you need to get into the minds of the government contracting officers that will be reviewing your documents and determine what they are looking for. Fortunately, you will have some clues that can help. Here are some key things to do when writing your capability statement.
Call your document a “capability statement.” The contract officers will be looking for that document. Do not make them guess what it is. It also shows that you are familiar with the government contracting process.
Your text needs to be brief, because contract officers do not have a lot of time to be reading long bits of text. The more text you write, the less they will read. If you want to convey information, you need to do it in very bite-sized chunks. This can be difficult for complex services or products, but it’s vital. This is not the place for narratives or stories about your company. If you need to give them more information, guide them to your website.
The most wonderful sound in the world is somebody saying our name. Speak to them about their needs, not about you. What is it they are looking for? How can you help them solve their problem. Use the words “you” and “your” as much as possible.
Typically, capability statements are used for either government contracting officers, who are reviewing submissions, or prime government vendors who already have a contract. Know your audience and what they are seeking.
If you are submitting a proposal to a request for bids or proposals, then make sure your writing is tailored to exactly what they are looking for. However, it you are creating your capability statement for networking and general marketing, then create a broad sample of your capabilities.
In today’s digital world, government agencies act like everyone else – they are searching using keywords. They won’t be using Google to find your documents, but they will be searching through bids to find key things they are looking for. They also use keywords in their own documents and are constantly working on projects to match those key words.
Great places to find keywords that will catch the agency’s eye:
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