Jan 27, 2023 - Business

Making the deal with Progressive Dental's Bart Knellinger

Photo illustration of a briefcase with a photo of Bart Knellinger in it.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Courtesy of Omni Public

Bart Knellinger's business began as a simple favor. What started as trying to help his dad, a dentist, advertise his new surgical laser services in the early 2000s turned into a multi-million dollar dental marketing firm.

Fast forward: His Clearwater-based company, Progressive Dental, is projected to reach $70 million in revenue this year.

We asked for his best advice on finessing a major deal. When the stakes are high, how do you bring two sides together?

Stay focused on the big picture. "The biggest problem people have trying to close deals is they have a preconceived notion. They're so focused on selling, they're no longer consumer focused. You can't build trust doing that and you can't sell big deals doing that either.

  • 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, what your goals are. I'm gonna help you make a plan. Whether that's working with me or not, this plan is going to make sense."

Ask the right questions. "If they don't do that, they're going to be talking about a product or service or protocol and they're gonna sell it with features with benefits and they're just guessing."


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