Do you really need to approve them?

Do you really need to approve them?

I often joke that the very best (because it's simple and simple is best) business rule for membership is "Anyone with a pulse and a credit card can join." In other words, other than being able to pay, there are no other requirements for membership.

But very often I encounter associations who have an "approval process" for membership. That is, one can apply for membership but staff (or a committee) must approve that membership. When I dig deeper, I find that the vast majority of members are actually being approved, because in most cases, the applicants are self-selecting; that is, they know they are qualified for membership so they apply.

The end result is that this approval process only serves to keep new members from getting their membership instantaneously. As a result, new members can't get access to member privileges until approval comes, whether that's hours, days, or weeks later. (I worked with one association where membership approval could take up to six weeks, and they approved 99% of all applicants!)

So take a look at your membership join rules. Are you going through an approval process that is truly unnecessary? Don't make your new members jump through hoops. Take their name, take their money, and let them start enjoying member benefits now!

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

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