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Trade Talk: A Q&A with Brandon Dawson

doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000483273.52020.ec
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Dawson is a sought-after lecturer and CEO advisor on entrepreneurship, leadership, and business-building strategies. He is also the founder of Audigy Group, which supports more than 270 leading independent hearing health care businesses throughout North America.

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Q Describe today's climate of the hearing health care industry.

DAWSON: As a provider working in private practice, it is your daily challenge to out-message, out-perform, and, above all, out-value your competitors.

Independent audiology practices, on average, earn more than two-thirds of their revenue (and 80% of their profits) from the direct sale and support of hearing technology. Manufacturers see the opportunity: If they can eliminate high-value providers who have built their reputations on quality and experience and replace them with corporate retail and big box partnerships, they won't have to expend an equitable effort to earn patients’ trust, because they can compete on a lower price point.

Audigy members see it differently. And consumer research supports this point of view. It's not technology that's key to a patient's success; it's the relationship they have with their provider. We're focused on the patient experience, and our members are thriving because of that. Last year we saw more of our members attain a record year in both revenue and earnings than we ever have in the history of our organization.

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Q How is your company positioning itself as a leader in the hearing health field?

DAWSON: Through two primary strategies:

1. Our Transformational Growth platform

Through Transformational Growth, our proprietary data analytics platform, we're expanding people's minds as to what is possible in their practices.

First, we define what the ultimate picture of success is for each team member in the practice. Then we analyze the practice's performance as a whole. This creates a clear picture and action plan by role, individual, and team.

Second, we dive even deeper into the practice's performance to create clarity around where each and every teammate within the practice can focus to generate the greatest level of impact. We're measuring key attributes to drive the practice at the individual level.

Finally, when reviewing these benchmarks against other practices, the analytics create a story that converges into a comprehensive operational, financial, professional development, and marketing plan that establishes a three to five-year vision for the practice. No one in our industry has this level of clarity, accountability, and alignment.

We have helped cultivate more million-dollar providers in the past two years than we had seen in the past 11. More Audigy members and their individual teammates are earning personal income that would equate to an average practice's revenue. Even first-year providers are now generating $1 million to $1.5 million in personal production using our platforms. With the Boomers hitting their peak in just three years, I can't imagine a better time to be in private practice.

2. AGX Hearing

Audigy's strategy of uniting elite, independent providers to support a premium private brand has had two profound effects in counteracting the manufacturers’ direct retail efforts:

As exclusive providers of AGX Hearing, our members possess something truly unique. They are not advertising a brand that is ultimately competing against them; they are branding and cultivating patient interest in their practice's unique brand experience.

By aligning the AGX Hearing brand with their expertise and commitment to their patients, Audigy members are building intrinsic value in a brand that they own — not one that they “rent.” As a result, we have seen explosive growth in Canada and in the U.S., and these are practices with an average of 23 years in business!

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Q What advice or guidance can you offer to hearing health professionals?

DAWSON: Audigy members — 270 and counting — share their marketing techniques, business processes, and results with our team of professional business analysts every day. Through this, independent practice owners can experience the extraordinary benefit of learning how businesses of similar size, in similar marketplaces, owned by individuals with similar objectives, perform in every imaginable circumstance.

It is this kind of sharing that has made our membership of dedicated, independent hearing care providers a community of shrewd, uniquely successful business owners – a community supported by a private brand that represents the tremendous value these practices provide to their patients.

More than ever, we're focusing our mission on providing our members an even deeper sense of value through our services to build a true community of independents, united in a movement to create positive change in our industry.

Our advice? Find a community that not only shares your mission for providing extraordinary patient care, but also one that is committed to providing value to you, your team, and to your patients.

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