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Personal Tales Help New and Struggling Agents Maximize Their Sales Production

In his book, David Duford shares stories of top-producing agents who have created niches and found success in the industry.
  • Lori Chordas
  • June 2022
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Interviews With Top Producing Insurance Agents

Insurance agents are continually looking for new ways to grow their businesses and become highly productive, successful intermediaries.

The secret to that success comes from training and support, creating niches and “surrounding yourself with successful people, especially those in a performance-based business like insurance sales,” said David Duford, founder and owner of Duford Insurance Group.

David Duford

David Duford

In his book, Interviews With Top Producing Insurance Agents, Duford shares stories and tips from top-producing agents to assist new, long-term and struggling agents looking to maximize their insurance sales production.

Following is an edited transcript of the AM Best TV interview with Duford.

How did the idea for the book come about?

As I read many older books, I realized there weren't a lot of newer renditions or catalogs of success in the insurance business. I figured, “Why not go ahead and do it myself?”

Many agents prematurely fail out of this business, so what better way to help change that then by having some kind of record or account for what is part of other agents' success. I interviewed a handful of agents and agency owners that I'd grown to know over the years who are successful in different niches.

What is needed to become a high-producing, successful insurance agent today?

It's the same as it always has been. You need to have superior sales training and support. That's especially important because much of this business is perpetuated by a multilevel marketing-type of mindset, where it's a mass recruiting cattle call and not so much developed on the recruiting, sales, skills and development sides that are so necessary.

You also need to have a platform or a setup to run on, along with a system that you can learn how to market and sell with.

Also, now more than ever, you need a niche or some particular focus where you can spend all of your attention and energy on. Focus is so critical to success. Picking that one thing to be the expert at is very important, especially as more competition enters the business.

Why do some new agents and those long in the profession struggle to become successful?

First of all, and this is the difficult thing, many agents are recruited under false pretenses. They don't understand what to look for. Newer agents looking into the business need to do their due diligence.

Research available opportunities and vet what they offer and what they're portraying to you. Also, talk to agents in the business and get their feedback.

Above all else, slow down. This is a wonderful business with much opportunity, but you have to understand that most people fail. Some agents aren't meant for this business, but a large part of that failure is that they don't get the support, training or promises made to them.

By slowing down and treating this like a marriage, if you will, it's a safer and probably higher-odds way of creating success in the business.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

My hope is that they will see the commonality of success that everyone we interviewed has experienced. Hopefully, they can glean from that some fundamentals that they can think about and apply to their own lives.

Lori Chordas is a senior associate editor. She can be reached at

AM Best Trilogy

AM Best details the history of AM Best, credit rating agencies and the life of Alfred M. Best.

The Company—A History of AM Best

The Industry—A History of Credit Rating Agencies

The Man—A Biography of Alfred M. Best

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