10 Questions with Mike Skogland, Patterson Dental Territory Representative
From first job to worst job, defining career moments, and who he looks up to the industry, Mike Skogland takes on a quick, personal interview for April Proofs.
What was your first job?
One of my first jobs — in residential heating/air conditioning sales — was a valuable introduction on how good customer service leads to good relationships and mutual success.
What was your worst job?
In my younger days, I worked at an ice arena. While there were interesting parts of the job, cleaning locker rooms wasn’t one of them.
What was a defining moment in your career?
The opportunity to be the primary rep for a group practice forced me to become involved in practice management aspects and learn more about the business side of dentistry in a hurry. This understanding and growth have helped me bring more value to other clients as well.
What’s your favorite app or technology to help you get your work done?
The PattEdge web portal provides instant practice information that is very helpful in answering clients’ specific questions on the spot and in identifying practice needs. Pattersondental.com is another resource I turn to regularly.
What do you do to keep busy while traveling?
I spend a lot of time on my iPhone, catching up on emails and texts from clients, as well as reading dental tweets and newsfeeds.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I like to get my day started with a workout, usually at the gym.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
The drive to help my clients become more successful in their businesses is both motivating and fulfilling. I also want to set an example for my children through hard work and dedication, just as my father taught me that hard work brings success.
How do you unwind?
I enjoy spending time at our lake cabin in Minnesota and coaching my sons’ hockey teams.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be patient, thorough, persistent, and consistent. Learn the business side from your clients’ perspective and position yourself as an extension of their business — become a strategic partner who brings them value.
What person do you look up to the most in your industry?
I’m very fortunate to have Mark Polito, a veteran territory rep in my branch with more than 30 years in the industry, as a strong mentor who generously shares his insight.
Mike Skogland is a Patterson Dental territory representative with the Omaha Branch. Mike has been with Patterson for 10 years and holds a bachelor’s degree in small business management.
Lauren Burns is the editor of Proofs magazine and the email newsletters RDH Graduate and Proofs. She is currently based out of New York City. Follow her on Twitter: @ellekeid.