Dental consultants have disappointed many dentists, according to a Wealthy Dentist poll. The survey found that the majority of dentists report having had negative experiences with dental consulting.
Most dentists report having had at least one negative experience with a dental consultant. In a recent dental survey conducted by The Wealthy Dentist, dentists were asked if they had been disappointed by dental consultants. The majority (62%) indicate they have had problems with consultants in the past. On the other hand, 38% report being smart and/or lucky enough to avoid the bad ones.
The survey did not differentiate between dental marketing consultants and dental management consultants, but complaints about both groups were similar. Some consultants simply lack the experience and knowledge dental practices require. "I had the experience of working with a consultant who knew nothing of accounts receivables, good ratios, etc.," recounted a New Jersey dental office worker. "He was a podiatrist who decided to become a business consultant on the side. He should have stayed with feet!"
The cost of bad dental consultanting can exceed a hefty price tag. "I paid an excessive amount to a team who guaranteed a 30% increase in production and collections, then proceeded to almost destroy my practice," moaned a Kentucky dentist. "It has taken two years to repair the damage caused by following their 'program.'"
Other dentists were disappointed by consultants who act as though all dental practices in all areas have the same needs for dental management consulting. "Every dentist has his or her own style, both in management and clinical skills," said a South Carolina dentist. "Most consultants say they customize their 'plans.' However, they are all the same cookie-cutter ideas disguised as something different."
Sometimes consultants can be disastrous for a dentist's relationship with team members. "I ended up being sued by my staff... I never ever want to go to a dental consultant again," said one Michigan dentist. A Massachusetts pediatric dentist described another unpleasant experience: "She had the staff in tears at her initial presentation! She came on like a drill sergeant to the staff within minutes of meeting them." A North Carolina orthodontist commented, "The most recent consultant I had was very negative to my staff and did not return calls... Very bad experience."
Of course, some dentists have been delighted by their experiences with dental marketing consulting. "They absolutely turned our practice around with quality care and profitable days!" raved a Pennsylvania dental hygienist.
In the end, all agreed that it's the dentist's job to pick a dental practice consultant that will suit their practice. "As business owners, we must take responsibility to do due diligence when making decisions concerning our future," said a North Carolina dentist. "We cannot become lemmings and blindly follow the ideas of a so-called expert."
Moreover, it requires work on the dentist's part to find the right dental management consultant. "I've had good experiences, but not all dental consultants' styles or messages are right for you. Before you sign, seriously interview the consultant and have a trial period," suggested a Connecticut dentist.
It turns out that a number of dental consultancies actually have quasi-religious affiliations; this was the most common complaint cited by dentists in this survey. (In fact, there have been a number of lawsuits on that subject.) One Arkansas dentist explains his experience: "I got invited to a teaser meeting and returned the next week to experience an aggressive attempt to humiliate me into signing on to an outrageously expensive no-end-in-sight series of coaching meetings. Not only that, it would eventually involve a religious change."
"I'm a dental consultant myself, and have been for more years than I'd care to remember," commented Jim Du Molin, founder of both The Wealthy Dentist and the Internet Dental Alliance. "Now, it's possible I'm just a little biased, but I consider myself one of the good ones. And I know there are plenty of other great dental consultants out there as well. But some of the bad ones can be so monstrously bad that they scare some dentists away from the profession as a whole!"