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How to work effectively with your experts

June 1, 2024
Every dentist should work with advisors, but it's vital that dentists understand how to make the most of those relationships.

Dentists have experts in their lives. Their advisors may include accountants, attorneys, marketing firms, social media firms, management consultants, and human resources companies. As businesspeople, dentists rely on their advisors for the best advice, the ability to solve problems, and help in protecting their future. So why doesn’t it always work out?

One of the educational topics that is never covered in school is how to collaborate with experts. There are many to choose from, but there are times when experts are not achieving the stated goals and objectives of the relationship. Whether it is to save taxes, protect the practice from legal action, or ensure a steady stream of patients through a marketing contract, experts are responsible for achieving results.

However, I would point out that it is also the responsibility of the dentist to manage the experts. If things aren’t working, there are steps that should be taken, and taken quickly, to bring the experts’ results back on track. For example:

Track your experts’ results. Wheth-er it is a financial portfolio, proper implementation of management systems, or new-patient social media results, it is the responsibility of the practice to track those measurements just as carefully as the expert. If you notice a downward trend, or even a plateau, it is time to start asking questions.

Ask questions early on. When you notice things are not quite right or changing, it is imperative to start asking questions. This is not a challenge or even a complaint at this point. You are simply asking questions to become more aware of why some things are working and others are not.

Ask what steps will be taken to get back on track. It is the dentist’s responsibility to ask the question and the expert’s responsibility to provide an answer. Even experts need to be told to move in new directions when results are not where they should be.

Meet with your expert regularly. Don’t simply abdicate any responsibility for the area of expertise of your expert and expect them to care about your practice more than you do. Tracking results does not take much time, but provides early feedback, allowing you to ask questions when necessary.

Ask your expert what they are doing that is new or different. For ex-ample, tax accountants will always have answers about what is new. The same is true for all experts. An expert is always upgrading information, responding to new external factors like changes in insurance coverage, management efficiency, and human resource/labor law. Simply look at what is taking place with staffing in dentistry, and you can only imagine the challenges the human resource or recruiting firms are having.

Experts are essential, and one of the key elements of a successful practice and success in life is surrounding yourself with the right experts. But keep in mind that you do have to manage them. Doing this properly will keep practice production at its highest and help the practice fire on all cylinders. 

Editor's note: This article appeared in the June 2024 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

About the Author

Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and founder of Levin Group

Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and founder of Levin Group, has worked with more than 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and more than 4,000 articles, and regularly presents seminars in the US and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected].

Updated January 23, 2024

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