After winning 100+ large Government contracts, Carl is sharing his innovative process.
In 1978, Carl helped win his first task order for Bell Helicopter’s FMS case in Tehran, Iran. Since then, he has won 100 other large contracts worth $116 billion (averaging over $1 billion per contract).
Becoming Pan Am World Services’ Director of Business Development in 1990, he won two large contracts and began doing his brochure-style executive summaries. In 1993, he started TechServ Inc. to begin building his own structured proposal process. By 1995, he had designed his Key Personnel Evaluation & Resume System (KeyPERSTM). In 1996, he deconflicted kickoff meetings by introducing brainstorming by Buzan mind mapping. In 1999, he systematized author input with his Compliance OutlineTM. In 2003, he began enlightening evaluators with his ConOpsTM isometric schematic, an eagle’s eye view of the bid and its integrating features.
In 2005, Carl opened The Proposal Center (TPC) in Orlando, outfitted with Xerox’s first office-sized color printer capable of stitched brochures. He then integrated and made de rigueur his glossy executive summaries to include the bid’s ConOpsTM. In April of 2006, Carl doubled the number of mind mapping exercises for an upcoming kickoff meeting (from 2 to 4). Then, with an imaginative and talented graphic designer, the late Daniel Shumaker, he drew out his Bid Launch Sequence® in a graphic to brief the bid team on the full process that was about to ensue for the first time.
Carl sold TPC and the other assets of his firm in July of 2006 for over six figures to a Kuwaiti-owned company. He then managed TPC for them. Then in 2007-2008, he pioneered government proposal development’s first use of a concurrent workflow by training his team to use Adobe® InCopy®. This new technique reduced TPC costs by $4 million ($2 million in 2008 and $2 million in 2009).
At TPC, Carl trained hundreds in his Bid Launch Sequence®. Over 4 years, he led the Kuwaiti-owned company to 43 contract wins, creating from zero their backlog of $10.5 billion. In the 2 years before the Kuwaiti-owned company closed TPC, the fruits of Carl’s Bid Launch Sequence® were harvested. He won 15 of the last 18 bids awarded, an 83.33% win rate.
Carl now markets his Bid Launch Sequence® through CarlSelfe.com. He limits his availability for proposal support to promote his writings and training programs. His interests in proposals are only stirred by very challenging opportunities with companies whose leadership has the right priorities.
Carl’s Assessment of Service Industry Bidding
I see lots of published guides that assume a year of capture is done and approaches, discriminators, and themes have been calculated. Frankly, that is not the case in my services contract world. Further, our products do not have clear features like “Mine weighs 100 pounds, so one person can lift it. That saves you the $1,200 cost of a crane”. Tell me this. Is that Lockheed Martin engineer better than that Northrop Grumman engineer? My point is that for services bids deeper thinking in messaging, better postulated arguments, and expert skills in persuasive writing are required, and our capture people are spread way too thin to be much help there. Real life in my services sector is this:
- Capture comes in with an RFP and they have only been able to prepare the bid-no bid document for management. They proudly throw that document at you, but its form does not work for a proposal.
- You have to assign resources and they offer none.
- You have two other bids going at the same time, so you have too many balls in the air.
- This scenario is not the “by exception”. It is virtually the only case I ever see.
Facing these problems, you are at the right place! Let me ask. Is this you?
- You are exhausted by proposal companies saying “You need to be compliant.”
- You are tired of “investing” in training courses that do not really work in your environment.
- You are lost and don’t know how to start, to continue, or to change the status quo.
- Too many balls are in the air and you are pushed too close to the clock to stop and change.
I changed this scenario by building the Bid Launch Sequence® to work repetitively a consistent “startup process” for every proposal. My “startup process” grew into systematic regimentation for every proposal from RFP release until start of the Pink Team. My crew learned the day-today regimentation, i.e., Day 20, authors stop graphics and write the text for Pink Team (on Day 23). (They got to calling me on it if I tried to change a day. That is inculcated training.)
Transform your bid world. You cannot train people in chaotic processes that differ for every proposal, but you can train a team in my structured, ordered process.