No, Angie, Client Advisory Boards Are a Great Idea!


A few days ago Angie Herbers posted an article on saying that while client advisory boards sound like a good idea, that is an illusion and advisors should not do them.

She’s wrong.

A client advisory board is the most powerful tool available to you to gather structured client feedback and tailor your practice to your best clients’ needs and wants.

Of course, there are risks. Practically all of which can be managed by competent guidance. And that is the point I want to emphasize.

I have interviewed financial advisors all over the country about their experience with advisory boards. Most agree that they have been a tremendous benefit to their practice. When they don’t feel that way, I can almost always trace it back to a faulty process. A good example is someone I have written about before, Norm Boone. I have enormous respect for Norm. He may be one of the best advisors in the country and he is certainly one of the most prominent. And when I interviewed him about his experience putting together an advisory board, he described it as a real dud. He followed up that observation with the opinion that the outcome was probably a reflection of poorly formulated goals. He suggested that had he given his objectives more thought, he might have had a much better outcome. My article about that conversation is here.

It is just like financial advice. Without competent guidance, clients can make big mistakes and experience poor outcomes. What would you say to a client who tried investing in stocks on his own, had a bad outcome, and informs you that he never wants to get involved in those instruments again? I am always surprised when a practitioner who espouses the value of professional guidance undertakes a project outside their skill set without help. If you want the best outcome, you get the best counsel. Wouldn’t you agree, Angie?

Getting your best clients together for a conversation about what you do and how you can do it better is a high-stakes undertaking. Make sure when you do it you have competent guidance. That will help you realize the tremendous rewards that are possible with a client advisory board.

1 Comment

  1. Alan MooreOctober 8, 2012

    Thank you for addressing this article. I read it a few weeks ago, and felt that it went against marketing training I have gone through.

    Great post, and blog in general. Peek up the great work!


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