What no one tells you about choosing an Association Management Company
We know most association management companies (AMCs) list similar benefits when asked why you should work with them. Phrases like years of experience, mastery of association management systems, and focus on your mission come to mind.
Don’t get me wrong. Those skill sets and capabilities are crucial to the successful management of your association for the benefit of your members. An AMC should absolutely be able to demonstrate how their expertise, processes and systems positively impact your operations.
However, there’s an ingredient in the secret sauce that determines if an AMC is the right fit for your organization, and it’s difficult to quantify in a request for proposal. Without it, your association will just be another name on a list of clients. It’s that important.
The Secret’s Out
In the seventeen years that FrontlineCo has been around, so many things have changed. The internet has transformed how we connect with each other and access information. Technology has made it easier to communicate with members and track their preferences. Even how and where we work has been reimagined.
Some things have not changed. The most successful AMC/association relationships continue to be based on three basic principles:
- Delivering on promises
- Earned trust
- Shared passions
These are the same values that form the foundation of any solid business or personal relationship. But, how do you figure out during the vetting process if your organization and a prospective AMC partner share the right chemistry?
Finding the Right Match
There’s no fool-proof method to test compatibility when selecting an AMC. From experience, I can tell you the signs to look for:
- Does the AMC speak about their other clients with pride because they feel a sense of ownership in their success?
- Does the AMC “get” what you’re trying to accomplish and is open about areas where they might challenge you to make changes (not just take your orders)?
- Can the AMC show you how they innovated for other clients and offer proven ideas that can work for your organization?
- Does the AMC have a team of professionals who’ve been with the company for a long time because they’re fulfilled by what they do and passionate about their clients?
- Can the AMC tell you how they prioritize their time to be available and focused on a client’s needs?
- Do you feel the AMC is really listening to you, or just trying to tick off the boxes on your checklist of must-haves?
Happily Ever After
An AMC isn’t going to magically solve your problems. For the relationship to flourish, both parties need to be vested in making it work. So, before you take a leap of faith and sign with an AMC, the secret to “happily every after” is making sure your logical brain and your emotional gut agree it’s the right decision.
That way you’ll enter a partnership that’s focused on handling whatever comes your way in the future with respect, stability and sound strategy.