Did you ever wonder what it would be like to be a dental consultant?

Last week I was honored to attend the Henry Schein Practice Solutions Summit which is
a meeting of the minds between Schein executives and dental consultants (especially those focused on dental technology). During this event, Schein shared new product features and programs available and the consultants asked questions and provided feedback to improve the products.

During this few days of meetings and meals, I had the opportunity to hear the stories and opinions of some nationally-known dental consultants in a relaxed atmosphere. I admit to being a bit star-struck at first, since I’ve read this group’s articles and attended their presentations for years! Since I was interested to get to know them, I thought you might enjoy my observations and thoughts if you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to be a dental consultant?

They travel like mad

Home 6 days last month. And 8 days the month before. Flying home from this trip to be home for one day and then flying out for a 2-day consult in another city. One 20+ year veteran actually lives in Hawaii and thinks nothing of her travel schedule. Story after story about different cities and hotels and conferences. Their travel schedule would make your  head spin.

They have given their lives to dentistry

Constantly working on their next presentation or gathering ideas to help their clients. Preparing to provide excellent value to their next audience. They spend their time in airports and hotels, away from neighbors and pets and their own backyard. Year after year, the sheer time spent working in dentistry sets them apart from the average 8-5 worker.

They love what they do

They have a sense of confidence that they have saved dentist’s lives by helping practices through challenges that would shutter doors without a professional’s help. They love going into dental practices, meeting the people and making a difference. Especially proud of their long term clients, they track performance and stay in touch to provide resources and support.

Family is involved

Often, family members work in dentistry as well. Husbands as practicing dentists or business managers. Daughters as administrators. Constant sharing of pictures and text messages to stay close and travel together to big meetings at special locations.

They are kind & warm

It would be easy for this group of people to band tightly together as they reconnect at this Schein event, to the exclusion of newbies. Human nature draws people together who share similar interests and life experiences and this group clearly enjoys each other’s company. Yet, over and over, I was welcomed to share a table, invited to tell my story and included in conversations (even when I had little to contribute). The breadth of genuine kindness was absolutely heart-warming (and the inspiration for this article).

They know their stuff

Every consultant tracks numbers for their clients in order to make high quality decisions. Although each consultant had a different approach or angle on the practice of dentistry, everyone was interested in learning how to gather and analyze data. This group also skipped past the ‘big fish’ stories and jumped right to the heart of the trends they observe across the country – even when these trends are tough to swallow. When one consultant would mention how we’re living in a tough time due to insurance reimbursements or the challenge of filling schedules, heads nodded and stories exchanged. Not one person tried to pretend that their approach was without imperfection and a sense of empathy for dentists & staff was evident.

So, the next time you’re watching a webinar, reading an article or attending a presentation, perhaps you will feel a bit more warm and generous towards the dental consultant in front of you. Feel free to contact them, ask a question, sign up for their newsletter. They are working hard to help all of us in our practices and are investing their lives to make a difference.

For more ideas to improve the business-side of your dental practice:

AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
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