From Phone to Checkout

By Sarah Woods, Dental Marketing Consultant

Due to advances in technology, dental marketing has become a crucial element in the success of a dental practice. It is very easy to get overwhelmed and focused on the marketing, causing the fundamentals of a successful dental practice to get lost. If the fundamentals of a positive patient experience are not there, the marketing investment is wasted. Here are just a couple of small steps to help you and your staff get back to the basics.

When I was 19, I worked in a large dental practice in Virginia. My only role in the practice was to answer the 25-line phone system and check patients in. On my first day, I was given a mirror to hang in front of me. I was told that it was there to make sure I was smiling when I answered the phone. Every time I answered the phone, I watched myself in the mirror to make sure that I was smiling while I spoke. It worked so well and was especially helpful on days that I maybe didn’t automatically feel cheerful. Smiling really comes through the phone and people are much more receptive to a cheerful voice!

Personal Connection
Creating a connection and developing a relationship with patients is the most important aspect of treatment acceptance. Patients want to feel safe and secure in their decision to trust their dentist, and this occurs only if a connection and relationship is built. The simplest and easiest first step in creating this connection is to find some commonality between you and the patient. Building this bridge can be as easy as discussing children, a hobby, marriage or a favorite place. Learning this information beforehand also is an easy way to break the ice. Ask staff members to take the time to learn as much about the patient as they can, and record this information in documentation and disclose it to you in daily huddles.

Ms. Woods is a dental marketing consultant who works exclusively with dentists to develop strategies to increase production and profits. She has provided marketing in large and small practices all over the country, and has extensive experience that provides her a unique perspective with the practical knowledge necessary to successfully implement strategies. She can be reached at or 856.701.9135.

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