Patrick Moore joined me on The Broker’s Voice to talk about his military career and how he’s applying the lessons learned on the battlefield into his career in the insurance industry.

Patrick is the President of AXIM Fringe Solutions Group. AXIM has a unique niche in that they serve the government contracting space.

Learn more about AXIM: aximfsg.com

Patrick Moore – LinkedIn

 

Resources:

 

Video Transcript:

Andy
Back to the brokers voice. Actually, I just started that too early. Welcome back to the Brokers Voice. It is Wednesday or Tuesday. I am out of sorts. Tuesday, December 13th. We normally do these on Wednesdays, but it is a short week for me as I have to head to Nashville. But I am excited day. This gentleman not only was willing to come on short notice, he was on my plan for early January, but Patrick Moore was kind enough to come on. Patrick Moore with AXIM Fringe Benefits. Welcome aboard, my friend.

Patrick
Thanks, brother. I appreciate you for having me on. I’m just happy it worked out the time that I’ve already. I’ve already been through the ringer this morning. I’ve been through the Four Horsemen of benefits, is what I would say. I’ve been on a strategy call this morning. I’ve been on a sales call this morning, and I got on an open enrollment call this morning. And now I count this is marketing. So that would be the four.

Andy
I would say now on a podcast or. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I also look at it as a form of public speaking. So it’s good. Go. Well, Patrick, I know a lot of people know you in the industry. You I got I first saw you, by the way, with your content and when you started posting stuff on LinkedIn about your military career and things like that, I was like, Who the hell is this guy?

Andy
This guy’s got good writing skills, and so let’s just start there for the few people in the industry who don’t know you, who you are, just who is Patrick Moore? And we’re going to start with your military background as well as well. So who are you? Where are you from? Let’s start there.

Patrick
Yeah, Yeah, I am. I grew up in a town called Antioch, Illinois, and that is the northern suburbs of Chicago. So, you know, grew up a 90 Chicago kid. And so there you go.

Andy
Oh, yeah.

Patrick
That fits in. Mr. Michael Jordan, the background. And yeah, man. So I joined the Marine Corps, like most people join the Marine Corps, 18 years old, and you don’t know shit about Shinola and yeah, join, join the Marine Corps. Really? Just I didn’t have a great plan for it. It was. I was always a good I was always a good student.

Patrick
And the idea of just going straight from high school to college like that was not the thing I wanted to do. And so I joined the Marine Corps on August 17th of 2001. So three weeks later, 911 happens. And that kind of wrote the rest of my history and definitely changed the way, you know, my young adulthood was going to roll is what I would say.

Andy
How quickly now now, my first ignorant question I to apologize before asking. So I probably should know the answer. I’m guessing you did serve time overseas. I did. Yep. Yep. And did you see did you see a time in action?

Patrick
Yeah. So I, I, my, my career is different. I joined the reserves, my straight contract of joining the reserves, which he joined August August of 2001. You joined the reserves. Know you know you’re going to go through some things. It was going to be a challenge it had not it was not what I signed up for. Right. But I essentially spent my twenties going to college, going to Iraq, going to college, going to Iraq, going to college, going to Iraq.

Patrick
That was kind of the flow of my twenties, which provides for an interesting, interesting upbringing, kind of hard to develop a corporate career, right when you’re going back and forth. And yeah, my first my first major combat deployment was to Iraq in 2004, and we were in the area of Iraq called the Triangle of Death with second Battalion, 24th Marines.

Patrick
Like if you’ve ever seen. Oh, what is that? What is the the book with Not the book, but the movie where they’re they’re laundering weapons and then finding out it’s a government contracting weapons deal anyways and they roll through the Triangle of Death. It gets me cracking up every time.

Andy
Well, and I think of, you know, somebody like a jocko, a willink. And I read his book Extreme Leadership, and he talks about his time where they were in Ramadi, which was, you know, was was Ramadi part of the Triangle of Death?

Patrick
No, no, that was yeah, I know. I won’t ever say is in front of them, but I’ll say it now because he’s not here. He’s a boot. He got there way after I did 26 is kind of when he was in Ramadi. Ramadi was up farther northwest than when we were at. But yeah, 24 is right around the time of Fallujah.

Patrick
So that was that was the big the big movement that caused a lot of casualties for us.

Andy
Not ever meeting you in person. I know we thought we were going to have a chance in Rhode Island and it didn’t happen. Whenever I think about somebody like you, just with that military background, the first word that comes to mind is discipline. Were you always a disciplined kid, like growing up, or did the military have a big impact on that discipline?

Patrick
Great question. No, I was not a disciplined person necessarily. I’ve I would definitely tell you the the military in the Marine Corps specifically, that was a huge benefit for me. It definitely it definitely framed me into a more disciplined, more serious person. I’m a pretty happy go lucky guy most of the time. So, no, I mean, the military definitely, definitely, definitely gave me that characteristic.

Andy
Well, and I want to, you know, on behalf of anybody who’s going to be watching this, I want to thank you for your service, because, you know, reading the books I’ve read about the war and everything like that, I can only imagine what you saw firsthand, that most of us will never, ever even even have to deal with.

Andy
My question is, you know, knowing your background and not just serving in the military, but serving time overseas in one of the most violent parts of the world, how does a guy like you so when did you get out of the military and then how did you find yourself in the insurance industry?

Patrick
Two really good questions. The beauty of being in the reserves, as I’ve always been bipolar, it means I’m still in. And so I actually just put in retirement paperwork and I will be retiring very soon. It’s in process. I put the retired paperwork, I’ll probably actually do the ceremony this summer. Yeah. So that means, I bet in the Marine Corps for just about 22 years and I’m still in.

Patrick
But how did I get into insurance? Completely by accident. Just like everybody, right? Really? I came back from another deployment to Iraq in 2008, legitimately, August or October, like middle of October 2008. I have really terrible timing is what I’m trying to tell you. The world fell apart, right? Like I on my leave where I’m just happy to be home, like seeing green grass again and not in the desert, the stock market, tanks, everything goes to shit.

Patrick
I had just graduated college before going before deploying and there was job opportunities galore. Like the world was your oyster type of a deal, right? Yeah, the world ended. And so the the only person that was hiring at that time was a little company called Hewitt Associates, and they were hiring for open enrollment call center employees. And that is that is what I did.

Andy
Wow. So you got your feet wet on the phone?

Patrick
100%.

Andy
Wow. So what was your first? I’d love to know this answer because I remember when I got in the industry back in oh one or two, I was thrown into the bullpen of an agency, and that’s you sit there and you pick up the phone and smile and dial. What was that experience like coming in? And your job was essentially to be I guess you’re talking to employees.

Andy
I’m part of an open enrollment call center. What was that experience like?

Patrick
It was I mean, it was educational. You just realize how much people don’t know about their benefits and then kind of help me learn the intricacies of all the details that could be involved. Yeah, I was supporting AT&T like I was talking to AT&T employees, telling them how to enroll in their benefits, deal with their phone and all that stuff.

Patrick
Right? And so it taught me a lot about how to talk to individuals about what’s important to them, and then also realize that didn’t want to do that for very long, too. Right. And so I immediately got out of that and did an MBA program. And, you know, again, there was no one hiring. So I decided to use that time to to further the education.

Patrick
So I got to an MBA in finance. And funny enough, in the last week of of that of that MBA, Hewitt Associates had a dinner at the college because it was all in the Chicagoland area trying to hire new consultants to join their team. So I went from like the lows of Hewitt, which is the call center employee, and then I joined as like a consultant on one of the large market consulting houses.

Patrick
So they they only worked with big Fortune 500 companies. It’s like the smallest employer that I ever worked on when I was there was was 4000 lives.

Andy
Wow. Well, and I’m sure it gave you a good feel out of the gate to realize that to your point, most consumers and now we know this as employers, they don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to this stuff. And so I’m sure you’ve got you spent that that early experience that probably many in our industry didn’t have of literally being part of a call center, gave you some good feedback on, wow, this industry needs help.

Andy
And so fast forward today. Here you are at AXIM Fringe Benefits and you are working with Jim Campbell, by the way, who’s also got a military career. I’ve said this what.

Patrick
I thought we had 100%.

Andy
Yep, I recognize you two are together. I’m like, Dude, that is one company you do not want to piss off.

Patrick
Yeah, I love it.

Andy
Let’s talk because I think there’s still a lot of people I see. I’ve seen Jim at conferences over the years, but I’m guessing a lot of people don’t even know what AXIM does specifically. So let’s go into that. Who is AXIM Fringe benefits and who do they serve?

Patrick
Great question. Yeah, no, they’re definitely confused because I was confused, man. And so it’s easy for me to say it because I had to figure it out, right? We are in this benefits realm, right? So we kind of like we fit in with everybody and it’s why people know of us but don’t completely understand us. But we only work in one niche, right?

Patrick
One niche, so to speak, which I think is a it’s been it’s been fun for me to, to be a part of it, because I think that’s important. I think most brokers, most people in our industry try to like be everything to everyone and it’s why they can’t be anything to anyone. Having a niche I think is very important.

Patrick
I think it’s something most, most people our industry need to be. You need to think of specifically the good ones, right? Like you want. You want. We want the good, the good people in our industry to succeed. And so starting in a niche that that can work is good. But I digress. What we are at AXIM is we deal with government contracting and government contractors.

Patrick
What you are, you know, when are the federal government? Not everybody can work directly for the federal government. There’s a lot of things they need to hire out right? And when they hire out, they hire out to different companies. And those companies then support the federal government. In these contracting situations, we act as like the employee benefits and compliance arm of those of those companies.

Patrick
And so historically, what we’ve done is we worked completely in the comply. It’s really helping them support like say you get say you get a contract. And the way I explain it is most people are are essentially unions you like they run like small union benefit plans right where you get your dollar per hour, you get your salary, but you get a dollar per hour for benefits, for fringe benefits, which is where you get that name from.

Patrick
Right. AXIM Friends Solutions Group. And to manage those fringe dollars is really one number like that. You can’t you can’t miss below and you can’t miss above because if you miss below you are paying extra taxes and losing revenue as a company and so you lose on your bottom line. And if you spend above it, you’re spending more than you’re given, which still takes away from your bottom line.

Patrick
So it automatically levitates the conversation of employee benefits to the C-suite, to the CEO, to the CFO, because they definitely see this as something that completely affects their profitability and that that is where we we live and breathe that whole that whole world. So most people don’t ever touch this world. But the brokers that do know as well.

Andy
When you say niche, my friend, you speak my love language because you’re right. Too many, too many people in the industry don’t niche. They think they can serve everybody. And what you said is, is spot on. When you think you serve everybody, you don’t serve anybody. And so let’s I’m going to ask the obvious question, who is it you work with?

Andy
Advisors, correct? Yeah. Who is the ideal advisor for AXIM?

Patrick
I’ll give you the ideal advisor for AXIM and the ideal advisor for Pat Moore. And so we’ve worked with the big houses, right? We worked at the big houses. They have most of the, most of the government contractors and you know, it’s just a small select producers inside of those big houses. Most people don’t play it, so we work with them. But for me, like, you know what I’ve done since I’ve been at AXIM actually work with some of the smaller, more independent health throws out of style advisors and get them into the space. That’s the ideal advisor for Patmore. What we want to do is help support them, help grow their business and give them give them an unfair competitive advantage when it comes to dealing with the market, like when we’re as a as a do this work for big houses, but also being an independent guy, you walk in, it’s tough. It’s tough to get a new client, right. We as terrible as this industry is, it’s still really hard to convince in our director or CFO that your new shiny, crazy way of thinking is going to be better than what they already have. Yeah, you don’t have you don’t have the, you know, the relevance in their mind to pull that off, which is your entire business model anti is getting getting people to put themselves out to really show that relevance. Regardless it’s hard. And so what we do is we come in and speak completely to their contracting language completely to how they think for their business. And we’re not really talking about benefits. What we’re doing is we’re talking about how they can how they can show themselves to be more competitive, to win more contracts in the future. So we’re a direct arm of of of how they grow and how they make money.

Andy
So the ideal client, the ideal advisor probably has a book of business where they have gov can build within it, who are who are going out and seeking those kind of contracts.

Patrick
Yeah, no, they are. Or like I said, the other way is I’d rather have someone that has nothing but that has a good heart and wants to do the right thing when they build their business.

Andy
Absolutely. I love that because you’re right. It’s it’s a it’s a space I think very few know about. You know, we have a client, for example, that’s an agency just outside of Washington, DC, ton of gov con.

Patrick
They go.

Andy
When you’re in that in that market. And so I see where this could be a such an ideal fit. Whether you have the book already or like you said, you want to go win business in that in that niche. This is a great, great solution. So let’s let’s talk about you’ve got maximize 2023 coming up in San Antonio in early April.

Andy
Let’s talk about that. What is it and who would be the perfect attendee for it.

Patrick
So maximize is going to be the first gov concentric contracting event that’s really ever been put on. It got inspired by the health throws at a conference late last year where we realized there was just nothing like this for the gov kind industry. And so there’s definitely going to be an element of benefits involved in what we’re doing, but it’s really for government contractors.

Patrick
We have a select amount of brokers that we’re going to invite. Obviously people that work with us currently and then select brokers that we think will fit fit the mold going forward to work with us. But it’s where you learn this niche. It’s where you learn if this niche is something you want to sink your teeth into. And so for any of the any of the advisors that are working with you and you’re following your stuff, this is a place they get to come and really deep dive in.

Patrick
A we call it an edge, but there’s $80 billion in premium in this niche. It’s a ginormous niche that we couldn’t even think to get the entire market up. But quite frankly, any time that we’re competing in this market, we can win.

Andy
Wow. So as far as attendees go, if I’m an advisor hearing this and I have Gov Khan in my book of business or want to really get in that niche, is there an application process? Where would I reach out to to learn how I could register to attend the event?

Patrick
Absolutely. Just go, go. You know, Google AXIM because your go to AXIM, FSG dot com, you’ll hit it and there’ll be a landing page where you can log in and sign up to join the, to join the join the event and get booked up.

Andy
I’m going to actually do this. Your what your email address is AXIM.

Patrick
FSG Yes sir.

Andy
I’ll put it up. I want to make sure this is correct. Is this right?

Patrick
You nailed it to get me there this way more than I should be.

Andy
We all are, right?

Patrick
Yeah.

Andy
If you know Patrick are connected to him on LinkedIn, number one, if you’re not, connect with them. Number two, his email address is right below my screen here. So feel free to reach out if you’re an advisor who has a book, a business that has a bunch of gov con employers in it, or you want to get in that space this maximize 2023 I think is going to be a great fit for you.

Andy
It’s April 3rd through fifth in San Antonio. My last question, Patrick comes back to you. And when you look at your career, military and insurance, what role has your experience in the military? Military? What impact has your experience in the military had on what you do today at acts? What lessons as it taught you?

Patrick
Pretty much everything? Andy The way I the you know, the role that I am in this industry currently, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Marine Corps. Just because the Marine Corps forces you to only want to serve, enforces you to only do the right thing. I’m just not even allowed to think any differently. And I was in an industry that was not the right thing.

Patrick
Right. It’s it’s there’s so many things wrong with the traditional health care industry and the insurance mechanism that supports it. And just everything was wrong. And so what I’m doing now is just everything the Marine Corps taught me, but I’m focused on health insurance.

Andy
That’s awesome. I like I said, we’ve never actually met in person. And even before, before we connected virtually. Just knowing your background, I can immediately make an assumption that this dude has discipline He’s willing to put in the work when no one’s looking, and those are all traits I know it sounds almost easy, but that service component is often lacking in our industry and going the extra mile.

Andy
But knowing your background, knowing Jim’s background, I definitely know that’s not an issue at AXIM.

Patrick
100% working. Working not enough is not something we do. But I want I want to switch this on it. Thank you so much for having me, brother. I really appreciate it. I think what you’re doing is something more advisors need to do. My entire world changed when I decided to invest in marketing and invest in myself. Like this marketing piece is the thing that no one in our industry does.

Patrick
We do sales. We do the cold calling. You got to do those type of things. Everyone wants to be the smartest person in the room. If they don’t know you, you know, they’re never going to.

Andy
Appreciate you saying that because, you know, what we really do is create brand recognition for people. And I think you need it today to win business. People ask us what we do and they really think marketing the two things I think of Patrick that have really come into play lately is, number one, we teach you how to be consistent and if there’s a secret ingredient to success today in business, it’s consistency.

Andy
And the second thing is we have learned that when you have a plan, you’re confident and consistently running. This job’s fun and there’s far too many people in it right now for the wrong reasons. It might it be money, whatever, and they’re not having fun. And you got to have fun with what you’re doing. And I know just looking at what you and Jim are doing right now and the rest of the team, you guys are having fun, man.

Andy
This match my 22.3. It’s going to be a fun, fun event. And that’s what this gig is all about. It’s not worth doing if you can’t have fun.

Patrick
I love it, man. I love it. Buying the best coffee and the best liquor will absolutely be fun.

Andy
Well, Patrick, I want to thank you. Man. This has been awesome for everybody else. Like I said, if you are an advisor who has a book, a business with some government business and government contracting business, or you’re in a market where it’s very prevalent, you want to get in. Patrick and his team at AXIM is who you need to reach out to.

Andy
So his email is right here. Get a hold of them, get registered for maximize. You’re not going to regret it. So, Patrick, one more time. Thank you.

Patrick
Thank you, sir. My brother. I bring out the fun for everybody else.

Andy
Get a plan, be consistent, have fun. So take care, guys.