A financial advisors’ group on LinkedIn.com recently had a lively discussion of client advisory boards, started by an advisor who asked for the opinions of colleagues who had established a board. Here are some of the comments in the discussion thread, which I’ve grouped by topic and edited for anonymity:
Has having an advisory board benefited you?
“They have been invaluable – providing insights, feedback, referrals, and being true stakeholders in our firm.”
“They have provided input on marketing, service models, communications, etc.”
“An advisory board is an inexpensive way to really grow your firm and give you credibility when you are small.”
Who is (or should be) on it?
“For about four years, I have had an advisory board made up of 12 of my top clients, mixed between retired, working, male, female, couples and single clients.”
“I was thinking five to seven of the clients in my target segment whom I have the best relationships with. They may not be my highest net worth clients, but those whom I feel are comfortable enough to give me effective feedback.”
“My best clients are represented on the board. I also include a CPA and have had an attorney and marketing person serve as well.”
“The surprising thing is how many high-profile people you can attract to join your board.”
“When starting this process I will keep in mind that I want influential members of the community on my board.”
What do you need to know at the outset?
“Make sure you have clear objectives and the members understand what is expected from them.”