No. 2: Successful advisors are technology innovators.

One potential reason that successful advisors are able to serve more clients is that they’re using technology effectively within their practices. A willingness to adopt new technology allows successful advisors to stay ahead of their competition, according to Nationwide.

In this year’s Advisor Authority study, successful advisors were significantly more likely than respondents as a whole to implement risk management tools, client portals, mobile apps, artificial intelligence and robo-advisors.

No. 3: Successful advisors put their clients first.

The fiduciary standard is a starting point, according to Nationwide. The successful advisors use the trust they earn with their clients to deepen relationships, create loyalty and bring more assets under management.

Successful advisors were far more likely to support a strict, uniform fiduciary standard than the entire body of advisors in the survey. When Nationwide polled investors about factors that influenced them to work with advisors, the fee-based fiduciary model was the third most commonly cited factor, trailing only advisor experience and personalized, holistic advice.

No. 4: Successful advisors commit to the client experience.

According to Nationwide, the most successful advisors look holistically across the client relationship to find ways to enhance client experiences, from first contact, to onboarding, to daily or weekly communications, to annual reviews. Technology is essential to creating a streamlined, user-friendly client experience.

Repeatedly in the Advisor Authority study, successful advisors were more likely than the survey participants in total to recognize the benefits of implementing technology to enhance the client experience, and less likely to think of technology merely as a tool to enhance investment outcomes. Successful advisors were also more likely to embrace e-mail, social media and applications for client communications.

No. 5: Successful advisors are both targeting new clients and working to retain heirs.