Dr. Bette Robin
Successful People Aren't Gifted - They Hire Consultants!
Updated: Jul 29, 2019
8 Factors to look for in a Consultant
I’ll just say it: I’m a big fan of dental consultants!
I’m also a big fan of having a trainer at the gym and having a business coach and generally getting all the other assistance I can get in making my goals. I’ve found it really helps me to get where I want to go.
I became very successful as dentist - SOLELY due to consultants. It was my first foray into any kind of business help.
I started my first practice from scratch in Rancho Cucamonga, CA and after finding a space and building out an office - I didn’t have a clue. Fortunately, my good friend from dental school, who I talked to several times a week, was in the same predicament I was.
Thanks to her, and her knowing the field of dental consultants even existed - I took the plunge hired a consultant. It was a big plunge because it was expensive and I was making no money.
Let me tell you how much I believe in consultants. I went from about $15,000 a month to over $100,000 a month – in one years’ time.
So – YES – a resounding yes – I believe in consultants.
What’s the ONE SECRET you need to know once you hire a consultant?
Here it is: Do anything and everything they tell you to do.
Here’s what else I think you should consider:
DETERMINE WHAT YOU WANT
You need to be clear with your consultant about what success looks like to you. Then, give your consultant and their marching orders to make it happen. Most of them CAN get you where you want to go, if you’ll just listen and do what they say. Try it their way!
Plan on paying them quite a hefty sum of money. There is also value in this, since most of us tend to pay attention to whatever we spend a lot of money on, it’s just human nature.
LEAN TOWARDS THE INDIVIDUAL CONSULTANT
I generally prefer “individual” consultants over big companies, but there are always exceptions. Bottom in, I like someone who takes a real genuine – and financial - interest in your practice and your future and you.
AVOID A LONG TERM CONTRACT
I’d like you to not have to sign a contract, or at least be able to get out of it if you want to – say, with 30 day notice at most. – if things aren’t working. I think it just keeps everyone honest.
LOCAL TO YOU, OR EASILY ACCESSIBLE
I think your consultant should be local to you, probably within an hour or two drive at most - unless you are hiring someone just for a specific or limited purpose or you are in a remote area. I also think a consultant should see you in your OWN office environment, at least most of the time.
A consultant should have some sort of dental background. Many consultants are long term front desk employees or practice managers. However, the consultant doesn’t have to have worked in an office, but I do think it is helpful. At very least, they should have dental business background.
The consultant should have been in the dental consulting field for at least 10 years and have probably coached at least 50 clients. The more they have seen and dealt with, the better. You don’t want them practices on you!
CLEAR TASKS TO COMPLETE
I like consultants that give you a clear “to-do” list after each meeting, and also take time to recap the day with you before they leave or over dinner.
You need to know what they think – and - you need to know what you should accomplish before your next meeting. It can be things like hiring an additional staff member, implementing new software, taking certain continuing ed courses, organizing your supplies and implementing an ordering system, etc.
You should meet with your consultant probably monthly, or even twice a month. The more you want to accomplish in a short period of time, the more often you should meet.
I wish you the best success, and I think almost any consultant is better than no consultant – just like any trainer is better than no trainer at all!