Shopping for any kind of technology is stressful, but when a small staff association pro is looking for an AMS it’s a particular kind of crazy. There are all the moving parts of the software options themselves, the many types of functionality your associations wants and needs and answering to a board and members who needed a solution yesterday but want it now. No wonder you get frustrated during this process!
These five things can take some of the pain away and make the shopping process a little less harrowing! Here’s a big hint: do all of this BEFORE you contact any potential vendors.
1) Research ahead of time
Before you talk to anyone, spend a few minutes with a search engine like Google looking up Membership Management System options. Don’t request any information or demos just yet. It’s important to browse at your own pace for now!
2) Talk to friends and colleagues
After you’ve done a little research you probably have a few questions. Without making a big deal of it, have a few conversations with friends and colleagues about AMS providers. If you have anyone in your network who is particularly outspoken for or against an AMS, call them up and ask them why. Even if the needs and functionality aren’t the same that your association would need, talking to other AMS users gives a lot of insight into vendors, the actual practice of using an AMS, and the buying process in general.
3) Read reviews and case studies
Again, it’s going to be hard to find another association that’s just like yours, but you can probably get pretty close. In your research find case studies, reviews, and testimonials about the software you’re considering. Think about how important seller feedback is on ebay or amazon. It’ll add to your peace of mind to read reviews and help you narrow down your choices.
4) Get on the same page with your board
So often association leaders will have done their research and even gone as far as to contact a vendor before learning that the board and budget just don’t think a move to an AMS is right at this time. Have the conversation about an AMS solution early on with your board. Discuss pros and cons and lay out your thinking and find out what they think. Getting this step out of the way before you contact a vendor will save yourself a lot of time and trouble!
5) Take advantage of free guides
There is a lot of help out there! Here’s a list of free guides from MemberClicks that can help you on your AMS shopping adventure:
- Take away the pain of Membership Spreadsheets
- Complete guide to shopping for an AMS
- What is an AMS, anyway?
And click below for our newest guide, the 10 Crucial Questions to Ask When Shopping for an AMS Solution. Download for free today!