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Ghosting: Competitive advantage or unnecessary distraction?

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Ghosting is the subtle method of casting doubt in the minds of the evaluators over the solutions, approaches and track records of competitors, without naming them. Ghosting draws attention to their weaknesses and provides an opportunity for bidders to emphasise their own strengths.

How common is Ghosting?

Once you become aware of Ghosting, you may find it occurs more frequently than you first imagine:

  • Politicians use Ghosting to draw attention to the potential problems associated with the policies of their opponents – this is particularly evident at the moment during the run-up to the referendum on Europe
  • A well-known car rental company uses Ghosting to emphasise their commitment to providing superior customer service when compared with their larger competitor
  • A national broadcaster uses Ghosting to show how their breakfast radio show provides a potentially more enjoyable experience for the listener than the other available options

Do you ever use Ghosting in your proposals?

Ghosting can be used throughout the proposal lifecycle; in the capture phase, when developing the solution and at the proposal stage. And if you’re drawing attention to the weaknesses of your competitors, you can be sure that they are doing the same to you. Any Ghosting strategy therefore needs to take into account your own organisation’s perceived weaknesses and how your competitors might exploit them.

How effective is Ghosting?

Some people are not convinced of the effectiveness of Ghosting and question whether it has any influence over buyers and evaluators at all. This is difficult to assess because, when executed well, Ghosting is imperceptible to the reader.

What do you think about Ghosting?

We have been invited to present a workshop for the APMP in London on May 23rd and we are interested in the views on Ghosting of professionals working in business winning, bid and proposal management.

If you would like to contribute to the debate and the chance to win a bottle of something fizzy for doing so, please send an email to support@twentysix2.co.uk with your favorite Ghosting story. Alternatively, click here to take part in a very short survey. The prize for the best Ghosting anecdote will presented on May 23rd.

Thank you.

To read a recent article on Ghosting click here

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