10 TIPS for Complex Decisions Made Simple

Professionals, including advisors, executives, and entrepreneurs, are decisive by nature and training, so it’s not surprising that many often think they are great decision-makers.

Some professionals even believe that making decisions quickly is a sign of decisiveness, which it isn’t necessarily. Commonly, after a few years on the job, most professionals feel they have learned all there is about the decision-making process. They believe it’s just content in the form of product specifications, office procedures, and client “hot topics” that change, not decision making.

The more you understand about the PROCESS OF DECIDING relative to your target market and business, the more useful you are to those that rely on guidance to make up their minds and to end second guessing. This is true whether you sell goods, services, or both to individual clients, businesses, or organization, online or off.

Professionals who truly understand how ill-prepared most prospects and clients are to make decisions, know how valuable professional help making decisions can be.

If this post offered “10 STEPS for Complex Decisions Made Simple” instead of “10 TIPS” would you have decided to read this post? TIPS drive clicks these days, but they may not represent all you need to continuously improve your decision making skills. As you read each “tip” listed below, identify aspects of decision making—clients’ and yours—that make deciding seem simple with experience and complex without, or without trustworthy professional advice.


  1. Identify the problem, challenge, or opportunity in detail, in plain, client-friendly language.
  2. Clarify and specify goals and desired outcomes in writing.
  3. Create a set of goal-based parameters and selection criteria, i.e. must-haves and wants.
  4. Investigate and prioritize all available alternatives, including uncommon choices, previous dead-end attempts, and emerging (“by next year” and so on) alternatives.
  5. Evaluate and prioritize available resources—online and off.
  6. Weigh outcomes, risks, pros, and cons for each alternative.
  7. Select the best alternative based on goal(s), priorities, and comfort levels.
  8. Design strategies for committed implementation.
  9. Monitor and evaluate results, fix weaknesses, and adjust for desired outcome(s).
  10. Re-evaluate goals and outcomes as results come in and external changes occur to achieve ongoing suitability and sustainability, as relevant.

In working through these decision-making TIPS, you are reviewing the STEPS toward confident decisions. Your approach may be meticulous or cursory, or lie somewhere in between. Here are a few examples of what you may discover:

  • Trouble-shooting: If you experience prospect sign-up problems, client dissatisfaction, service complaints, or other failing business returns, the answer(s) may lie in the steps of your process. Perhaps one step is treated too superficially or left out?
  • Growth potential: Success with clients can also be attributed to success with their decision making. Your knowledge of the challenges clients face with their steps toward decision making is vital to designing new services and products, and staying ahead of competition.
  • Marketing focus: Some elements of steps in the decision-making process may fall outside your expertise although they remain relevant to the issue in question. For instance, if you advise on financial decisions, you may or may not be involved in decisions related to final purchases or sales relevant to these finances. If you sell business-to-business products or services, you may not be directly involved in how these offerings are used for, and with, a client’s clients. Full appreciation for the client’s decision-making context may be addressed in marketing and sales to attract target prospects faced with similar issues for your services and products to resolve.

Remember, one significant professional purpose in communicating is to make good decisions, and to help others—prospects and clients—do so.

The excerpt—”Mastering the Complexity of Simple Decisions”—explored in the post above is from “What’s Your Point?” © PJ Wade TheCatalyst.com  

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One thought on “10 TIPS for Complex Decisions Made Simple

  1. Pingback: Roots of Resistance to Change – What's Your Point? asks PJ Wade The Catalyst

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