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Episode 149 – Getting Your Dental Team on Board with Marketing with Sara Hansen

“Your team is an extension of you. They represent you and your brand with the patients.” -Sara Hansen

Most of your patients make the decision to trust – or not trust – you before they even meet you. 

Why? Simple answer, it’s because of your team! Think about it…who is the first person a patient interacts with? It’s probably your front office admin who answers the phone and who spends an hour with the patient before they even meet you? Your hygienist.

When patients come into your office, they are looking for moments of trust that tell them who you are and what they can expect. These moments of trust start from the first time they learn about your practice, to their first phone interaction, how they’re greeted when they walk in, all the way through the experience to meeting you. 

These initial interactions with patients are what makes your team the most powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. They’re the ones who will make or break trust with a patient. 

As we talked about in our previous episode, Authentic Marketing is about capturing what makes you unique. Your team is an integral part of that. So let’s talk about how you can put this powerful asset to good use as part of your Authentic Marketing strategy. 

We are so excited to have Sara Hansen – Authentic Marketing expert – back to continue our conversation on Authentic Marketing and using your team to extend exceptional experiences to your patients, including how to:

  • Identify the points where trust can be built or broken
  • Get your team on board with championing your authentic marketing strategy
  • Let your team know when they’re winning the authentic marketing game


Welcome to the Everyday Practices Podcast. I’m Regan Robertson, and my co-host, Dr. Chad Johnson and I are on a mission to share the stories of everyday dentists who generate extraordinary results using practical proven methods you can take right into your own dental practice if you’re ready to elevate patient care and produce results that are anything but ordinary, buckle up, and listen in.

So in our last episode, we did talk a lot about the why and being your own champion in that and how to connect better with patients. I love how you’re bringing in the team element of it. Now, we have a beautiful listener Take a journey with me close your eyes, and kind of picture a little stone pathway, if you will and each little stone is a different intersection that your patients interact with. So marketing is the very tip of that spear. That’s that first stone. As soon as a patient is aware that you exist, it’s gone time the clock is running and what that patient is looking for are little moments of trust that build and tell them who you are, why you exist, and how you can help them and it cannot be overlooked, like Sarah said, with regards to the team because they are an integral part. So I think it’s fantastic, Sarah, and I, you know, wouldn’t have thought that how my team represents outside my community is just as powerful as inside the practice. So what advice do you have for teams that are inside the practice as they’re working to help carry forth the messaging that marketing puts out into the market in the first place?

Sara Hansen
Yeah, well, the T really is an extension of the doctor. So you know, the philosophy of care, the doctors, why they really are an extension and, you know, really, the team, most of the time spends more time with the patient than the doctor does. You know, the hygienist spends an hour usually when the patient before the doctor even comes into the room, your admin or your front desk administrators, they sit there that first phone call. So they need to be representing as an extension of us. So for example, if your philosophy of care is to give every patient hope, then every phone call that comes to that practice, every patient better be feeling hope, on the other side of that phone call. Because again, that is the extension of what you are representing, that’s your brand. You know, that really is what you want every patient to fill and so I come from the dental practice. So that’s kind of what I say, That’s my home base. So I love working with the teams and just helping them understand how critical their role really is there is not just a person who answers the phone, that’s not their role at all, they are equally as important as the doctor just in a different role and they really are that make or break for those first new patient phone calls or first interactions and so if you have admin, people that show empathy, that they’re enthusiastic, when they answer the phone, you know, their understanding, and they show encouragement, you’re going to have your call conversion rates. Phenomenal because now the sudden that patient felt the trust in order for them to make the first phone call, right from the marketing, but then they continually fill that trust with the admin team and then you want that to carry through to the doctor.

How do you recommend a doctor infuse his or her philosophy of care? And their why? To the team so that the team can pass that baton over to the team and they can share that message?

Sara Hansen
Yeah, firstly needs to tell them. Tell them what they’re a champion of and why that’s important. You know, and then again, it needs to be throughout the entire practice, just not something that you talk about, you know, occasionally at the monthly meeting, it needs to be shown in action. So for example, the morning huddle is a great place to say, how are we going to change someone’s life today? You know, tell me about a person that called that’s important that you know, what are they looking for? How can we help build trust with them today? How can we, you know, really, it’s about just understanding what your patient’s needs are and aligning that and your team will be on board but they have to know the story? They have to know what you’re a champion for they have to know the goals and that messaging is, wow,

this has been an absolutely power-packed, quick, and sustained session on authentic marketing and how the team helps. You know, I noticed at the productivity workshop, that one of the big hallmarks to success is that I hear time and time again from doctors is bringing your team along with you to see and we don’t always think about that in the marketing capacity. So from your experience, Sarah, and being in the dental practice, as well. I mean, I really, genuinely don’t know about this for you really, even though we’ve worked together for a while. How, how have some of the successful practices that you’ve seen, in addition to the kind of talking to it, are there other elements that doctors do to kind of put in a spaced repetition so that we continually know because we can know and forget, you know, we can know and then and then before you know it, it’s just day to day in and out and can start to slide? So how are other ways that you’ve seen it really successful for it to

Sara Hansen
stick? Yeah, yeah, well, we know consistency. But I really think the first step is, that it’s all about the relationship. So if your team can be 100%, focused on Yes, we do dentistry, but it’s about the relationship with that patient and I think when we can take ourselves out of, you know, the dentistry, talk the dentistry, you know, every day that we get so used to, you know, I remember walking into the practice and I mean, people would talk about, I would never smell the dental smell, right, because you get so used to it, it becomes your every day, and yet patients are like Oh my heck and so if I get a dental office in here, I’m like, I put the same thing. Even with verbiage when you talk to them, we use dental terms, because that’s what we use every day. But we have to remember our patients don’t come from that. So really, it’s about focusing on the relationship, we’re providing a service, but first and foremost, what do they trust us? You know, do we know their story? Do we know about them? Why are they coming to us? What’s their need? And then from there, you can build on top of that, and then yes, it just has to be consistent. Those constant reminders, you know, how are we going to help today? You know, what’s our Word of the Day? What’s our goal today? Because once it becomes an integrated system, that just flows and the whole team is on board, then as you have shifts and team members, you train the next person to come into that well-oiled machine, empathy, relationships first, you know, that sort of thing and it and it just continues.

So how does the team know that they’re winning? How do they know how, how is it reflected to them? In so many ways,

Sara Hansen
patients are really vocal, good and bad, right? Um, but, uh, you know, those patients that every time they come in, they bring you, you know, a cake, or whatever that is. But also, it’s the referral of friends and family. I mean, that is my favorite marketing strategy is internal referrals. Because, one, they’re basically free. I mean, you may offer a gift card as a thank you to the patient that referred, but really, they’re referring their friends and family because they trust you, right, they know that this is the place to go, you would never send your friends and family to a place that you don’t trust. So I love those. But then what it does to that new referring patient is there’s ultimately a higher level of trust because they were referred from their friends and family and so that relationship can start even stronger and faster, because they automatically kind of trust you a little bit because hey, my best friend referred to me, and I know that she loves you. So I automatically will probably like you too, you know. So that is probably my favorite marketing strategy.

I think that’s a great marketing strategy. Yeah, well, I think organically, you know, PDA talks about marketing and layers, like it’s a layer cake, and there are things that you can do that are paid, and there are things that you can do that we call organic that you can get on your own and referrals, you know, is a piece of that puzzle. What other pieces fit up that layer? Sarah, when it comes to marketing?

Sara Hansen
Yeah, well, just like any great layer cake, you have to have your foundation. So the foundation really starts with those internal pieces and those internal pieces are great phone skills and call conversion, internal referrals, Google reviews, social media, you know, that sort of thing. That’s kind of your base layer. Then from there, we then start to layer in additional strategies. So digital advertising, maybe some mailers and we keep building up until ultimately you’re the authority with full television ads, radio, you know, all sorts of press releases. You don’t have a new doctor that comes in or a doctor that maybe wants to attract 20 patients and all automatically put them on television, you know, there really is a strategy that comes with that finding out what is the best way to incorporate and layer in so that we’re really filling in all the gaps of marketing. Because each campaign attracts a different demographic, they attract a different type of person, you mark it very differently based on the age of the person, you know, so it becomes really fun to be able to layer in different things to really get the full scope of filling in the gaps of marketing.

Is it hard? It sounds like it’s a lot. Is it hard? Or is it

Sara Hansen
easy? You know, what, it’s fun. I will say marketing is that I always say that. It’s not hard. It’s just again, once we know what the doctors want, what you know, what they’re wanting to get out of this, where they want to go with it? What’s their ultimate goal? How, you know, how do they want to see themselves in 10 years, that sort of thing, then it becomes now we’re filling in the gaps with how to get up there with different strategies and so it becomes really fun marketing is not one size fits all. There are no two campaigns, or none of our doctors look the same. Every client that I work with, is very customizable, because their goals are different. They champion different things, you know, everything is different about them? Well, yes, they have some of the same tactics, the messaging and everything else are completely different from one another and so it becomes really fun to find the things that really work for them to really customize to what they want to attract.

There’s a lot of good secret sauce that sits in there. When I mean, I think discovering your why obviously is the most powerful driving it informs everything else along the way. But there’s some geeky science stuff. Yeah, how to target where to target, why to target. Talk to me about some of the data that you use, when the team is putting together the strategy?

Sara Hansen
Yeah, well, what we want to know is, you know, one, who do you want to attract? And how do we best align with that? But it’s also important to know what are our competitors doing? You know you don’t want to be like every other person down the street. You don’t want to have a billboard next to three other billboards for dentists, you know. So really, we want to identify, where’s their competition? How do we then make ourselves a little bit different? How do we best tell the story and so there’s a lot of different tactics that we use to kind of align ourselves with discovering what is going to be the best strategy and it really becomes really robust within, you know, how we pull the information. But ultimately, we want it to be unique. We don’t want them to have the same thing as the guy down the street.

Thank you, Sara. I think that this gives all sorts of juicy little tidbits that you can take into your practice and carry forth hopefully getting more patients the right kind of patients for you. Thank you Sarah for being our guest and congratulations to Dr. Chad on pulling some wisdom teeth. We hope there’s more in your future. Doctor, do you feel like scheduling team drama and case acceptance are holding you back from the success you deserve? Hi, I’m Regan Robertson president and CMO with Productive Dentist Academy and host of Everyday Practices Podcast. The reality is these pebble in the shoe type issues can really ruin the way you feel about dentistry and leave you wishing that there was just a better way. At PDA we believe you deserve to love what you do and we’ve helped 1000s of dentists learn how to schedule productively comprehensively diagnose and treatment plans and calibrate teams for success. You deserve the same chance to make a few simple shifts that can equal hundreds of 1000s and growth for your practice. For the month of April, we are bundling our best value ever so you are guaranteed success. Register for the productivity workshop happening from September 22 to 24th in Frisco, Texas, and you will receive a two-hour comprehensive business advisory session so you can start increasing your revenue today and get 12-month access to PDA on demand after you attend so you can make sure your goals become reality. To reserve your seat, go to Now that’s This workshop is already 50% full. So register today to secure your seat one last time, visit Now, we’ll see you there. Thank you for listening to another episode of Everyday Practices Podcast. Chad and I are here every week thanks to our community of listeners just like you and we’d love your help. It would mean the world if you can help spread the word by sharing this episode with a fellow dentist and leave us a review on iTunes or Spotify. Do you have an extraordinary already you’d like to share or feedback on how we can make this podcast even more awesome. Drop us an email at and don’t forget to check out our other podcasts from Productive Dentist Academy at See you next week.

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