Optional: Ghosting a Proposal


  • Typically, solicitations don’t change dramatically between generations. So the RFI/RFP for the current contract probably looks a lot like the RFI/RFP for the re-compete
  • Generally you don’t have a lot of time from when an RFI/RFP is released to when responses are due
  • So, a favorite technique, especially among large contractors pursuing large bids, is to use the current contract’s RFP as if it was the RFP for the re-compete and create a proposal outline and potentially a proposal rough draft using it
  • Then when the official RFI/RFP comes out they just have to tweak the outline and content to reflect changes rather than having to start from scratch

The benefits:

  1. Speed: The big and obvious benefit is speed. Since you have a rough draft before an official document is released it puts you way ahead on time
  2. Surfaces gaps: If you ghost a response it will help you identify your gaps and the opportunities to influence the government in ways that favor you

The cost

  1. In theory the marginal extra cost to ghosting a response is small since you have to outline and rough out a response at some point and as we said, solicitations don’t change that much between generations
  2. In practice very few small businesses can invest hundreds of hours into a proposal that might have to be heavily rewritten and that won’t convert into revenue for years.