Bart Knellinger is the President and CEO of Progressive Dental. Progressive Dental is a full-service dental marketing and coaching agency that has transformed the traditional marketing firm business model, and the business model of the dental practices of their clients. Bart focused his business on the dental industry, believing that dentists were in need of a marketing company that could help them gain new patients. However, he quickly realized that the traditional business model of the dental industry was flawed and that dentists were in need of more than just marketing. Progressive Dental Marketing is a company dedicated to dental practice growth. We provide a turn-key solution to succeed with dental marketing, team motivation, sales training, and strategic business coaching. We are the only dental marketing company that can truly generate high-dollar leads, and provide doctors with a sales system that will ensure a high closing percentage and a phenomenal return on their investment.

Bart grew up in a family of dentists in Palm Harbor, FL. His father, Dan Knellinger DDS, has a practice in Palm Harbor and his mother, Jennifer Knellinger, works in the office. Bart has three sisters, two of whom are also practicing dentists with Dr. Knellinger and the other is an attorney. Although his parents owned a dental practice, they wouldn’t discuss the business in front of the kids. If he heard his parents say anything about the dental practice, it would be on stressful topics such as the business side of the practice, like hiring, training, processes, finances, marketing, etc.

Unlike his siblings, Bart knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur. Instead of attending college, he moved to Chicago after high school, working in door-to-door sales. He became skilled in communication, rapport, and acquired an incredible work ethic. He then worked as a consultant, selling all kinds of advertising at Idearc Media. At Idearc Media, he excelled and was ranked number one in new and existing sales during his first year. He also became part of Idearc Media’s Presidents Club. Bart took this job to jump at the chance of moving back closer to his family in Florida and to learn from a Fortune 500 company.

During this time Bart’s father, Dr. Dan Knellinger, asked him to take a look at his marketing. Bart’s father wanted his son’s expertise to help him bring in more patients that needed advanced dental procedures for periodontal disease. Bart changed all his father’s marketing to be treatment focused, so that his father had more patients walking in the door who needed that type of treatment. He increased his father’s profit so much that he reached out to the laser company itself to share his success. After that success, Bart started selling the dental laser. Bart, founded Progressive when he saw a need… that doctors did not have the time, knowledge, or plans to bring in leads for this treatment. He began coaching the doctors on how to capitalize on their investment in the laser. Thus, Progressive Dental Marketing became a marketing firm that focused on learning everything about running a practice, and the problems dentists and their teams face when it comes to growth.

The Paradigm Shift in Full-Arch Dentistry

Bart continued to sell the laser to build capital. He also sold marketing and sales techniques to the dentists. He coached them to focus on high revenue transformative cases, instead of focusing on increasing the volume of new patients. Once the company had a strong financial foundation, focused on profitability, Bart stopped selling the laser and fully dedicated himself to helping more clinicians.

“My goal is to help them reach their goal. What I’m going to sell is not important. What is important is I understand where you are now, where you want to be, and what your goals are. I’m going to help you make a plan. Whether that’s working with me or not, this plan is going to make sense.” Says Bart Knellinger.

One of the main problems that Bart identified, was that dentists were operating under a small business owner-operator model and mindset that left dentists stressed and reactive. Dentists were focused on providing as many services as possible to all types of patients. But this broad approach was counterproductive. Clinicians needed to be more strategic in growing their business and focus on the type of dentistry that would make the most impact in a patient’s life. Through Progressive Dental, Bart saw an opportunity to help clinicians work less, make more, and perform the type of dentistry that truly makes a difference.

While Progressive Dental was successful in generating new patient leads for its clients, they quickly realized that simply generating leads was not enough. Dentists needed help in handling large case leads, presenting treatment options, and closing sales. To address this issue, Bart created the Closing Institute, training doctors and their teams to acquire more leads and manage them effectively, implement a sales process that will result in a massive increase in closing percentage, quickly pre-qualify and triage financially unqualified patients, implement efficient workflows, explore creative financing options, and dominate the 2nd opinion market. The Closing Institute has become the cornerstone of Progressive Dental’s new business model, ensuring that their clients get a return on their marketing investment.

Bart is the keynote speaker at The Closing Institute Boot Camp, a two-day full-arch business event to give doctors and their team the exact techniques to close high-dollar cases in volume. “I noticed that it was not making the impact I envisioned. Meaning, they understood the contents conceptually, they agreed with it, and it even sounded simple. Unfortunately, the problem was our clients could not do it. We quickly realized that, as with anything new, you need to apply it immediately and it’s in the applying that you actually learn.” Bart Knellinger says. To get dentists to the next step, Bart and the TCI team elevated the Closing Institute into a consistent, ongoing mentorship program. The bootcamp seminars are where clinicians and their teams go to get their first exposure. They can then sign up for a mentorship program.

The mentorship program includes a dedicated coach who does phone calls, call critiques, video critiques of the consultation, and more, so that Progressive can provide constructive criticism and feedback. Through The Closing Institute Bart hosts in person power sessions every month so that dentists can learn from him and the whole Progressive Dental team. This is just like a sales trainer in other industries that go with new sales reps, ride with them, or are on phone calls with them. The program even hosts in person power sessions every month to learn from Bart and the whole Progressive Dental team.

“The growth of PD is, and will continue to be, contingent upon the growth and success of our clients. Our mission and advantage remain the fact that we always put our clients first. We are prepared to do whatever it takes to help them achieve their goals and build their practices.” Says Bart Knellinger


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