Here at 8THIRTYFOUR, we have several clients in the defense industry, where the opportunities are massive but the competition is fierce. Fortunately, we’ve picked up a few things after being in the GovCon realm for a few years now. Like how having a killer capability statement is crucial for government contractors. Seriously, it can be the difference between being a top contender or getting overlooked in the market. Trust us, you want an attractive and comprehensive capability statement that not only catches the eye but also tells potential clients exactly what you bring to the table.
Crafting these statements can sometimes feel like a never-ending chore. And honestly, words like ‘dynamic’ and ‘innovative’ lose their oomph when they’re used a gazillion times. Here are a few tips to make your capability statement stand out from the crowd.
Avoid Generic Language
How many times have you heard about an ‘innovative’ engineering firm or a ‘reliable’ subcontractor with a ‘dynamic’ team? Yeah, we’re yawning, too. These words are so overused in the industry that most people glaze right over them. They also don’t help to explain what that company does. Instead of using these generic buzzwords, choose language that’s specific to your business. Talk about what you do and the services you offer in greater detail. Show potential clients why they should trust you over any other competitor out there.
Focus on Benefits
We’ve all heard of FAB, right? Features, Advantages, and Benefits. It’s a critical mantra of sales and marketing professionals everywhere. However, we’re here to argue that when you’re trying to get your point across in a limited amount of space, benefits reign king.
It’s easy to focus on the features of a product or service, and while it’s important to describe what you offer, these guys need to know how your product or service will benefit them, not just what you’re selling.
Ask yourself, ‘What’s in it for my client?’ This will help you focus on the specific benefits of your product or service. It’s best to use real-world examples of your product or service in action as much as possible—and yes, we know sharing testimonials or talking about customers is touchy in the GovCon space—but it’s nothing a little creative wordsmithing can’t fix.
Use Active Verbs
Active verbs are action words that convey a sense of energy and determination. They draw attention and make your statement more dynamic. Instead of saying, ‘We offer impressive solutions,’ say, ‘We deliver impressive solutions.’ This small change can have a big impact on how potential clients perceive your company’s capabilities.
While coaxing your capability statement to be more active, stay specific. Avoid phrases or generalizations and instead focus on specific details and concrete examples of successful projects. This allows your potential client to better understand what you can do for them and how using your product or service leads to their success.
Bullet Bullet Bullet
Using bullets in your capability statement is not only visually appealing but also serves those important facts to your reader on a silver platter. Bullets help break up chunks of text and make the information easily digestible. They also allow you to highlight key points and concisely showcase your company’s strengths. Just be sure to use bullets sparingly and don’t overcrowd your statement with too many—reserve these for your most important highlights.
(Great) Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words
Finally, integrate visual elements, and we’re not referring to generic stock photos. We understand that this can be challenging in the government contracting space, but a captivating capability statement relies on thoughtfully chosen images that enhance the text. Like bullets, use them sparingly and strategically to emphasize the key aspects of your product or service. Professional graphics and charts can also add credibility to your statement.
Crafting a compelling capability statement requires attention to detail and strategic wording. By using active verbs, being specific, and incorporating bullets and visual elements, you can create a statement that stands out from the competition. Remember to always tailor your statement to the needs of your target audience and regularly update it as your company grows.
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