What does it take to be a top producer?

Herb Dorow, IBA’s top producer for 2015, shares the importance of finding a niche, developing expertise, and plain old hard work

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

What does it take to be a top producer? No one knows better than Herb Dorow, a client advisor at Maris Brown Rossell Insurance Group in Michigan. Last year, Dorow captured the No. 1 slot on IBA’s Top Producers list, with the largest revenue growth of any nominee. Dorow was also near the top of the list in policy growth and client growth last year.

The key to success, Dorow says, is developing expertise.

“Find a niche and become an expert in it. Don’t try to be everything to everyone,” he says. “Find a line of business that doesn’t necessarily have 50 competitors fighting over it, and become an expert in it. Get involved in all of the trade associations and organizations that go along with that industry. Write articles for those magazines and publications, get involved with their boards, speak at their events. The goal would be to be seen as a resource so people come to you.”

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At Maris Brown Rossell, Dorow specializes in insuring large property schedules – office, industrial, retail and the like – and contractors. And that specialization is no accident; the firm settled on it for good reason.

“We studied the market to look for something that was light on service work, where you could have one point of contact and obtain multiple clients,” Dorow says. “And in general, each client generated a certain target premium that was profitable to the agency.”

And once you make the contacts and develop a reputation for expertise, new business tends to flow from old, he says.

“Our transition into contractors came from large property schedules and associations,” he says. “The contractors weren’t contractors we found in a phone book; they were contractors that worked with the same property managers we already worked with, so they became a very easy target to get a favorable introduction. And they stemmed from a center of influence already, so there was no cold calling. It made life very simple.”

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But producers can’t relax just because they’ve built a client base, Dorow says.

“I say this all the time: This business is very simple, but it isn’t easy. Our agency kind of has a philosophy that you have to implement things,” he says. “We’ve found that just in our market here in Michigan, there are a lot of agencies that go to seminars, read books – they get 10 great ideas, but they never implement a single one. Nothing happens without implementation.”

Entries close today for IBA’s Top Producers 2016 – to take part just click here

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