Less is Definitely More: The Customer Advisory Board Content Trap

In the scramble to make sure Customer Advisory Board meetings are packed with value for themselves and their clients, most sponsoring companies cannot resist the temptation to over populate their meeting agendas.  On the one hand, there is a desire to make sure that every aspect of the strategy is covered to maximize advice gathering.  On the other, there is the common fear that the room will be quiet, with no one offering their comments or perspectives.  The remedy – most sponsoring companies believe – is to pile on the topics.

Avoid this temptation!  Less content is most definitely more when it comes to meeting agendas if you want insightful dialog, meaningful advice and valuable peer exchange.  Here are some guidelines to consider in shaping your Customer Advisory Board meeting agenda:

  • Quality over quantity.  The most common feedback customers tell us is “next time, have fewer topics and give us more time to talk about them.” Focus on the one or two highest priority areas that you want to test with clients or where you most need advice and use the time to dig deeply into discussion.
  • Know the purpose and goal of each session.  Council meetings go off the rails when the discussion lacks focus.  Spend time in advance to structure the conversation and identify specifically where you want input and advice and make that clear at the outset of the session.
  • Make content accessible.  When it comes to sharing strategies and services, every company loves their own frameworks and diagrams to showcase their unique approach.  But if you want thoughtful and useful input on the strategy you have to break it down and make it specific, clear and easy to digest and discuss.
  • Timing is everything.  Where you are in the cycle of building trust and comfort with your Advisory Board should inform your content focus.  Some topics work better after you have convened the group a few times and gained trust among the members.  For example, you may want an opinion on competitors, but until there is a lot of trust established, and a working familiarity with the company’s strategy these conversations will lack structure and substance.

Less is more.  Force the discipline to have fewer topics and spend the time to shape a structured quality discussion.  This is one of the hardest disciplines to adopt, but one that will bring the most benefit for you and your clients around the Customer Advisory Board table.

Comments are closed.

Related Stories

Executive Engagement Programs: Take the Time To Listen

Posted on 08.1.2022 by in Engagement Strategy, Featured, Understanding the C-Suite

If customers take the time to tell you, take the time to listen.

Whenever a customer provides feedback, take the time to listen. In a recent meeting a company told me they had “piles of feedback” but no way to respond  

Continue Reading »

Three Ways to Operationalize Client Advisory Council Actions

Posted on 07.11.2022 by in Customer Advisory Boards

You just wrapped up a client advisory council meeting – discussions were dynamic, everyone was engaged, and as a result there are many ideas and potential actions to move forward. It’s exciting and daunting at the same  

Continue Reading »

Is it a Good Time to Launch a Customer Advisory Board?

Posted on 06.6.2022 by in Customer Advisory Boards

Not sure whether a Board is right for you? Here are some trigger points to consider.

Continue Reading »

Selling to the C-suite – Stop Pitching

Posted on 04.18.2022 by in Featured, Understanding the C-Suite

Effective sales people will tell you that selling is as much science as art. Selling to the C-Suite even more so. Done well, it requires a system that can be planned, delivered, measured and repeated. Yet often, sellers fear they  

Continue Reading »


Customer Advisory Boards

Customer Advisory Boards are powerful engines of engagement, insight, and business transformation. Make the most of yours.

Meeting Facilitation: Virtual and In-Person Boards » Taking Your Customer Advisory Board Meetings Virtual »

Learn More »

Engagement Strategy

Like any good relationship, customer engagement is a long-term, reciprocal effort. When done well, meaningful engagement leads to better business results, faster.

Engage Your Customers to Help You Stop Pitching » Getting to a Customer Engagement Mindset »

Learn More »

Understanding the C-Suite

Building C-level programs that are meaningful and bring value to you as well as to your c-suite customers is challenging. Veiled sales pitches won’t win the day with this audience. Deliver what executives want: ideas, inspiration, innovation, influence.

Building a C-Suite Client Experience Strategy » Do you Know What Your Customers Value? »

Learn More »