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How Do I Set Up a Client Advisory Committee?

Question:

We really like your idea of setting up a client advisory committee. Could you tell me a little more on how this is done? How many clients do you select? Do you have meetings or is it a survey that goes out because of confidentiality? Thanks, CFM, David

Answer:

Advisory Group Suggestions:

  1. 3-5 clients per group (not less, not more) as you want well-rounded ideas and participation from all.
  2. You can have multiple groups based upon your markets, for example: one for each of the food industry, the medical industry, and charitable and recreational markets.
  3. Avoid surveys—they are static and do not foster ideas and brainstorming. Meet quarterly for breakfast/lunch. Have an agenda. Set a time frame. Move it along—make it important.
  4. Be sure to take notes. Have your assistant attend to take notes providing they are a good note taker. Do not record the sessions as it will intimidate and restrict discussions.
  5. Rotate ½ of the group annually (18-24 months service maximum) to bring in new ideas, thinking, and input.
  6. Finally, ask people who are thinkers to be a part of the “inner circle”, not just those who want to please you. You need objective views.

Keep us posted and keep up the good work.

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