In the book “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath, they tell the story of a jam sale conducted by gourmet food store. One day, the store put out six types of jam. The next, they put out 24 types of jam. The display of 24 jams attracts a lot more customers, but the display of only six types of jams actually sold ten times as much as the larger display. The Heath brothers blame this on decision paralysis. When we have too many choices, we choose nothing at all. Choosing from six was much easier than choosing from 24.

I’ve written about this concept of too many choices in the past, in the context of not sending an RFP to too many AMS vendors.

But one of the greatest values an experienced consultant (like me) can bring to an association is the ability to cull the list of choices down to a reasonable number, so that you can make a choice and not be affected by decision paralysis. After all, there are more than 40 vendors in the market providing membership management software. Obviously not all of them are going to be even a potentially good fit for your organization. A knowledgeable consultant can help ensure that you talk to only those vendors that would be the best potential fit for your organization.