Chris Hogan is the Executive Vice President and one of the principals at Benefit Commerce Group, an employee benefit consulting firm headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. They work with employers on the design, strategy, service, and execution of employee benefits programs and have specialized in employee benefits since 2009.
We are the only firm in this market with an in-house actuarial team. Strategy is our strong point; we do a lot of financial modeling, forecasting, and analysis that helps our clients set budgets and respond to market trends from a factual perspective. Plus, we only do employee benefits. Other companies can cross-sell based on their database in other divisions. For us, each of our customers results from an introduction or meeting from a referral from a client or trusted Partner. That’s where Accelerent has been so beneficial, as it helps us bridge that gap.
When I started my career, a mentor gave me some great advice. He said, no matter what business you are in, the keys to being successful are people, capabilities, and access. It’s the last one that most folks tend to take for granted. Think about it; if you and your great team sit in your conference room all day and talk about how great your capabilities are, you’re not really a business—you’re a club. Access to decision-makers is the one thing many business people take for granted. I look at Accelerent and say, “this is our avenue for access.” To be able to sit at a roundtable with ten people competing for who will provide the most introductions to fellow partners is a very cool thing.
Through Accelerent, I know that I can introduce my clients to people who can help their businesses succeed in areas not related to mine. It’s a way to access the market and strengthen relationships with existing customers because they know we’re working in their best interests, even when it isn’t directly related to their business with us.
In the past six months alone, we have received over 30 introductions and given close to 70.
Focus on the “give” rather than the “get,” and it will come back to you ten-fold.