You’ve done the hard work. You’ve determined your association’s needs and compared multiple association management systems. Now that you’ve made your decision, how do you convince your Board to go with your recommendation?
It’s the role of the Board of Directors job to keep your association running efficiently but sometimes it’s difficult to sell something that requires a big change. People may equate change with more work for them. Board members also want to have a say. Though their opinion matters, the feedback can sometimes hinder the project. If this sounds like you, check out this article to incentivize movement >> How to Convince Stakeholders You Need an AMS
Presenting your new AMS choice to the board can make or break the project. To get them on board (no pun intended), follow these 5 tips to build your Board’s confidence.
1. What problem will the new AMS solve?
Identify an immediate need that the proposed AMS will solve or improve right away. For example, if your association’s current AMS doesn’t allow members to register for events easily, lead with how the new system will offer a better experience for your members. After all, growing your association’s membership and member engagement is most likely an important goal for all of you. Emphasize the benefits of the new AMS. Point out unique features of the AMS that could help you reach your goals.
2. Tell a story
Have you ever noticed what you do physically when you hear a story? Most people lean in. There’s a reason we tell children stories. They’re interesting and engaging. Let’s face it, every presentation, no matter the topic, is better when stories are involved. Using real examples will help your AMS recommendation come to life. Walk your board through the registration process from a member’s perspective. Give that member characteristics and describe their profession and reason for attending your event. By painting a specific picture, your board is more likey to see the benefit.
3. Take your Board’s temperature
Don’t try to convince your Board to approve a new AMS when they don’t even realize there’s a problem with the old system. Instead, before offering your recommendation to the Board, talk to a couple of key stakeholders individually and take their temperature. Are they aware that the current AMS isn’t a good fit? If so, what is it that frustrates them most? After talking with a few people, you may notice some trends. Hit these points in your presentation.
4. Stay positive and be specific
We’ve all been to Board meetings that get contentious and argumentative. When Board meetings turn negative, decisions don’t get made. Instead of getting combative when a Board member gets snippy, site specific examples and take the high road.
5. Keep it short and sweet
No one wants to listen to you make a long presentation. Keep in mind that your Board will probably have other matters to discuss and your recommendation, while it is very important, is not the sole point they need to consider. Keep it brief and let them know how to get more information if they have further questions.
Here at AMO, we know convincing your board your in need of an AMS can be tricky. That’s why we’ve created a “Board Review Kit”. This short packet reviews AMO – the tools, pricing and how we can help. If AMO’s on your list of possibilties, let us know and we’d be happy to send the review kit your way.