David Duford owns DavidDuford.com, a virtual insurance agency helping new and experienced agents nationally become top producers in final expense, Medicare, and annuity sales. He is the author of 3 best-selling insurance sales and marketing books, including “The Official Guide To Selling Insurance For New Agents, “The Official Guide To Selling Final Expense Insurance,” and “Interviews With Top Producing Insurance Agents.” David is also a YouTube Influencer in insurance sales with nearly 14,000 subscribers and more than 1.5 million total views.
Where did the idea for DavidDuford.com come from?
I come from a multi-generation entrepreneurial family. Both my father and grandfather believed having your name in the business name helped clients know that we cared more than the average business, since their names were out front and center.
Following my family’s lead, I decided self-branding was the best way to go to differentiate myself from the number of insurance agencies that had generic names that didn’t mean much to clients or agents.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Here’s how a typical day looks for me:
I wake up between 4:30AM and 5:30AM most mornings. I usually spend the first few hours creating content for my website and answering emails.
Starting around 8AM, I shift gears and focus on how I can help my insurance agents. For example, I hold one or two live training conferences on insurance sales and marketing, and conduct pre-arranged meetings with my agents as well as potentially recruits who have interest in joining my agency.
This process continues until around 5PM, when I call it quits and spend time with my four kids and wife.
Since I run a national insurance agency that’s based virtually, I am blessed to work from home and conduct 95% of my business’s activity from my home office.
I stay productive via a few methods:
All tasks for the following week are brainstormed in advance, ordered by importance, then scheduled for a specific amount of time.
I closely guard personal access and limit contact only to my direct agents. If I were to take calls from potential agents, I would be inundated and could not speak to my agent-clients.
Instead, agent prospects are sent through an educational “sales funnel” to learn more about my agency, then schedule a 20-minute discovery call to learn more.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Idea-creation is muscle you must train like any other muscle. If you want better and more ideas, you must train yourself accordingly.
The first step to making my ideas into reality is to WRITE THEM DOWN!
I’ve had more great ideas I’ve forgotten, simply because I did not document them in time.
Nowadays, I follow Brian Tracy’s suggestion of reminding yourself to “DO IT NOW!” whenever there is something important to do, but your mind wants to procrastinate.
After writing down my idea, I formulate a sequential process to make that idea come to life.
For example, the idea to write a new book on agency-building came to me in the shower a few days ago. I quickly jumped out and made a note about that idea.
I scheduled a later date to brainstorm how to develop the idea. For example, what topics I would discuss, what pace I would follow to finish the book, etc.
The next step I’d do is write a more detailed outline of each chapter, then schedule specific days to start and complete the task by establishing a deadline.
This is the process I have used to write 3 best-selling insurance books, create over 1,200 videos for my YouTube channel, and write hundreds of articles for two of my insurance websites.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Since our niche is the “senior citizen” market for insurance sales, I’m most excited about the multi-decade “aging of America” trend that we’ll tap into.
For example, 11,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 daily. And approximately 25 million more people will be 65 and older by 2040. And the average insurance agent is 60 years old and is close to retirement.
What this means for any insurance agents targeting retirement-aged people is that you’ll have more prospects to help with insurance like Medicare, life insurance, and retirement planning, and less competition to deal with.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Bottom line, I am a process-oriented person.
I follow through and take action more often than most of my friends who have similar business models to me.
I’m no smarter nor have any more connections. Ijust take massive action more consistently.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’m a natural-born introvert and am happy “doing my own thing.”
However, as I’ve aged, I’ve realized the power of personal relationships and networking, and really kick myself in the pants for not engaging more with fellow peers in my industry.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Sales ultimately is a numbers game.
Sure, you have to not sound like a dope in front of your prospects, and need to develop your persuasive skills.
But all is for naught if you don’t do a heavy load of prospecting to keep your pipeline full.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Discover your primary value-added activity and scale the heck out of it. Simultaneously look to discard or outsource low-value activity to do more of your high-value activity.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The single best decision I ever made was to go all-in on content creation.
Not only quality content, but quantity of content, too. I create nearly daily YouTube content for my insurance sales and marketing channel, and have since 2014.
In addition, I write a lot of content on insurance sales and marketing for my website.
In the course of 6 years, I have become a well-known and respected influencer in insurance sales and marketing, simply because I have outworked all my competition.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I failed out of insurance sales around the one-year mark of my career. In fact, I quit because I hated it so much.
Then, when I went to work for someone else, I discovered my complaints about insurance sales were trivial, and working for someone else ultimately was more soul-crushing than any insurance sales activity.
It was an invaluable lesson.
First, I learned the importance of following a proven sales and marketing system. I didn’t the first time around, which contributed towards my failure.
Second, I learned to humble myself and accept the good with the bad. No business is perfect, and insurance certainly comes with its drawbacks. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good business anyway.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Developing a business to accommodate seniors is a fundamentally-sound idea that will have long-term positive ramifications.
It really doesn’t matter what you sell to seniors, the opportunity is tremendous.
Seniors are the ones with most of the money. Uncle Sam pays them a monthly Social Security payment that no politician is dumb enough to threaten to reduce or eliminate, so less economic downturn concerns. And seniors appreciate personal service more than younger generations.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Leaving $100 in tip money to restaurant workers.
They work hard to make a living and at one point both my wife and I were there.
We like to show our appreciation for their work and reward excellent service.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
If you schedule appointments,
Calendly is a must-have. It is the single best investment I’ve made in my business.
I have completely automated my appointment setting, and no back-and-forth is necessary between myself and my clients.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Dan Kennedy’s No BS Ruthless Management Of People And Profits.
The book is both funny and true in describing how to effectively run and manage your business in a “no BS” way.
What is your favorite quote?
“Do it now!” -Brian Tracy
- The “Senior Citizen” market is ripe with opportunity in insurance sales as well as in many industries, and anyone interested in opening a business should consider the market as a viable, long-term opportunity.
- Success is about taking massive action and following through, not about IQ level or connections.
- Failure is critical to success. Nobody likes failing, but there is incredible opportunity to learn from mistakes made.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.