The Dental Practice Sales Funnel

By Sarah Woods, Dental Marketing Consultant

The sales funnel is alive and well within every dental practice. The success of marketing efforts is directly related to the sales effectiveness of the dental team within the dental practice. Each team member has a role to play in the success of the patient experience and how well it translates into increased treatment acceptance. The problem with this reality is that many dental practices fail to accept and understand the uniquely important role each person plays in the patient experience. The specific sales role of each team member is necessary and cannot be eliminated from the process due to cutting corners by under-staffing.

Based on the size of the practice, there should be at least one person in the following positions:

Marketing Coordinator/New Patient Concierge: handles internal and external marketing, takes photos for social media and digital platforms, acts as brand ambassador within the community, coordinates special events/seminars, implements and manages promotions and specials within the office.

Front Desk/Concierge: answers incoming calls with an upbeat attitude, schedules appointments, greets patients with a cheerful disposition and a warm smile.

Insurance Coordinator: handles all insurance companies, generates all insurance claims, coordinates payments, updates patient accounts.

Dental Assistant: assists dentist in providing treatment to patients, develops trusting relationship with each patient and follows up with the patient after treatment performed.

Hygienist: provides excellent dental cleanings, performs periodontal treatments, develops and nurtures relationships with the patient, and schedules future hygiene appointments for patients.

Treatment Coordinator: presents treatment plans to patients in an educated and confident way, and schedules necessary appointments.

Check Out: checks out patients and schedules all future appointments.

The key responsibility of each of these roles is to interact with the patient in a positive, thoughtful way while maintaining confidence. If just one of these roles isn’t filled, treatment acceptance and patient retention will suffer, affecting the bottom line of the practice.


Sarah is a dental marketing consultant with extensive experience working with dental practices to maximize their patient potential. With in-depth experience in various levels of a dental practice, she has a unique perspective that allows her to be effective at implementing strategies throughout the office that can be executed easily.

Please connect with Sarah on LinkedIn at or email her at

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.