Talking technology with Henry Schein's John Cox

Sept. 19, 2011
By Kevin Henry
Editor, Proofs
During the recent Henry Schein Dental national sales meeting in Grapevine, Texas, I had a chance to sit down with John Cox, vice president of technology sales for Henry Schein. I wanted to ask him about the challenge of selling equipment and technology to dentists (in these economic times or any time) as well as his views of technology sales for the rest of 2011 and beyond.Kevin Henry: With so much on the minds of the sales reps when they walk into a dental office, how do you help technology stay at the forefront of their minds?John Cox: It's really a matter of our sales team identifying and focusing on our customers needs more so then focusing on one product or solution within our business. If we are asking the right questions, our customers will help us understand what their needs and or challenges are today. This happens through the consultative approach and partnering with our customers that the Henry Schein Field Consultant takes. Having said this, I would suggest that most dentists are looking for creative ways to grow their business, and there is no better way then introducing these practices to new technology and solutions like CAD/CAM dentistry, or clinical solutions like implants and orthodontics.I believe technology spending in dentistry will continue to increase as we move forward. Projections are showing us that dental practices will invest approximately 4.5 percent more dollars in 2012 than they did in 2011. Henry: Do you believe that patients are walking into dental practices expecting to find the latest technology?Cox: Absolutely. It has to be part of the patient experience. Today’s patients expect dental offices to make their visits as comfortable as possible. Consumers have limited time today, and the less time they spend at the dentist’s office, the better it is in their minds. Today's innovative equipment and technology solutions help the dentist deliver consistent high-quality patient solutions in a more efficient, time-saving manner. Henry Schein is partnering with our dentists to provide innovative, integrated solutions that will not only enhance the patient experience but will increase efficiencies, productivity, and profitability. Henry: What do you believe is the main obstacle right now to dentists purchasing equipment?Cox: I believe one of the big obstacles is the dentist getting over the fear of whether the technology they are purchasing will work in their practice. Henry Schein has a specialized team of equipment and technology sales experts that are instrumental in working closely with these accounts to make sure they not only select the right solutions, but equally important to make sure the installation, integration, and staff training is a success. Our job really starts after the technology solution has been installed and we take this aspect of customer support very seriously. Our brand reputation rests on it. I know a lot of dentists held on to their funds during the recent economic times, but I believe now is the time to make investments in their practice. As the economy continues to rebound, it makes sense for dental practices to be in a position to take advantage of the newest equipment and technology solutions that will enhance the patient experience and differentiate their offering from the competition. There is no question that good technology decisions will provide the practice with an excellent return on investment. It is an extremely exciting time in dentistry and technology continues to bring clinicians with great patient solutions. This field has never been moving as fast as it is today.