RG 269 – How To Achieve Financial Freedom in The Insurance Industry w/ David Duford

Reed Goossens
July 23, 2021
David Duford, Insurance Agent

This week, we’re delving into a bit of unfamiliar territory for us real estate investors: the insurance industry. Learn more about the ins and outs of running an insurance business, right from the owner of one of the biggest natural insurance services in the country, David Duford.

David Duford is an insurance agent, best-selling author, and the owner of Final Expense Agent Mentor. He also has a YouTube channel with over twenty thousand subscribers where he teaches insurance agents how to find more clients, sell more policies, and produce more results.

Everybody needs insurance, which is why there is such a big pool of potential clients for insurance agents. However, it is not always easy to find clients, much less sell insurance to them. David is the best person to know this because he started selling insurance way back in 2011 and despite coming from a different entrepreneurial background. But with years of experience, he is now the best sources of information for highly productive insurance selling—information that he provides to others for free.

Selling insurance is much like running a real estate business in terms of business strategies. Tune in to this episode as David gives us invaluable advice about leveraging YouTube, generating leads, and turning those leads into paying clients.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right partner can mean the difference between success and failure—both in business and in your relationship with that person.

  • Creating systems that are easy to replicate can allow you to let go of the reins much quicker.

  • Giving away valuable information for free can make you look more trustworthy compared to your competitors.

  • The best method of lead generation for your business will depend on your target demographic.

Be Bold, Be Brave and Go Give Life a Crack!

Listen to Podcast

Podcast Transcript

David Duford (00:00):

I felt like if I could give everything away for the most part, some stuff I won’t share unless your nature, but 97% of it, I share. If, if I gave that away, people are going to naturally pick up on the fact that I care about helping people and that if I’m giving away this free information, this information freely, imagine what it’s like working with this guy on a partnership basis. And then if you compare that to my competition, who give nothing away that show off the big cars, the Ferrari’s, the fat stacks of cash. I look, I think I come out a lot better looking and sounding than the try typical, boring, old raw pitch. So, um, and that strategies work beautifully. Well,

Reed Goossens (00:52):

Welcome to investing in the US a podcast for real estate investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the US market join Reed. As he interviews go-getters risk-takers and the best in the business about their journey towards financial freedom and the sheer joy of creating something from nothing

Reed Goossens (01:13):

G’day ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another cracking edition of investing in the US podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your host Reed Goossens good as always every with us on the show. Now, I’m glad that you’ve all tuned into learn from my incredible guests and each and every one of them are the cream of the crop here in the United States. When it comes to real estate, investing, business, investing, and entrepreneurship, each show, I try and tease out their incredible stories of how they have successfully created the businesses here in the US how they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cashflow, and ultimately create extraordinary lives for themselves and their families. Life by design. As I like to say, hopefully these guests will inspire all of my cracking listeners, which are you guys to get off the couch and go and take massive amounts of action.

Reed Goossens (01:59):

If these guys can do it. So can you now, as you know, I’m all about sharing the knowledge with my loyal listeners, which is you guys, and there’s absolutely no BS on this show, just straight into the nuts and bolts. Now, if you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give us a review on iTunes. And you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter by searching at Reed Goossens. You can find the show wherever you podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google play, but can also find these episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head over to Reed goossens.com, click on the video link, and it’ll take you to the video recordings of these podcasts. You can see my ugly mug, but the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right, enough of me let’s get cracking and into today’s [inaudible].

Reed Goossens (02:46):

Did I only show the pleasure

Reed Goossens (02:47):

Of interviewing David du Ford? David is a national insurance agency owner in the U S specializing in the senior market for life and health insurance. He is an author of three best-selling insurance sales books and has over 18,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, dedicated to helping insurance agents around the world become top producers. I’m really excited and pumped to have him on the shutter, that show he’s incredible knowledge and story with us, but enough that, I mean, let’s get him out here, get it, David, welcome to the show. How you doing? So mate,

David Duford (03:15):

Greetings and salutations. Thanks for having me,

Reed Goossens (03:18):

Mate. My pleasure. Where are you calling in from today?

David Duford (03:21):

Chattanooga, Tennessee. Love

Reed Goossens (03:23):

It. Yes. I do know where that is. It’s blowing up right now,

David Duford (03:25):

Right? I hear you can’t buy a home and my house has gone up 50% in the last couple of years. I can’t complain.

Reed Goossens (03:32):

That’s great. That’s great. I, uh, uh, my, my funny, coincidentally enough, my wife used to work for a, uh, when Tesla was first coming out a community car called green commuter. And the idea was to take people from their homes and do like a carpool share thing, and then pick them up, drop them off at a office park. And the car could be used as a, you know, an Uber for the next, uh, you know, for the diet and type people home. And the first pilot trial was actually in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which I was quite, I was quite surprised about. I thought it was very, very forward of Chattanooga, but I guess they’re trying to be green and, uh, barely is really cycle friendly in Chattanooga as well.

David Duford (04:10):

Yeah. There’s, there’s bikes laying around everywhere. You can just rent them, ride them around for the day, put them back in the rack, wherever you end up. So, yeah, I lost a lot of that stuff.

Reed Goossens (04:18):

Awesome. I will look nothing of that. Um, let’s start the show. And when I ask all my guests that come on, this show is rewind the clock. And tell me how you made your first ever dollar as a kid.

David Duford (04:28):

Let’s see. I think it was from my first ever retail job. I worked at a company called goodies, a family retailer, you know, sell clothes and stuff. I think they’re pretty much gone now. And that was my first real job. So I just got started. Like most people do work for somebody else.

Reed Goossens (04:48):

Got it. And now walk us through your journey into entrepreneurship in the green room. Before we press record here, you’re talking about solo entrepreneurship, your niches in the insurance business, but maybe from a high-level point of view, how did you, how’d you stumble across becoming an entrepreneur and wanting to work for yourself?

David Duford (05:03):

Whose been an introvert and I never really played well with people. I never liked the idea of working for somebody else and kind of following their particular standards that I maybe necessarily agree with. And I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so it was kind of born in the blood. That’s kind of how I look at it. So I remember doing studying abroad in London at one point, and I was creating my business plan at the time for personal training. And, uh, yeah, it was just, I don’t know. I didn’t like the corporate mindset, the corporate way of life. I wanted to kind of burn my own path and create, it’s just a part of me that I can’t.

Reed Goossens (05:43):

And it totally about that because burning your own path is something that I definitely, uh, you know, assimilate with in terms of, you know, my journey coming to the United States. But what didn’t you like about was just the control factor that you didn’t didn’t resonate with? The, the, the, the, the grind, the sort of Groundhog day, and you kept going back in the office wearing a suit and tie every single day, or it was just purely the fact that he didn’t like working with him.

David Duford (06:06):

I think it was really just that simple. I mean, I only, I’ve only had like one real corporate job, and that was after I failed out my second business, which we can talk about, but I only worked in corporate America for a year. And that confirmed all my disdain pretty quickly actually. But yeah, it was just a, you know, I think a lot of it was just, there’s just something inside of me that I can’t explain. I just a creative drive. I have to do something with it. And entrepreneurship is the outlet.

Reed Goossens (06:34):

And did you, did you family growing up have any influence over that, you know, uh, innate ability to try and go out and create something from nothing?

David Duford (06:42):

Oh, yeah. I mean, my grandfather ran a commercial HVAC company in Detroit, back in the fifties through the eighties before he retired. Um, my uncle was one of the creators of XM radio back in the funnel, if you’re old enough to remember that. But XM radio, uh, really started, I think, in the late nineties, early aughts. And then my father was very successful. Chemical manufacturer had a couple of plants, so it’s, it’s just that, you know, I just come from that and it’s just kind of what you do, you know, it was a man in the family, basically,

Reed Goossens (07:17):

As you say, and burn your own path, but, but tell us about that first business and how it filed and, and why did it file?

David Duford (07:23):

So I graduated college, I went to Boston university, uh, got back home to Tennessee as quickly as possible because if you’ve ever lived through a winter up there, you like want to leave. So I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have prospects. I answered an ad in the paper about, uh, a local, uh, fitness company wanted to do a satellite location. So I, I did my best pitch to get kind of an affiliation set up. They didn’t take me. I proved myself over time when the first guy they hired failed out and I took it over, started doing well, my first partnership don’t like partnerships because after six or seven months of that bed didn’t quite work out. So at that point, I went completely solo on my own. I had a personal training gym. We specialized in what we call small group personal training.

David Duford (08:09):

So at the time it was one-on-one high price stuff. I kind of took the middle ground where it was like a two or three person training session and half the time. So the pitch to the client was, Hey, you don’t have to spend an hour doing a workout. You just do 30 minutes. We’ll give you the same results and we’ll do it at half or a third of the cost because we’ve got multiple people in here are offsetting, you know, the, the cost and it was higher revenue for me. It was really, I thought a pretty cool idea. I did that for five years until the great recession hit and just like a lot of businesses then, especially on main street, we all got pummeled, you know, and, uh, uh, personal training as a discretionary product. You don’t need it to survive. You can just buy, you know, Tibo tapes or something, right.

David Duford (08:52):

So, or go for a walk, a guy, go out your door and move. Right. So I felt the brunt of that. And my marketing didn’t work as well. It didn’t produce as many leads. It didn’t produce as much revenue around 2009, 2010. It was obvious at that point that this business was going under. So, um, I got desperate. Uh, first of all, tried getting a real job, first level of desperation, and then a second level of desperation where I ended it up and where I’m still at is in the insurance business. And, uh, eventually started there, transitioned out of the first business. And, uh, and here, still here,

Reed Goossens (09:31):

It’s Julio tonight. Uh, one thing I wanted to pick up on just as you mentioned, that it was, um, you didn’t work out with your partner and your partnership. Jordan, talk a little bit about that because so many people who listened to show in real estate, you know, the reason you have partnerships in the beginning is because you essentially don’t have the money to go and hire someone, right? And you need someone who can work for free to take one of the hats off your head. And you, you don’t, it’s not a little on yourself. So just talk from your perspective and high level, if you want you to, if you get into details, what happened? Why do partnerships in your mind don’t don’t work and you chose the solo entrepreneurship and being the solo boss?

David Duford (10:08):

Well, I mean, I think about it like this way, you know, in the context of like a marriage, a partnership for those fail, and these people allegedly love each other before they get together. Right? So as far as businesses go, it’s the same thing. You have two different minds that have do two different visions or perspectives. I may not agree with each other on the execution of the strategy. And if you don’t have a really open, honest, transparent relationship to communicate in a way that you, you don’t feel like you’re going to be taken advantage of or, or something like that, then you’re destined to fail. And that’s why I think a lot of partnerships don’t work out is because one of the parties is, is just not comfortable with having open lines of communication. And that’s how it was in this original partnership I had with this fitness person locally.

David Duford (10:58):

Um, we wanted to expand, but I felt like he was stealing from me in a sense of my time and my availability. He was using me. And likewise, he thought kind of the same thing on my end. And there’s probably, you know, a bit of truth in both sides. It just wasn’t going to work out. And the problem becomes well, who owns the clients who owns the business and all the stuff that comes from that. And this is a small little business. So luckily things didn’t get nasty, but this is kind of why I’m just kind of, uh, partnerships don’t like them because unless you’ve got it, just an awesome open relationship and you’re a master communicator, it is really hard to make work. And especially if you’re going in business with a friend or worse a spouse, I mean, this stuff will ruin it ruin relationships. My, my, and I can talk about my father is this kind of happened with him and his wife. They work together and they are divorced now. So, um, it’s something I guess, on, on many levels, I just don’t like would rather avoid him, not even for me,

Reed Goossens (11:59):

No, you bring up really good, um, uh, perspective. You’ve sort of had friendships. And, and from my perspective, I’ve got a business partner and I brought on the third one and I think it’s all about business partnership or business relationship, first friendship, second, you know, and I, and I, my business partner, I, um, you know, we wouldn’t have just ran into each other. I serve he golf, so I would completely it. So, but, but we, we had, uh, a yin to my yang and he, and he was a yin to my yang. And so it was something that worked out, but, but ultimately partnerships also evolve over time, like, like relationships do. And sometimes people hold onto those partnerships so much that they don’t want to lever let go of it because it is it’s your baby. Right? You started, you put everything into it, you put all the emotions, the sweat, the guts, you know, the tears and, and the money.

Reed Goossens (12:45):

Right. And then all of a sudden it could come to an end, you know, as you were saying, but that’s, some people also need to just lean into that and be like, that’s okay. It’s just the evolution of who I am as an entrepreneur and who I am as a business leader is that I may want to go forward to a different path. And for those people listening out there, that is completely fine if you’re coming to that stuff. And don’t know that as you, I love that you mentioned before 50% of marriages break up, I think at least 50% of partnerships break up. So it’s kind of inevitable as well.

David Duford (13:11):

I, I guess you made the good point. You know, I looking now, and it’s current state of my business. I have several business partnerships, but they’re not with friends or with families or spouses. And, and, and again, I hit on this and this is a lot of just personal reflection and observation. It’s just to me, you know, you got to separate business from pleasure. That’s how I look from it. I, I wanna keep my spouse, my spouse, first of all. And I don’t know if I can do that as well, if I enter mix, and this is just me talking my business with the pleasure, you know? And so I just think there needs to be an understanding if you’re going to go into business, that you can keep that. And that’s a lot harder because we start to take things personally, if we don’t agree, because it’s not just, it’s not just something, you know, insignificant, it’s your business, it’s your livelihood, right. And that can enter dinner, a mix with, you know, the relationships you have. So just be very careful. That’s kind of my experience and why I’m tepid when it comes to familial or relationship friend type of, kind of partner. Thanks.

Reed Goossens (14:12):

And thank you for sharing those, uh, the vulnerability that, but let’s move into the insurance business of what you do today and what, what is it that attracted you to the business early on? Cause you, you mentioned that you, you had a failure, you went back into the corporate world and then it was this, this, this insurance thing. And, and a lot of people probably listening to this show who are in, but real estate investors. Um, don’t maybe not understand the business of insurance. I certainly don’t don’t I have an insurance broker who works for me and he, he gives me advice all the time. Oh, I know the bloody things are going up. Uh, so, um, but, but maybe you can talk a little bit about your nation and how you’ve created really, because you’ve got three best-selling books, you’ve got YouTube followers, you know, you’ve got the whole shebang in there around insurance and people be, oh, God sure. It’s going to be stuffy and boring.

David Duford (14:53):

Yeah. And it kind of is. I mean, to be honest with you, it’s insurance. I mean, that’s why they have lizards and birds for the logos, for these companies and cartoons cause it’s insurance. I mean, come on, you know, they got to do this stuff. Um, I got into this business completely. Tersely read out of desperation. I mean, I couldn’t find a job. I didn’t want to sell insurance. Nobody dreams of selling insurance when they grow up, it’s just was there. And it was the only thing. And it just so happened that anything in the financial planning or financial world is full of money and full of opportunity for income. And I stumbled across the niche of what’s called final expense. And in short, it’s essentially selling older people, enough life insurance to pay for final expenses like burial and cremation costs, which again, you may be thinking, well, okay, burials 10 or 15,000, is there money in that?

David Duford (15:41):

Well, the thing in our market that’s great is first of all, it’s the senior market. If you’re targeting anybody in the baby boomer market, 10, 11,000 seniors turn 65 a day, um, they’re transitioning out of working life into retirement life. And there’s a mindset shift. They’re more concerned about preservation versus accumulation and planning for their demise, you know? And so there’s a huge desire and need because many people are ending up to retirement with much less than they ever figured. And there’s a definite need for this kind of product because we know we’re all going to die. It’s just a matter of when. And so, uh, I just lucked out and stumbled across it. And the great thing about final expense insurance is it’s a one-call close it’s, it’s not a technical sale. You either get the sale on the first call or you never get it.

David Duford (16:29):

It’s very activity oriented. Meaning you buy leads, you go set appointments, you can close them over the phone. You can go see them face to face still. And, um, you repeat that process. It doesn’t take a lot of brain power. Uh, you just have to have discipline and work ethic. And it was very appealing to me as an entrepreneur because I could work, you know, I like working and I can follow a simple system. And so that was really the kind of, as I discovered a real benefits to this business, which of course, as we’ll talk later, I built into an agency to duplicate the process, to help other people.

Reed Goossens (17:04):

That’s awesome. And do you found a final expense even though that was a thing? Yeah, you’re

David Duford (17:09):

Right. Most people just stumble across it randomly. Right.

Reed Goossens (17:12):

You learn something new. Um, but I, but I guess it is a big thing. Cause a lot of people, um, when you, when you come to the end of your life, you know, and a lot of family members get burdened with some pretty hefty bills in a 20, 15, 20, $30,000, depending on all the stuff that goes on with it. Um, but what I am interested in, what you just mentioned, being there at the end there, the agency, how did you go and create an agency from that and replicate? What, what I really picked up on was simple systems that could be replicated over and over and over again in order them dusk to create a system. So you can remove yourself from the system. Right?

David Duford (17:45):

Correct. Yeah. So let me kind of tell you the inspiration behind that begin with, because the weakness of the system I’m describing here is you have to work to make money, which you may think like, well, what’s wrong with that? That’s normal. Well, there is the ability in the insurance business, much like other industries, like real estate where you can passively generate income. And so there’s several ways to do it. You can do it on a product specific basis. Some products pay a residual or renewal income for life like Medicare products. Um, whereas with final expense at the time, the way that you create residual or semi-passive income is by recruiting and building agencies and their agents, and essentially duplicating what you know into them. And that’s what I decided to do. Um, it was obvious to me, I loved the work, but there, I might reach a point.

David Duford (18:33):

Now I have four kids I’m in my late or late thirties. So God, uh, that I may not want to work as much. And I wanted to make income without necessarily having to grind it out in the field, the rest of my life. So that’s where the idea of the, the, the agency came from and the, and the strategy is pretty simple. Um, there’s a lot of people out there that hate their job. There’s a lot of people out there that want to experience entrepreneurship and the benefits that can flow from it. If you tap into it, do it the right way, but there’s not a lot of people that know how to do it. They need a plan. They need a blueprint, you know, a process and people in their research. Like I had originally described stumble across the insurance business. It just dawns on them that, Hey, there’s money in here.

David Duford (19:14):

Wow. Everybody needs insurance. So you’ve got a huge pool of prospects, but they don’t know how to make it happen. So eventually what people now do, and we can talk about this. I, all of my lead generations, organic on YouTube people find my content organically on YouTube, build a relationship with me, watching my content and become inspired, sell the stuff, and then eventually reach out to me. And then I recruit them, teach them the system. They go out there and sell. I make a cut of the difference to call it an override. So why have agents right now working in the field and when they make a sale, I’m going to make whatever the percentage is, but I’ve got that times several hundred, you know, it’s, it’s a great thing because they’re doing the work, I’m just guiding them along the way. And I’m making a little bit from a lot of people.

Reed Goossens (20:01):

Talk to me about the stumbling across all of the lead gen and the organic YouTube creation, because you mentioned that’s a strategy that a lot of, a lot of business owners, because they are so in the weeds and they’re in the trenches, they don’t have the self-awareness to say, stop. I need to create, I need to be the key person of influence and create the following and give the information away for free. So I can get the, the, the worker bees to come in, come into my sphere and then they can go off and produce pollen or collect pollen for me. And I’m just, I’m just, I’m the queen bee of, I don’t know why I said quamy, but that’s they creating the content. And that’s not something that every business owner will just wake up one day and go, that’s what I’m going to do. So how did you come into that sort of mindset to, to, to separate then go and share the knowledge with your, with your bees? And so they can go from making money?

David Duford (20:52):

Well, so in our industry, there’s this kind of feeling like, well, I don’t want to give my, my system away. I want you to join me and then I’ll give it to you. That’s the traditional normal way of thinking, but you know, the problem we have in America, and I would say, this is just a natural human thing is we don’t trust anybody. Everything’s subject to, you know, I don’t know if that’s quite true. And especially in insurance, there’s probably veers or, or podcasts listeners here that frankly have been in situations. They’ve seen insurance and for themselves and others, and there’s a big multilevel marketing culture. It’s raw, raw recruit, and they can kind of gives that vibe off. So people just don’t generally trust what they’re seeing a lot. And I looked at all this and I was like, you know, this is the old way of thinking.

David Duford (21:39):

You know, now we’re in a point where we’ve got to earn the right for someone to trust us. And what better way of doing that than giving away the vast, vast majority of training and content for absolutely nothing for just people just stumbling across you. Because what I thought at the time, and even I was resistant to the idea, I was like, this is crazy. But I felt like if I could give everything away for the most part, some stuff I won’t share, unless your nature, but 97% of it, I share. If, if I gave that away, people are going to naturally pick up on the fact that I care about helping people and that if I’m giving away this free info, this information freely, imagine what it’s like working with this guy on a partnership basis. And then if you compare that to my competition, who give nothing away that show off the big cars, the Ferrari’s, the fat stacks of cash. I look, I think I come out a lot better looking and sounding than the tri typical, boring, old, raw pitch. So, um, and that strategy has worked beautifully. Well,

Reed Goossens (22:43):

How long has that strategy? Meaning playful boy,

David Duford (22:45):

  1. So I’ve been, I’ve been specifically on YouTube. I don’t do much else. I do a lot of organic now on Google search, but my 80% of my business and agents recruiting come from YouTube and, and I’ve employed that for years and years and years, and it absolutely works. It absolutely works.

Reed Goossens (23:04):

I love it. No, and I love that you’ve found and stumbled across that. I don’t know as I stumble across, but, but the whole give it away for free. You’ll then attract a certain type of agent as well. I would imagine because yeah, you feel giving it away and they have the, you, you come across as genuine. You’re going to attract people who want to really, really be in your business because they like who you are as a person, right. Rather than the cash and this cars and, you know, the houses and all that sort of bling, which is all BS at the end of the day, because they’re probably just hiring it for the, for the photo shoot. But, but at the end of the day, you’ll setting up a system where you can ultimately remove yourself and you have an army of people out there because they, your methodology, right.

Reed Goossens (23:46):

They love your, what you teach. I think that’s so important too, regardless of the business real estate, you know, insurance selling a widget, you have to have a replicatable business and a process. So you can go and attract the masses, attract people who can go out and do the work for you. So you don’t have to. And that is, it takes a lot of time and grinding. And I’m sure you’re aware of this, that you’re in the trenches. And then one day you’re like, I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life. I need to, I need you to think differently. And that is really, really powerful and something that I talk a lot about on this show, but I’m going to repeat it again because people don’t seem to let it sink in when they’re with their business, as they’re growing, they feel like they’re the bottleneck. And once you feel like you’re the bottleneck, it’s too late and you have to go create those businesses or those strategies and training platforms to, to, to remove yourself from the system. So very, very awesome stuff. Talk to me about how it’s grown over the last, since 2014 and, and what, how many agents you have working for you today, and then really where’s the gold going, you know, for the next five to 10 years.

David Duford (24:45):

So it’s funny. And that would be any advice to anybody that wants to do YouTube or any content creation. First of all, it’s a multi-year process. Don’t expect instant results. Some people get it, but that’s the exception. I started really getting serious traction in YouTube after probably 2017. Okay. So two and a half, three years now I was getting, I was getting traffic, but it like, it’s funny, like if I pulled up my graph of in analytics, you would see this noticeable, almost doubling, maybe 75 to a hundred percent increase in traffic, at least in the view basis from December 16 to January 17. And then it did it again from 18 to 19, it’s just, it’s just weird. And I just kept creating content. And, um, from that, the leads started flowing. I don’t know, YouTube flips a switch. You know, they want to see if you’re a consistent producer of content that provides value before they let the spigot out and then show you all over the place on any of these search terms that you’re trying to compete for.

David Duford (25:46):

So, um, yeah, it just, it really ramped up. It’s been incredible. It just gets, keeps getting better and better. Um, you know, as far as agents recruit, I’ve recruited over several thousand, since 2014, the real metric in our business is how many are actually selling every month because yeah, it’s a business opportunity. It’s not right for everybody, for sure. Several 150 to 200 sales agents are out there writing as little as one policy month, as much as, you know, a hundred plus, you know, there’s, it’s all in between there. So it’s been, man, it’s been great.

Reed Goossens (26:19):

And what’s a Keep go to KPIs or key performance indicator of one of your agents. Do you try and look for, as you just, you mentioned one silent month up to a hundred sales a month. What, what’s a good sweet spot for your average agent?

David Duford (26:34):

Well, like any organization, 80% of the production comes from 20% of the agents. And so, um, there’s value from an recruiting. And even if they write a policy every week, two weeks, that’s there’s profit from that. And those agents are important for sure. Now the question becomes, where is the production high enough to warrant? What I think in our business, you should be making a six figure income after your first full year in the business started the summer between the second you’re in business, et cetera. This business is tough emotionally. He thought a roller coasters. And what we look for as far as what is our standard of success to hit that if we’re selling final expense, typically five policies a week utilizing a direct mail lead system or Facebook generated lead system. Typically if the commission levels and the production and activity required, if they get five a week at the end of the year, they should have a low six figure income.

Reed Goossens (27:28):

And, and you actually bring up a very interesting point that I, I remember hearing, uh, about a company, actually my home and my home country of Australia. Um, talking about, uh, what is it, um, going on franchising, um, automobile, mechanics, but mobile. And the whole business was really about the lead generation. That’s what the franchise is buying into, right? So people buying into you because of that lead gen. So what are you doing on your end called the headquarters, right? That keeps those generally besides the YouTube, but has other organic traffic coming to the to your agents. So they can go off and do five, five plans a week and get to that six figures that you promised them. Because if you, if you promise something and you don’t deliver then okay. The agents, right?

David Duford (28:14):

Well, so in the world of agents and the direct sales model, so the agents selling insurance to the insurance prospect, okay. We don’t do any organic. Um, there is organic in our business and it’s the typical, do you have a pulse? Let me talk to you about insurance. Like, you know, friends, family, they don’t call you anymore cause you bugged them. So we don’t do that because a lot of people just get turned off by that approach. But what we do are paid sources and, and it’s funny, the, the single best source for leads for in 2021 is direct mail business reply card mailers. There may be people who are listening this that don’t even know that this thing actually exists direct mail, but it’s, it’s a profoundly effective form of marketing. And it was great.

Reed Goossens (29:02):

This is Sergeant [inaudible], is that the cause of the age of the demographic you’re targeting?

David Duford (29:07):

Exactly. So we’re targeting demo. The demo we’re targeting is 50 to 85 and it’s a little lower income working class and the type of people that th that demo is more likely to respond to a direct mail there. Cause they’ve always had, you know, they had to when, before Facebook and pay-per-click and stuff, that’s how they did business and they carry those behavior traits in. But we love direct mail because, um, if you’re on Facebook, what do you do? You know, a lot of you probably Facebook market, well, if you’re on Facebook, you’re wasting time arguing about politics, get mad about some BS, and then you see an ad and you click it and fill it out. And then you go back to wasting your time. Right? Well, that’s what our prospects do too. So when you call them up and try talking to them, if you ever get them on the phone, their recall rate is lower.

David Duford (29:52):

The set rate for the appointments is lower. Whereas if we do direct mail, it’s funny with direct mail, they have to walk and get the card out of the mailbox. They sit down and read it. They argue with their spouse. If they have one about, should we send this in? Is it a scam? And they go back and forth. We need life insurance. And they decide at every moment of this, they could have tossed it out. Okay. They decide then to fill their name out, put their information on a cart and then walk it back. The recall rate. And the engagement is measurably higher with direct mail because of that. So when you call them back and say, Hey, you sent this card back, it’s my job to deliver the information about our plans. They’re like, oh yeah, I remember a lot of the times that tend to be a lot more serious buyers too, because they’ve seen these cards forever. Many times, I’ve already filled it out and pay us and they know what it’s about. So, um, we love direct mail. That’s the app that source

Reed Goossens (30:42):

And look, this is Mo ought to do a lot of direct mile on in my business, but is what’s the percentage of that three to 5% return rate? Like what typically

David Duford (30:51):

I wish that’s one thing that’s been bad. It’s funny. And this is not, this is not a well kept secret, direct mail, every good agent does it. And there’s a ton of influx of final expense agents because of the senior market. There’s a lot more attraction to this. So response rates have been suppressed. And I think it’s more of a, it’s a direct mail problem. I think less and less people are responding to it. So, you know, it’s always been bad, but it’s not bad enough to where it’s still

Reed Goossens (31:18):

Not profit. One to 2%.

David Duford (31:20):

It depends. Like if I’m in Texas, a 1% is great. If I’m in Virginia, which I don’t know why you can get one and a half to 2%, but the money it’s. So it’s, it’s the investment required. The question is what’s your ROI, ultimately, because it doesn’t matter what the price is, per se, as long as the ROI, is there more prospects to lead? You know? Yeah, yeah. Cost per lead. What’s our commission level gross. You know, what return do we get? And that all still works out quite well. Even with suppress response. It’s relative to 10, 20 years ago go

Reed Goossens (31:52):

To it. Okay. Well, that’s that’s and that’s it, I’m a data guy, right? Like I’m an engineer, that’s my background. Like I love, uh, seeing data and going, okay, well, if I just rent, if I just turn this knob right up, even if it is a 1% return ratio, well, I just need to go quadruple what I’m doing. Right. That’s a direct ROI of X. And I would assume it’s exponential, right? Meaning you spend a certain amount of money, but then all of a sudden you’ll leads because it, because you have to buy more mailers because your cost per mile or your cost per lead becomes cheaper. Cause you doing more of them, right. Your ROI then goes up. Right. Would that be correct? Simon. Yeah.

David Duford (32:30):

And you know, what’s cool too, about this businesses. It’s, it’s, we, there’s a lot of talk about scale, especially like with Facebook marketing, if you’re doing some kind of direct mail, direct sales, you can do that with direct mail. Um, maybe an agent starts at 20 direct mail leads and then like you said, scales it up. But what one agent does to sell, you know, sit down with 20, some percentage of the 20 leads. They can quadruple their efforts. As long as I want to work more and likely the income will quadruple as well. It was one of those unique businesses where it’s where you make the money on scale. This is, this is a game of singles and doubles. Not of home runs like you can sell annuities or very large life insurance policies that pay a lot of commission, but final expenses, a lower commission still significant, but you got to play. Yeah. Swing the bat a lot. You got to get up to the plate and swing. And the best agents in this business are running 30, 40 appointments a week face to face or over the phone using this kind of direct mail strategy, some others as well. And they just do tons and tons of activity and their incomes. Fantastic. Because of it.

Reed Goossens (33:32):

Got it. Love it. Talk to me about your books and your YouTube channel, because as we’re coming into the show, I’d love to plug whatever you need to plug, but, but, but what, what was the purpose behind creating the three best selling books?

David Duford (33:43):

Yeah. So, uh, the first book I wrote was the official guide to selling final expense insurance. Uh, it really is w

Reed Goossens (33:51):

uhich would have been a great, you know, the average person is definitely picking that up. Right?

David Duford (33:55):

Yeah. So, so, right. So, um, the idea behind making the book was like, you’ve got a book, right? I mean, I think I see it there, you know, when you, even in 2021, if you can say, I wrote the book on that kind of have some implied authority, right. That was my idea behind this. And so that’s why I created the book. It gave me an authority as a PR as a content or influencer that I didn’t have before that. And it’s, it’s kind of, and it’s works as a sales message. It’s not intended to be a sales message, but people know like, and trust me, because I read my concept another way to convince people to do business over my competition. So, so, you know, um, that was really the main inspiration behind it is just to say, I’m an author, I’m somebody that is an expert because the book says, so, I mean, that’s just what people imply.

David Duford (34:43):

I’m, you know, you can think I’m an expert or not, but people think personably, if he wrote a book on it, you must know what he’s talking about. And, um, that was kind of the inspiration. Um, I, you know, at the time that the other books, the second book is the blue book. It’s the, uh, uh, interviews with top, top producing insurance agents that kind of gives you, I think they’re like 10, 15. And it had been a while since we’ve written it 10 or 15 compilations of interviews with six and seven figure insurance agents and agencies. So it was a great way for people looking at the business to kind of see here’s the people at the top, here’s what they did to get there, you know, and then the kind of sample, the different types of products you can sell. And then the last book I wrote was Stewart, more of the, they call it the official guide to selling insurance for new agents.

David Duford (35:25):

Cause again, one of the biggest problems in this business is that this business is full of a multilevel marketing culture. There’s a mass recruiting, very little substantive training, raw rock, hula drinking is the norm. And it turns a lot of people off understandably, but a lot of people don’t catch onto this stuff till it’s too late. And then they leave the business thinking that’s a racket. So this book, the official guide to selling insurance, the idea behind it as, let me show you behind the curtain, what’s really going on, what questions you need to ask, what you need to look for. So you can actually find an agency that will help you become a top producer because this business actually is great. You just got to find the right people to associate with the, no, it’s not a blatant pitch for myself. Um, it’s straight up advice on anybody that, Hey, the, here are some factors you got to worry about and avoid

Reed Goossens (36:15):

Well, and I love, and then for those people who listening to the show, a lot of people listening to show, uh, business creators are wanting to be producers of something typically in the real estate world, but attracting different leads through becoming an authority in as an author is great. And I love how you went from something so simple as your first book into then interviewing top producers. You didn’t have to do a lot of ton of work. It was like, Hey, here is a, I’m going to put it in a book. I’m a published something about an interview. I met with these really cool people. I think people would like to read this or other agents would like to get some value out of it. And then the natural progression into cutting away all the BS and, and showing the newbie agents and the salesman, how and when, and how to start in this business to avoid that rara. I think it’s very, very, very, very key for a lot of people, regardless of what you’re selling to, to, to, to create that content. And it sounds like you’re doing extremely well lock of my books. It’s not about making a ton of money from the book itself. It’s about being that authority in that industry and being extension of your, your business card, right?

David Duford (37:17):

Yeah. And you know, you may think, well, this is information people. Maybe they already know it, or am I being redundant, but there’s always new people coming into any business or any industry. And they know nothing. Part of the thing we see in insurances, these organizations, these MLM agencies, cultured agencies, they take that, they understand that they’re smart. They take advantage of people’s ignorance. And it’s just a rinse and repeat, you know, throw it up against the wall and see what sticks strategy and always taken that role. I found personally of being the advocate for the little guy, the agent, the person who doesn’t know a lot, it affords you so much integrity and rapport with the person that may end up doing business with you. And it’s, if you can set yourself aside as the, you know, the purveyor against BS, then I mean, regardless of what you’re in, uh, people want that people want that. And that’s the thing we’re in a crisis of trust and who do we trust? And this is just a problem. We’re all going through in society. And if you can take on a role of, Hey, this is the way you do it and you help people without anything in it expecting in return, you will get a lot in return.

Reed Goossens (38:25):

Yeah, no, I love it. Well, go ahead. And I love that you said the Virta crosses of trust and it’s all about being authentic and being vulnerable and showing who you are, because that will attract certain type of lead that you as a business owner only want to deal with. Right? You don’t want there’s is of people who pick up your stuff and pick up my stuff and be like, I don’t want to fricking tal to this idiot, you know? And it’s like, great. Don’t talk to me. Right? You’re only going to get the people who resonate with your message and resonate with who you are, which is the power of creating content. Would you agree?

David Duford (38:54):

Yeah. Con content is king guys. You all, every single person should be doing some kind of content. Uh, if you, if, if you don’t think that you’re any good at it, just go on YouTube, look, look at some of these weirdos out there. Maybe me even, maybe if I can do it. And I’m an introvert too. I mean, in all seriousness, um, you know, I don’t like speaking in front of groups of people. I’m a homebody. I used to be really nervous doing this stuff. It’s so natural and normal. Now I’ve done thousands of these. You know, you can learn anything. You can develop the skill set for this, but content is what separates. Cause 95% of your, your competition, isn’t going to bother because of their mindset, you know? Oh, and good enough and all this crap. But if you do a piece of content once a week, uh, preferably more over time, I think, um, and you just stay at it.

David Duford (39:44):

People will follow you. They’ll creep on you, the watch you. And when the time’s right, you know, you’ve been developing a relationship with them and you didn’t know it though, but when they reach out to you like, Hey man, I’ve been seeing your videos for months. I’m ready to get started. And I get that daily now. And it’s like, I don’t even know these people, but they they’ll do whatever I tell them to do. Cause they trust me. And that’s what content does. And I, again, I’m a big advocate of YouTube because you’re, you’re a celebrity in a sense, even though you’re on YouTube, you’re you have this celebrity like effect and people just are more willing to do what you tell them to do, which in this business is great because a lot of people don’t want to do what you told me successful. So do content. In other words, it’s well worth

Reed Goossens (40:27):

Writing, creating a tribe, right? And that’s the trend. People who just love everything you put down. So love it, David, last question. Before we end the show is I asked you about where’s the business going in the next five to 10 years? Uh, where do you see it?

David Duford (40:40):

So our businesses profoundly simple. You just find people who are a good fit for the agency and you keep building them up, duplicating yourself and just, just leveraging that system, compounding it. So the way I look at my business now is I’m going to continue to be an influencer. We’ve now branched out a final expense. We we still do final expense, but we also have gotten another senior products like Medicare. That’s a really great product. That’s residual based, 11,000 new people start Medicare every day for the next 10 years. There’s a huge untapped opportunity and helping people with Medicare and developing passive income. We’re getting into the annuity retirement space, helping people with their money to give them safe money alternatives to the stock, market’s ups and downs. Um, you know, I do a little info product business, um, you know, joint venture affiliate stuff as well. Open-minded that stuff. So it’s really more of the same. And I just think with the trends of baby boomers, retiring with the amount of people, getting older, that still need personal, hands-on help. I think this business is just going to get better and better. And the good news is all this stuff with COVID. All of the shutdowns economically has not even affect this period. It’s been, uh, you know, when you’re told you’re going to die the whole time you want to buy life insurance, it turns out. So it’s just been pretty good. That’s

Reed Goossens (41:58):

Awesome. That’s awesome. Well, at the end of every show, we like to dive into the top five investing tips. You ready to get into it? Let’s go. What is the daily habit you practice to keep on track towards your goals?

David Duford (42:11):

Write my goals down, follow them, execute, rinse, and repeat.

Reed Goossens (42:15):

I love it. Love it. Question number two is who’s the most influential person in your career to date

David Duford (42:21):

My father,

Reed Goossens (42:23):

A lot of question. Number three. What is the most influential tool in your business that you use on a daily basis? And when I say tool, it could be physical, like a phone or a journal, or it could be a piece of software that you just can’t run the business. Without

David Duford (42:36):

Guy, I love Calendly, Calendly. I don’t have to set my own appointments. Everybody does it. I just point click and Paul it’s it’s, uh, it’s the best tool ever

Reed Goossens (42:44):

Love it. Love it. Uh, in one sentence, what has been the biggest failure in your career? And what’d you learn from that failure or that, that mistake?

David Duford (42:53):

I failed selling insurance after a year in, and I learned that the, what, Brian Tracy calls it’s it’s, I am responsible and following the fundamentals of any business is critical to success. And when you get away from him, like I did,

Reed Goossens (43:09):

You’re going to fail. Got it, Love it, man. Final question is where can people reach you to continue the conversation they want to be in your sphere? Where do they go?

David Duford (43:17):

Thank you. So two places you can go to YouTube, just put in my name, David du Ford, you’ll see a bunch of videos that way, just start clicking around and watching them. And then you can always go to my website. I got lots of really good content to learn more about my business@davidduford.com

Reed Goossens (43:32):

Also stuff might, well, look, I want to thank you so much for taking some time out of your day. I just wanna reflect some of the things that I took away from today’s show. And I think that the big thing that I took away was, you know, being able to the crisis of trust and building up a brand, regardless of what you’re in, you’re in the insurance business. We talk a lot to a lot of real estate investors on this show to a lot of CEOs or a lot of startups. It’s all having a common thread of building a brand that is around trust and transparency, and then going out and creating replicable replicatable systems. So you can attract the right type of in your case agents to go off and do the hard work for you. And you can remove yourself from the bottleneck. And so many people who need to be on the show are solo entrepreneurs. They love that. They never let go and learning to let go, I think is the big thing that you’ve really come into your own in the last, since 2014 through the content creation piece that has helped you scale your business. Um, did I leave anything out there? That’s pretty, pretty good.

Reed Goossens (44:29):

Well, again, thank you so much for on this show. Enjoy the rest of your week and we’ll catch up very, very soon. Thanks very much. Bye. Well, they, haven’t a cracking interview with David. If you do want to get involved with any of his stuff, head over to David du ford.com or search his name in YouTube, it’ll come up with all the topics that he talks about in the insurance industry is a guide as well, well versed in it. And there’s such an incredible story of building something in a systemized business out of nothing. I want to thank you all for taking some time out of your day to tune in, to continue to grow your financial IQ, because that’s what we’re all about here on this show. If you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give us a five-star review on iTunes or every podcast. And we’re going to do this all again next week. Remember be bold, be brave, and go give life a crack.

 

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