The unlikely educational resource for your practice

When dentists think about continuing education, they may think of the typical one-day clinical seminar with a speaker presenting information using a slide show.

The speaker may share with them information selected to both impress and educate them. Frequently, the information is valuable, which helps dentists and staff alike to enhance their clinical skills. The end result for patients is better care.

However, there is another source of continuing education that may not have occurred to you, sales representatives. Because you do not pay a fee for the services they provide, it is easy to overlook the value sales representatives are able to offer.

A hidden resource

When a sales representative comes into a dental practice, they are often denied easy access to the dentist. Sometimes doctors are extremely busy and encourage their front-desk coordinators to keep the schedule profitable and running efficiently. The perception is that the front desk coordinator’s unwritten responsibility is to keep the salesperson from interfering with the dentist’s valuable time. The fact is that dentists are used to getting clinical information from sources such as speakers and colleagues; rarely do they look at sales representatives as a source of objective information.

The reality is that the sales representative is an expert on the different supplies, materials and products that they represent. In spite of this, too many dentists do not use sales reps effectively. Instead, dentists tend to view them as an inconvenience in the schedule, or someone to call when a problem occurs with an existing product.

Each year dental manufacturing companies make a significant commitment and investment in updating and educating dentists on new products, services, materials and technologies. They serve as a great source for continued education by providing reliable information and how you can successfully integrate these products/services into your practice to achieve the maximum return on investment.

What’s on offer

Sales representatives can be a valuable asset in helping you achieve greater success. Here’s how to take advantage of the opportunities your sales representatives provide:

• Schedule time to meet with your sales representative. When you meet, discuss your practice and your goals for the future. They have a unique perspective on dental practices. Through their interaction with many practices, sales representatives are in an excellent position to learn about successes and failures in the dental field. Sales reps can discuss this information with you and recommend the best ways to achieve growth by choosing and incorporating the right products and services into your practice. Good sales reps typically possess an incredible amount of information and, best of all, they come to you.

• Gain knowledge about new advances in dentistry. Sales representatives are continuously kept abreast of the latest advancements being introduced into the industry,

particularly what is important in areas where the practice may wish to expand, such as cosmetic dentistry.

They can provide you with valuable information that often cannot be found in brochures or on websites. Elicit their opinion about how to gain the best results from a new service, product or technology for your practice. Have sales representatives educate you and your staff so that you acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve maximum benefit.


Working to develop a good relationship with your sales representative yields many benefits to the practice. Allowing your sales representative to become a valued educational resource to your practice will create a win-win situation for you and your team.

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