24 hours with… John Laverty, country sales manager in Scotland for The Dental Directory

It’s 7.15am on a frosty morning north of the border and John Laverty, the recently appointed sales manager in Scotland for The Dental Directory, is warming up his car. He’s got a full schedule ahead of him starting in Perth where he’s due to meet his team of business consultants for product training with the company’s equipment division. But first he needs to drop off his two boisterous sons, Callum aged nine and Fraser aged six at breakfast club.

“My wife is a GP and we share the school run duties. This means for a couple of days a week my morning doesn’t start off by listening to Chris Moyles’ but instead two, often extremely excitable, boys. I wouldn’t have it any other way though – even if at seven in the morning it can be a little louder than I like. A wake up better than coffee!”

After shuttling his sons into school John is back on the road heading towards Perth where The Dental Directory has a product demonstration and training base. Today he’s going to be briefed by the equipment division of the business on its digital imaging product range.

Anyone who knows John knows that he’s always early for any meeting and true to form he’s in Perth half an hour before the training is due to start.  Keen not to waste a minute, John takes the time he’s gained to call Heather, one of the newest members of his team of business consultants, to catch up on her progress and see what support she needs.

“The team gets together regularly, but it’s not the typical nine-to-five office environment where you see your colleagues every day. It’s really important when we’re not together that we all keep in touch.”

At 9am the product training begins and John has now been joined by two of his team, Donna and Nicola.

“Keeping up to date on our product and industry knowledge is an integral part of our role as business consultants. For The Dental Directory our aim isn’t to ‘sell’ but rather to offer expert advice so our customers can improve and grow their businesses by tapping into our extensive product range, the training offered in partnership with DBG, our extended next day delivery service and our specialist ranges.

“I joined the business in October after working for more than 20 years within pharmaceuticals so the investment in employee training offered by The Dental Directory is incredibly helpful to me.”

And training isn’t just for new employees to the business, it’s a constant throughout the business consultancy teams which are located across the country.

“I’ve been bowled over by the industry knowledge within the team here in Scotland which is testament to the value The Dental Directory places on training and the investment it has made in its teams.”

It’s noon and John is back on the road, this time however he’s been joined by his colleague Andrew, a business consultant who specialises in facial aesthetics as they start the journey to meet one of their customers in Edinburgh.

“Without question the thing that I enjoy most about my job is meeting people. A day doesn’t pass without me meeting or speaking with one of our customers. Today we’re going to see a customer who is interested in finding out more about Med-fx – our facial aesthetics range – and how it could be integrated and marketed across his three practices.”

Just lately John has been spending a lot of his time speaking to his customers about facial aesthetics, especially since The Dental Directory acquired the leading brand, Med-fx.

“For dentists, offering facial aesthetics is a non-brainer if they’re looking to increase chair capacity, so it’s not a case of selling them the idea, but more about us providing advice on how they can introduce it into their practice, offering training, or even showing them how to market it to their patients. For them this expertise is invaluable.”

During the customer meeting, John also shows the practice manager some of the latest practice management tools on The Dental Directory’s website including budget control for practice managers looking after multiple practice locations, ordering tracking and online invoice access.

At 3pm John arrives as his second customer meeting of the day in Oban. He’s meeting a manager who wants to offer a wider range of oral hygiene products and has asked him for his opinion on what products they should stock and how they can promote them to their patients.

“Stocking oral hygiene products is a great way to demonstrate to your patients that you can offer your expertise outside the practice as well as while they’re in the dentist’s chair.”

It’s 6.30pm and John arrives at home. It’s not time to relax quite yet though. Tonight he’s cooking for the family and it’s his sons’ favourite, veal schnitzel. A dish the family first discovered on a skiing holiday.

“I enjoy cooking on the understanding that the dish will involve plenty of meat and there is a glass or two of wine poured for the chef. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, is it?”