Publisher’s Letter

An Industry for Life

Bill Neumann

In 2003, I started working as a territory manager at Coltene Whaledent. I remember both my manager and the vice president of sales saying to me that once you get into the dental industry, you never leave it. At the time, I didn’t really know what to make of that statement. Was that meant in a positive way? I realize now they meant that if you worked hard, there would always be opportunities for you in this industry. I would bet that almost everyone reading this column has heard this at least once in their dental careers. “Once you are in, you will never leave,” and that is a good thing.

One can simply look at our Dental Distribution Hall of Fame inductees to realize this is an industry where hard-working individuals can create incredibly successful, long-term careers.  Like several of our inductees, many of our readers have started their dental careers as sales representatives or service technicians and have progressed up the corporate ladder with hard work and determination.

Still many others in our industry realize that there is no need to move beyond the role of a sales consultant to enjoy their level of success. Some of the most accomplished people in the dental industry started as sales representatives, have grown incredibly rewarding territories, and continue to cultivate and drive sales year after year. In some cases, decade after decade. In this issue of First Impressions our frequent column called ‘First Person’ focuses on one such individual, Alan Clibanoff.

I first met Alan in late 2003 when I was still a dental sales newbie. I knew just enough about dental products to carry on a conversation with a dentist, but not enough to convince many seasoned dealer representatives to work with me. Alan was an exception to that rule. Alan graciously answered my call to co-travel with him. I remember meeting Alan at 7:00 a.m. to start our co-travel day. He used his relationships and knowledge of the industry to help me that day.  Alan nurtures and cultivates his dental customers, and continues to do what it takes to retain and grow his customer base. Make sure you read Alan’s story, ‘Sixty Years in the Making.’

After you read Alan’s story, please be sure to review our cover story entitled, ‘Preventing Infection in the Dental Practice.’ This piece is something that should be shared with your dental customers. Evelyn Cook, associate director, Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gives us a simple, but complete guide to setting up a comprehensive infection control program. This infection control program includes hand hygiene, high-level disinfection, sterilization, safe injection practices, environmental sanitation, and post-exposure evaluation.

Whether you have been in the industry 60 days or 60 years, there is something in this issue for you.

Happy reading,

Bill Neumann

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