The Rocket Science of Customer Boards

I recently heard someone say “well running that meeting wasn’t rocket science”—and while running a good meeting isn’t rocket science by any stretch (most of our jobs aren’t, by the way), it is not elementary either. If it were that simple, you’d probably be engaged through more meetings.

And so, I offer you some tips on the not-rocket-science behind customer boards.


This seems silly, doesn’t it? Of course, you will listen. But then agendas get developed with the context of “what do we want to tell them?” or “we need them to leave thinking this” or—my favorite —“we can’t ask that question… they don’t want the discussion to go there.”

Go there.

While the rocket scientists are busy building their rockets, those of us who are focused on your top client engagements are asking the questions that often the people closest to the strategy or product may avoid: the elephant in the room. (That’s the point.)

It’s better to know than to not know. Put the elephant on the table and start talking about it. Don’t wait 10 years to figure out you missed a market because someone didn’t want to talk about it.

Do something.

Take the feedback and do something. Show the people who gave you a lot of their time that their input matters. Do something. Take those action steps, or don’t, but be transparent with your customers on what you are thinking and why.

So no, effective customer meetings aren’t rocket science. But they are relationship science, and having a structured plan and people who know how to run them well could lead you to some valuable breakthroughs.

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