Eighteen months into his journey, a friend told Knellinger that Idearc Media was hiring consultants to sell advertising. The company had recently offered an early retirement buyout package to many of its employees, so the timing was perfect. Knellinger jumped at the chance to work and learn from a Fortune 500 company, which also provided him with the opportunity to move back to Florida. He instantly succeeded at this job and was ranked number one in new and existing sales during his first year. He was also selected for Idearc Media’s prestigious Presidents Club, an honor that recognizes the top 1% out of the thousands of consultants in the company.
Bart loved his job, but there was one aspect that really bothered him. Knellinger would talk to so many different business owners each week he could not possibly know enough about each business to really help them craft a plan for expansion and growth. Therefore, sometimes the marketing would work and sometimes the marketing would not work, but Knellinger never knew why. That is when he decided to start his own marketing firm – Progressive Dental – and focus on learning everything he could in regards to how a practice is run and the problems dentists and their teams face in regards to growth.
“This was when we realized we needed to add staff training, phone tracking, and analytics,” says Knellinger. “Marketing doesn’t stop when the phone rings. It’s almost a travesty if the patients don’t get the care they need because the phone call wasn’t handled properly.” To address this discrepancy, Knellinger implemented staff training, phone scheduling, and treatment planning protocols at PD to assist dental practices in overcoming common objections and improving their new case acceptance rates.
Since the firm’s launch in 2009, PD has achieved superior results for numerous dental practices across the country and abroad using Knellinger’s “Full Circle™” methodology. The Full Circle™ approach employs a combination of strategic planning, patient education, staff training, and analytics to qualify and convert new patients. The success of this marketing innovation distinguished PD from competitors and solidified Knellinger’s reputation as an industry thought leader. A popular speaker on the dental conference circuit, Knellinger remains passionate about equipping today’s dentists with the sales and marketing knowledge they need to sustain a profitable practice.
In 2014, Progressive Dental’s rapid expansion earned the firm a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America and PD has remained on that list for 5 consecutive years. “Over the last five years we have come a long way as an organization,” says Knellinger. “The growth of PD is, and will continue to be, contingent upon the growth and success of our clients. Our mission and advantage remains 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.”
FOR SOME PRACTICES, KNELLINGER FOUND THAT THE MAIN CHALLENGE WAS IN BOOKING APPOINTMENTS, RATHER THAN GETTING THE PHONE TO RING.