Serving, selling what's best for dentists, patients

March 21, 2012
Stan Goff

Issue 12

Kim Foster Del Percio, Ultradent Products Ultradent’s Kim Foster Del Percio is a people person. Her personality allows her to “facilitate cohesiveness,” and this allows her to help both customers and co-workers excel.

Kim Foster Del Percio, Ultradent Products

Ultradent’s Kim Foster Del Percio is a people person. Her personality allows her to “facilitate cohesiveness,” and this allows her to help both customers and co-workers excel.

“My role is multifaceted, which allows me to interact with a variety of people, including my customers, teammates and home office,” she said. “As a consultant to my customers, I am able to assess their needs and offer practical solutions. In a recent team-building exercise, my co-workers stated that I facilitate the cohesiveness of our team.”

Caring about her customers also makes it easy to want to help them get the most out of their practices and to deliver optimal patient care.

“I consider my customers an extension of the ‘Ultradent family.’ My goal is to translate our mission statement and values of Ultradent, by providing minimally invasive dentistry through high-quality products.”

Foster Del Percio credits her employer with providing the resources to help her best serve her customers. “Ultradent provides weekly ‘trench talks’ and product reviews on the ever-changing dental products,” she said. “I then take that information and provide lunch-and-learns, hygiene meetings and appointments to my customers.”

 

Aimee Roberts Rock, Patterson Dental

Aimee Roberts Rock has fit right in with Patterson’s family from the very beginning. “I have worked for Patterson Dental for almost 8 years now, and I will never forget my first day with the company,” she said. “I looked around the room and realized that there were numerous sales reps that had been with the company for 20+ years. I knew from that moment on this was not just a ‘job’ it was a ‘career.’”

With a goal to take the best possible care of her customers, she has made plenty of friends along the way. “I can honestly say that this career has been a blessing for me, and every day I am grateful to have such wonderful clients who have become my friends,” Roberts Rock said. “Patterson has instilled in me that the most important thing we can do is ‘take care of the customer.’ I go to work every day with this mind-set.”

Achieving this ultimate care for the customers can mean different things. “First, it means being the most knowledgeable rep with regards to all aspects of dentistry. Not only product knowledge, but understanding clinically the challenges they face and how I can help minimize their everyday stress,” she said. “It is my responsibility to educate myself.”

She does this by taking classes at dental conventions and attending local lectures, meeting with manufacturer reps to be updated on new products, and reading trade journals/magazines. “Second, working every day within my integrity and doing what is right,” she added. “It’s like the old saying ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’ and this can be applied to the most simplest of tasks we face daily like ‘follow-up,’ the most difficult to manage at times!”

 

Ben Waldman, Dexis

Before joining the dental industry, Ben Waldman spent 20 years working in national government and political campaigns-most of which was for President Reagan including two stints on the White House staff. After President Reagan left office, he ran for Congress from West Virginia twice, but came up short. Now, the father of four adult children who has been married for 27 years, spends his time educating dentists about the benefits of digital radiography.

“The best thing about working for DEXIS is the ethic of customer service that pervades the company. I view myself less as a sales representative and more as a customer representative who is tasked with product education and service delivery,” Waldman said. “Having the premiere product in our product category helps, too, since we can spend less time ‘persuading’ and more time educating and advising.”

He thrives with working in a high-tech arena where product innovation and rapid change are constant. “I enjoy working with doctors who are committed to improving their practice and the standard of care for their patients,” Waldman said. “Since buying digital radiography is often the first big technology step for a practice, it brings me great satisfaction to see doctors elevate their offices to a new level of professionalism and care delivery.”

Because the technology in this field is so dynamic and constantly changing, he is committed to offering “a steady diet of education and training to the 3,500 dental offices in my territory.” This includes online webinars, podcasts, articles and CE courses. In the past three years, Waldman has presented more than 60 seminars on subjects ranging from digital radiography to strategies for paperless offices. Last month, DEXIS sponsored five events in his territory alone.

“I also get to work with hundreds of dentists each year who provide pro bono dental services to many thousands of needy dental patients at the Mission of Mercy projects (MOM) in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia,” he added.

 

Dave Sprague, Henry Schein

“As a Field Sales Consultant for Henry Schein Dental, I consider any obstacle that one of my customers faces to be one of my problems,” Dave Sprague said. “This could include anything from low production, lack of new patients, team harmony issues, OSHA recertification, to marketing the practice to set them apart from the other dentists in their area.”

He attributes his success to good listening skills and understanding customers. “At the end of a day, if I can reflect back and think of a way that I have helped just one of my customers overcome some obstacle to their achieving their personal or professional goals, then I love the idea that I was a part of their success and I can’t wait for tomorrow,” he said.

That listening skill helps make this all possible. “I think that if you were to survey my customers, or any of my fellow Team Schein Members, they would tell you that over the past 12 years I have become a very good listener,” he said. “I have found that many of the day-to-day problems that my customers face are due to the way we communicate with each other. I also think my background in dental equipment service has given me credibility with my customers so when I look them in the eye and tell them it is time to replace something, they know it isn’t just because I am trying to make a sale. I really do have their best interests at heart.”

Sprague said his job is made easier because Henry Schein is so devoted to customer service as well as education. “Ten years ago, Henry Schein Dental started their Career Development program as part of that strong customer service. It has enabled me to assist dentists to become more profitable within their business, even in tough economic times,” he explained. “Career Development taught me to do things that nobody else has offered my customers such as the ability to really dive into their Profit and Loss statements to help them understand where their money is going, assess the ‘health’ of their Hygiene Department, especially their soft-tissue management programs, even teach Team Harmony Seminars for their staff or offer complimentary OSHA recertification classes. I believe this is what has enabled me to earn the right to be considered a partner, or even fellow member of that dental team, and not just an ‘order taker’ who pops in to see what supplies they are running low on. This is what I find most gratifying about my career.”

Sprague encourages his offices to place their orders through the electronic resources Henry Schein Dental provides such as Aruba or the HSD website. When he finds something that he really thinks will interest a specific office, he arranges “Lunch and Learns” with the manufacturer’s rep.

“I am proud to be a part of an organization that has an entire department within their company, Henry Schein Cares, dedicated to philanthropic efforts such as partnering with the ADA for Give Kids a Smile. I can’t believe how fortunate I am to work in an industry that allows me to make a good living for my family and at the end of every day, look myself in the mirror and know that what I do makes a difference in the life of not just my customer, but every patient that dental office saw that day.”

 

Phil Cole, Benco Dental

Phil Cole, a Territory Consultant for Benco Dental, prides himself as a “business consultant” who concentrates 100% on the business practices of the dental office. “My love of this job is to visit and help make a practice be more productive, save money, and be more efficient with their time,” he said.

“The dental industry is constantly evolving, and I have to continually prepare for these changes. I accomplish this by being an active part of the Seattle Study Club, whose focus is always to promote and learn the highest techniques and procedures.”

Cole also stays very integrated with Transitions Group North America to always learn the changes of the business aspects of the dental practice. After Hours Seminars continue to update him on the most up-to-date information on products and equipment. “It is important to share that same information to my doctors through hi-tech and opinion education seminars and business reviews,” Cole said.

“Benco Dental has amazing programs and systems that allow me to be the most prepared consultant in the industry. In addition, Benco’s Success Partners allow me to be able to confidently provide the same type of services to my doctors as I would appreciate from a dental company.”