THE WORTH OF YOUR PROPOSAL- What decision Makers look out for.

BY Ajibade Adejare Oluwaseun.

Two Fridays ago I granted an interview on National T.V to commemorate the world friends day. That interview jolted my memory of a vital point I skipped in my last article Why did my proposals fail? It is about the most important point when you have done every other thing right!


Learning to build relationships during the pre-proposal stages could be a major determining factor in the decision making process

In my last article Why did my proposals fail? I made mention of the fact (although briefly) that a lot of the times, most proposals are rejected on the basis that they are perceived as cloned proposals. What you should add to that however is that, that is only used some of the times as a pre-screening edge. Once you are able to scale this hurdle, you face the other criteria used by decision makers in the choice of which consultant/group has the advantage over the others.

A result of recent researches published by Oxford University Press in 2000 and called Simple Heuristics that Make Us Smart has documented for the first time, how people actually make decisions. An interdisciplinary team, based at the Max Planck Institute for human development (Berlin and Munich) and the University of Chicago published the results of extensive inquiries into the methods people use for making decisions quickly, based on Minimal amount of information.

It was discovered from these researches that these simple heuristics are the same set of decision making strategies we’ve always used since childhood, during “multiple option” examinations in our schooling years, in our personal lives and also in business. They are hard wired into our brains and also a part of our evolutionary survival package. The same decision strategies were the ones that helped our ancestors, though they never had so much survival gadgets as we do today, yet they still had to make crucial choices that helped them survive.

To determine whether people use these techniques in making Proposal related business decisions, World Renowned Consultant Tom Sant Conducted experiments for over a year in which he distributed a proposal for internet security services to groups of business professionals where he asked them to evaluate the proposal, noting the time it took them to reach a decision either for or against the offer being made in the proposal.

To be able to properly organize our proposal for acceptance, we must get into the mind of the decision-makers. Whether you are making a 4 page service proposition or a 125 page response to an RFP, these factors should be taken into proper consideration and I shall delve into them more extensively next week.

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