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Features / May 13, 2024

Powerful partnerships – building relationships with company representatives

by Siobhan Kelleher

developing relationships with company representatives


There’s always two sides to the story. Siobhan Kelleher sheds light on how dental professionals can foster better relationships with company representatives.

In the dental industry, there exists a relationship between the dental team and company representatives who provide products and educational resources. While some dental team members may take these relationships for granted, it is important to recognise and appreciate the efforts and sacrifices made by company colleagues. 

I have worked on both sides for the past 10 years, and want to explore both sides of the ‘trade’ in this article, shedding light on the perspectives of both dental teams and company representatives.

Valuable support

The relationship between the dental team and company representatives is often overlooked, perhaps because one side sometimes takes advantage of the other. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the valuable support and education provided by company representatives. They often have to make sacrifices to attend events and conferences. 

By showing kindness and appreciation to these individuals, both parties can benefit from a more positive and respectful working relationship.

I have witnessed first-hand the dismissive and rude behaviour of some dental team members towards company representatives at conferences. This can create a negative atmosphere at events, where company representatives are often met with indifference or even hostility. By taking their support and resources for granted and failing to show gratitude and respect, dental team members may be missing out on valuable education and networking opportunities.

Company representatives play a crucial role in providing educational resources as well as product samples to dental professionals. 

These individuals often make personal sacrifices, such as spending time away from family, to attend conferences and support the dental community. By valuing their time and expertise, dental professionals can benefit from valuable insights and knowledge that can enhance their practice.

When at conferences and events, rather than just grabbing products without acknowledging the efforts of the company representatives, I would urge you to engage with these individuals and learn from their expertise. 

Attending events with an open mind and respectful attitude, the learning experience can be heightened for all parties involved.

Above and beyond

Conversely, I have seen the dedication and passion of company representatives who go above and beyond to support dental professionals. These individuals often work long hours, travel extensively, and make many sacrifices to provide valuable resources and education to dental teams. 

By showing appreciation and respect for their efforts, dental team members can foster a more positive and collaborative relationship with company colleagues.

Powerful partnerships

The relationship between the dental team and company representatives is a valuable partnership that should be nurtured and respected. 

By acknowledging the sacrifices and efforts made by company colleagues, dental professionals can benefit from valuable education and resources that can enhance their practice. 

As we enter another busy conference season, I urge you to show kindness and appreciation towards these individuals, who play a crucial role in supporting the dental community. 

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