The GSBA Blog


10 Tips to make your Capabilities Statement Pitch Memorable

| May 17, 2017
April 17th, 2017 |  Article Credit: BrandQuery

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This month, BrandQuery was pleased to present at the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) business development event held at the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle, WA.

Our own Director of Strategy, Wendy Poischbeg was asked to share an example of a Capabilities Statement (CS) on BrandQuery’s comprehensive experience managing crisis response to promote economic recovery. Wendy delivered a “mock” pitch to Manager of Global Sourcing and Supplier Relations, Supplier Diversity for Starbucks, James Hing.

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What is a Capabilities Statement (CS) and why is it necessary in improving your odds of receiving a government bid?  Quite simply, a CS is a high-level overview of a company’s service or product that a procurement officer or supply chain manager can use to assess a business’s core competencies. The components are straight forward: a company’s overview, history, purpose and differentiators, as well as information on a company’s certifications and examples of past performance. You can see ours here.

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Presenting in a forum like what was provided by the GSBA is a fantastic opportunity to practice your pitch and gain valuable insight into potential gaps before the stakes are higher. Here are a few tips that will help your company make a great pitch and impression:

1.) Do your homework. What are the mission, vision, and values of the company you are seeking to do business with? Do those values align with yours? Is the product, service, or idea you’re presenting a good fit? This concept seems like a no-brainier, but you would be surprised by the number of entrepreneurs that only consider the benefit to their own bottom-line, and not the company they’re trying to get a spend from.

2.) What sets you apart from your competitors? What value does your business provide better than anyone else? What’s your differential? Are you offering an improved product or one that is more relevant? Will your offering bring improved results or growth?

3.) Tailor your ask. One presentation doesn’t fit all. Your pitch should be customized to the business with whom you are trying to partner.

4.) Be a great storyteller! The owner of Honest Biscuits has described learning to bake at the apron strings of his grandma when he was a boy in North Carolina. When he talks about the smell of the dough baking, the flour on the table, mouths water! What emotional connection will you share to make your business memorable?

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5.) Do you have a social purpose?
53% of millennials are more willing to make a purchase from a company if their purchase supports a cause. Include the social platforms important to your company in your business profile (and don’t forget to include it on your website and social media pages as well.)

6.) What is your track record? Provide relevant stats of your company’s sales, annual revenue, and current customers. Give a sense of scale and ability to perform and fulfil the work order.

7.) Don’t be remembered for the wrong thing. It’s one thing to be passionate about your product or idea – but that doesn’t mean you can forget your boundaries. A follow-up note to a prospective client is appropriate – a daily phone call or email is not.

8.) Use a professional domain name. If you want to be taken seriously, don’t use your personal Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo account.

9.) Dress to impress! Don’t show up to your business meeting wearing flip flops and t-shirt. How you present yourself reflects your brand – and your attire is their first glimpse into how you would reflect their brand, too.

10.) Your brand identity can’t be left to a desktop printer. Just like being dressed appropriately, your presentation materials should be professionally designed and printed. You only get one chance to make a first impression – does your marketing collateral provide the right one?

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Need assistance with writing a Capabilities Statement? Contact your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center PTAC office for a template and advice.