All the current uncertainty—politically, economically and socially—has created an astounding opportunity to pull affluent prospects to your door. The next 12 months could be one of the greatest times in history for advisors to go all-in by creating tremendous value for clients and future clients—which, in turn, will create significant value for those advisors.

The caveat: You’ve got to be willing to break out of the trap of complacency—looking at your recent success and saying, “good enough.”

Here are three strategies you can begin implementing right now that will position you to attract affluent clients like never before.

The Affluent Opportunity: Understanding The High-Net-Worth Landscape
Consider these recent CEG Insights research findings about today’s high-net-worth clients:

1. HNW clients are dissatisfied with their advisors. 11% of affluent clients say they are considering switching their financial advisor. Among clients with $10 million to $25 million, that rises to 22%.

2. Advisors are missing easy opportunities to capture assets. Just 27% of clients say their advisors have asked them about the performance of other advisors they work with. Why is that important? Because when advisors proactively review the performance of their clients’ other advisors, 26% of those clients say they become likely to move assets to the advisors who did the review.

3. Client referrals get the most new clients. Referrals from existing clients is how 75.5% of advisors get the bulk of their new clients.

4. COI referrals get the best new clients. 70.8% of advisors say their best clients came from a COI introduction—other professionals such as accounts and attorneys working with the affluent.

The implications for advisors are clear:

• Many HNW clients are ready to switch advisors if they believe you are the right advisor for them.

• You can leverage investors’ dissatisfaction with their existing advisors by offering to evaluate investors’ wealth plans.

• You must systematically get referrals from existing clients and develop relationships with COIs that can lead to higher-quality referrals.

Positioning For Success: Differentiating Your Value Proposition
A good first step involves how you position yourself to affluent clients, prospects and COIs. The key: Communicate a value promise that demonstrates how you are fundamentally different.

To do that, highlight four levels of value that advisors can bring to clients—and which level you play on:

1. Disappoint. These advisors fail to deliver value to their clients.

2. Deliver. These advisors meet the bare minimum by consistently keeping their promises.

3. Delight. These advisors do what they say they’ll do and occasionally add in some nice extras.

4. Defend. These advisors defend clients and act as their advocate. They ensure their clients don’t make costly mistakes and protect their clients against those who don’t have their best interests at heart—while also helping them make smart decisions about their wealth.

The upshot: Position yourself as an advisor who defends your clients, and then deliver on your promise of acting as a true advocate for their best interests.

Becoming A Thought Leader: Building Trust And Demonstrating Expertise
Next, demonstrate that you are a true expert—a go-to, trusted advisor. Showing your expertise is vital, as evidenced by the fact that 99% of affluent clients said they want to work with an expert.

The most effective way to demonstrate expertise is to position yourself as a thought leader—a professional who deeply understands clients’ needs and the strategies and solutions that can best help clients meet them. You become a thought leader by sharing thought leadership content with your market—articles, white papers, books and other materials that address the key concerns of your ideal clients.

When you share value-added content, consistently over time, you reinforce their trust in you, and you become perceived as a true expert with the skills to advocate for your clients.

Leveraging Your Current Client Base: The Power Of Referrals
You need a systematic process to get the most from your existing clients. Usually, advisors simply ask clients for referrals. My advice: Stop asking for something, and instead offer your clients a complimentary second-opinion service for their family members, friends, associates and others.

At a second-opinion meeting, you’ll assess where the prospect is now, where they want to go, and the best ways you see to close that gap. If they could potentially benefit from working with you, you’ll say so. If you find they are already on the right financial path, you’ll tell them that as well.

By using this approach, you offer to help improve the financial lives of people your clients care about deeply. It’s a virtually irresistible offer.

Building A COI Network: The Key To Accessing Affluent Prospects
A third step—one that can truly transform your practice—is to consistently get introductions to ideal affluent prospects from centers of influence.

COIs are non-advisor professionals who work with the affluent to address their financial needs—CPAs, trust and estate attorneys, business valuation specialists and others. As such, they know their clients’ financial situation (net worth, investable assets, etc.) as well as you know your clients’.

The key to consistent introductions from this group is to build strategic relationships with COIs so you can work together to help your respective clients. When you create a network of COI experts, you combine your various areas of expertise to help clients address the full range of their financial issues. Over time, the COIs see you acting as an advocate for clients and recognize you as a go-to expert. They become highly motivated to introduce you to their top clients. They also gladly accept your offers of a second-opinion service to their clients.

The end result: Your COIs send you pre-qualified, ideal prospective clients who can help you grow your business more rapidly than you may have thought possible.

Conclusion: The Path To Winning In Today's Financial Advisory Landscape
Some of these steps can be implemented relatively easily, while others require more significant investment and time. But make no mistake: These action steps are what it takes to play to win in today’s environment—and they’re the ones preeminent advisors are taking right now to play and stay at the elite level.

John J. Bowen Jr. is CEO of CEG Worldwide and CEG Insights. Join the "Play to Win" consultation; it's your guide to wealth management success. Capture high-net-worth clients, move upmarket, unlock your potential now!