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Mastering the Art of ‘Capture’

When my phone rings, and a potential client calls, about 90% of the time the story is the same: we’ve got a Request for Proposal (RFP) in and we need you to help us immediately. I say – great, would be happy to help you. By the way, have you done any capture? I hear either “yes,” “some,” “not much,” or “what do you mean?”

I then ask the potential client a few questions to assess how prepared they are to bid, and often proceed to talk them out of bidding (and myself out of business) even if the answer to my opening question about capture may have been “yes”.

See, the truth is, even when callers answer “yes” and they KNOW that “capture” is a standard industry term for pre-proposal preparation (everything you do BEFORE you get a bid request), often they don’t know WHAT to do and HOW to do it well. As a result, they spend precious time and money preparing for the bid response for months…

…When in fact they’d be better off not wasting resources on writing the proposal they are not going to win.

See, the big secret of companies with REAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MACHINES bringing in a PREDICTABLE STREAM OF REVENUE (no matter what the economy is doing) is that they have mastered the Art of Capture.

Capture is to writing a government proposal what attending the course is to taking the final exam in a law school where grading is on a curve and only one student gets an “A”.

If you ditched the course, showing up for an exam is nothing but a risky gamble – no matter how hard you try, other than by some incredible luck, you are unlikely to be chosen as the best among the best.

At the start of my career, I’d take a proposal job when I would hear that “yes, we did capture” without asking any other questions. I was just relieved to hear that my client understood what “capture” meant, so I assumed they knew what they were doing. Once I’d begin writing the proposal, I’d realize that my understanding of capture was vastly different from theirs.

I scrambled, worked all-nighters, and logged in 100-hour weeks to catch up and create quality proposal. I slept on an inflatable mattress or in my office chair, and didn’t see my family for weeks at a time.

But no matter how many extra hours I worked, there were many things that were impossible to correct late in the game.

The right teammates were already taken by the competitors, the customer’s door was long shut because of the government procurement rules, and the approach and win themes were patchwork instead of an elegant, well-thought-through solution. I always felt bad because my client could have had much greater chances of winning had they JUST DONE A FEW THINGS DIFFERENTLY.
To find out more information and to register, go to: http://www.ostglobalsolutions.com/art-of-capture.htm
You will find out how to:
• Discover ways to select the perfect customers for your portfolio of offerings
• Know where to find the names and telephone numbers for your perfect contacts
• Use four proven avenues to uncover opportunities ahead of the RFP release
• Qualify the opportunities correctly to determine the best fit for your business so that you don’t waste time, money, and your focus on non-starters
• Review opportunities over the lifecycle to know when to stop or when to spend more to get you into a better position to win
• Learn enough about the budgeting cycle to create opportunities that weren’t there before and how to shape the existing opportunities
• Create an opportunity pipeline so that you can plan and grow your business consistently.
• Identifying four key types of buyers and buying influences
• Rules of marketing to the government
• Gathering all the needed information – and posing all the right questions
• Documenting this valuable information and drawing accurate and compelling conclusions that can be captured in the proposal so that it sways and persuades
• Influencing the RFP/customer requirements
• Creating the “key decision-makers map” in the opportunity lifecycle to shape the win strategy
• Developing the Customer Contact Plan for Marketing, Information Gathering, Influencing, and the Congressional Plan (where appropriate)
• Techniques for creating, building, and measuring customer relationships, and for maintaining continuous dialogue.
• Run a “strategic” capture effort so that you are not just filling out the slides and following the steps – to get you to increase your probability of winning in the most efficient and effective way
• Prepare an actionable Capture Plan that helps you position to win
• Conduct effective win strategy workshop and prepare whitepapers
• Develop Draft Win Themes
• Craft the best value story.
• Identify your biggest competitors and their likely strategies and shortfalls to outdo them through your win strategy
• Prepare and facilitate a Black Hat session that doesn’t cost you tens of thousands of dollars to orchestrate but produces the results that are just as effective (or often even more effective).
• Find partners and subcontractors, and choose the right companies
• Develop the right teaming strategy for being a prime, sub, teammate, or Joint Venture
• Negotiate beneficial teaming or subcontracting arrangements that contribute to your win.
• How to do ethical intelligence gathering
• What are the most useful capture research databases and other paid and free online resources
• How to correlate government budget with the opportunities
• What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and how you can use it to your advantage
• How to do effective online research and what are the most useful Government information websites
• Best ways to document intelligence so that it is useful for the proposal team
• Development of a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and refinement of your program/system concept
• Postulation of key requirements even before you get the draft RFP
• Solution architecture and development for technical, management, past performance, staffing, and cost/price approaches
• Draft Executive Summary development
• Pre-proposal preparation to maximize win probability
• Proposal Management Plan preparation
• Effective handover from capture to proposal manager
When is the webinar taking place?

July 15
July 22
July 29
August 5
August 12
August 19
August 26
September 2
All webinars are on Wednesdays at 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Eastern Time.

Format: Webinar (you need a phone to listen and ask questions, and a computer with Internet connection to see the slides)

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