CHICAGO - Advisors who want to keep practices thriving for the long term need to start making inroads with millennials, the next generation of clients, a relationship consultant emphasized while speaking at the Women Advisors Forum.

"I think the mistake a lot of advisors are making is that they are not getting out in front of this," Ryan Moeller, a strategic relationship consultant at TD Ameritrade Institutional, said at the forum this week.

There are more than 80 million Americans between the ages of 15 and 35, according to U.S. census data. This youngest generation is not only going to inherit the baby boomers wealth, they are also going to generate their own assets unlike their baby boomer parents who are approaching, or already are at the end of their asset accumulation life stage.

In addition to their demographic weight and future inheritance, Moeller says that next investors also make good clients because they need – and indeed are – looking for help investing. "They are quick to realize that they are not the expert, and that is what they are looking for from you," he says.

To win these clients, Moeller explains, advisors need to be prepared to take their time, as this generation is less apt to easily bestow their trust. They rely on referrals more than previous generations, and will vet financial advisors thoroughly online and offline.

But advisors can and should be proactive. Millennials are most likely to seek out advice when they hit certain life milestones, such as having a baby. Advisors, Moeller argues, should be in contact with these prospective clients and stay abreast of these changes.

"If you think a lot about these tipping points, where do we learn about them? Social media. There are ways for us to know about this stuff and offer to help," he says.

Moeller also says that having a younger advisor on your team can help win these clients as they want to make sure that the advisor or team that they are working with can relate to them while still offering experience in managing wealth.

Winning these clients may not be easy, but the effort is worth it, and for more than just the assets they will bring over, Moeller says. "They are not fickle clients. They are very good clients because they will stick with you through the long haul."

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