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Episode #433: How to Not Spend Money on Marketing and Still Get Great Results, with Minal Sampat, RDH

the best practices show podcast Jun 15, 2022


You don't need to spend a crazy amount of money to market effectively. Whether you're a new practice with little money to spend, or an established practice looking to change your marketing strategy, today’s episode is for you! Kirk Behrendt brings in Minal Sampat, author of Why Your Marketing is Killing Your Business, to share some of her marketing secrets that you can start implementing today. To master effective marketing for different budgets, listen to Episode 433 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

  • Understand your target audience and how to speak to them.
  • Know which marketing strategies will work for your practice.
  • Your current patients are the top two for new patient referrals.
  • Find ways to internally market to your current, loyal patients.
  • Avoid overspending on websites and things you don't need.
  • Don't be afraid to try new things.


  • “The reality is, all marketing works, and all marketing does not work. There are practices and companies out there who will say, ‘Do print mailers! Print mailers are amazing! We get hundreds of patients from it.’ And then, we have practices that are like, ‘Absolutely not — never do print mailers! They're horrible for us! They never work for us!’ It’s true with everything. So, what is right for you? What is not right for you? How do you get around it? And what I realized was that my real success came from not adding more marketing but leveraging the marketing businesses were doing, specifically, practices were doing.” (7:54—8:26)
  • “The number-one thing in marketing is, know your audience. But in our field, in dentistry, we never talk about knowing your audience. When I ask a GP practice who your audience is, they're like, ‘Well, age two to 85, whoever comes in.’ But that's five different generations. They all react to things differently. They buy differently.” (11:05—11:22)
  • “Video is powerful because they get to see you. They get to connect with you. They get to see your smile. They get to see who you are as an individual. You could do the makeup. You could add the filters. You could do all of that. But the video is something where your personality is going to come through.” (11:49—12:06)
  • “According to Forbes, the average user spends 88% more time on a website with a video than without. Why? Because we’re nosy people. Think about it. All the listeners who are listening, if you go to a website and there's a video, you press the play button. You just do, every time, because we are nosy people. That's why social media is so successful. But when your website does not have a video, you just keep scrolling.” (13:32—13:58)
  • “I would help practices who call me and say, ‘Minal, we need to get on social media! Can you help us?’ Now, I am a social media coach. So, clearly, from a business perspective, I should say, ‘Of course! 100%, get on social media!’ But I never say that. I always come down and say, ‘Why do you want social media? Why do you think you need it? Do you need it because your competition has it? Do you need it because your granddaughter is telling you you need to be on TikTok? What is the reason behind it?’ And they're like, ‘I don't know. We just keep hearing it.’” (14:07—14:33)
  • “Where are your patients coming from? Who are your patients? And let's say that we run a whole analysis, and they're like, ‘Well, the majority of our patients are in the senior population. We have X, Y, and Z, 65 and above patients. That's our bread and butter. That's who we see.’ So, I'm like, ‘Okay. Well, if that's the case, then we have to break this down and say, where do I spend money? Do I go to TikTok? Do I go to Facebook? Do I go to Instagram?’ And then, you start figuring things out and say, ‘Okay. Well, we want to go to Facebook.’ But this is the same population that really works on connection and communication, and they want to see you. So, while you might want to spend $500 on a chat box on your website, perhaps you need a patient receptionist instead who’s going to answer all those phone calls and make sure that it’s easy for them to call you.” (14:36—15:17)
  • “Marketing, people spend so much money on it because we want solutions. But we have no idea who we are targeting.” (15:18—15:24)
  • “If you have a clear plan, then you know you're not going to spend too much money on items that you simply don't need. So, most of the times, we do marketing because we just need to do it. We are told we need to do it. But if you think about some of the ways that your patients are coming to you, everybody who’s listening right now, I can pretty much guarantee that your current patients are in the top two for new patient referrals.” (16:40—17:00)
  • “Your current patients, anybody who you're seeing right now, are probably in your top two new patient referrals. They are the ones who keep sending you new patients. They are easily number one or number two. It’s between Google and current patients. Or if you're really big on social media, that's a different story. But that's how it kind of works. So, why is it that we completely ignore our current patients when it comes to our marketing, and we are so focused on all of these new things which are out there in the world?” (17:05—17:32)
  • “One of the things that I really like to focus on — and this is the kind of stuff you could do for free — is in your internal marketing. What are you doing to show appreciation to your current patients? Because they are the ones sending you new patients, writing you reviews so you actually show up on Google, and then people read those reviews to come to the practice.” (17:53—18:10)
  • “Here’s something that you could do easily for free. Now, this is a very specific social media campaign, so everybody who’s listening to me, just work with me through this. You send out an email or a text to your entire patient base, and you say something like, ‘Hey, we are doing patient appreciation. And what we would love to do for patient appreciation is we want to highlight your business on our social media platforms and inside of our practice. We know that the last two years have been very tough. If you are our patient, send us a photo of you smiling next to your business or holding your business card, and we will give you a shoutout directly on the social media pages and inside of our practice.’” (18:23—19:01)
  • “Go a step above [social media patient appreciation]. And what you do is, you have in your office somewhere, by your welcome desk or your waiting room area, there's probably an empty wall or something, create a big sign that says, ‘We are doing patient appreciation highlighting local businesses!’ And now, you literally have all these photos, so everybody coming in is like, ‘How do I get my business up there?’ ‘Send us a photo of you smiling next to your business.’ And there you go. Patient appreciation. They are directly now connecting with you. You’re doing it for practically nothing, and you're putting this entire strategy where it’s directly helping them, and helping you get in front of all of their family and friends.” (19:56—20:32)
  • “It’s all about understanding what your consumers want and what they would need. So, for example, during COVID-19 shutdown, I had one of my clients who called me. They are a multi-location practice, and a lot of their patients are in the senior population. And we all know that they're at high-risk. So, they're like, ‘Minal, we want to do something for our patients. What do we do?’ So, I said, ‘You know what? Let's come up with something. What is it they truly need right now?’ So, they sent out an email and said, ‘Hey, we know that you may not feel comfortable going grocery shopping right now. If you place your order, we will actually pick it up and drop it off at your house.’ So, now, their marketing manager is driving around, they go to whatever their grocery store is, pick up everybody’s orders, and they are driving around, dropping it off. And they were so shocked that people were coming out with flowers for us and thanking us. Now, do you think that patient is ever going to leave you?” (21:13—22:04)
  • “Nothing wrong with a spa basket. We all love spas. We all love massages. I get it. But let's think beyond that. If you're a Gen Xer and you're busy with your family, we know that you probably don't want to go home and cook after a long day at work, and going to soccer practice, and bringing the kids home, and making sure that everybody’s cleaned up, and you're trying to clean up. So, instead of that, why don't you do a week of HelloFresh meals? So, now, they don't have to worry about it. I have had practices do maid services. They would literally do that, and the parents would be like, ‘You mean somebody’s going to come and clean all that laundry and finally clean the garage up?’ ‘Of course they are!’ So, you have to understand the needs and wants for your consumers. But once you do that, marketing becomes easy.” (22:40—23:24)
  • “[One thing dentists get wrong about marketing] is overspending on websites.” (24:18—24:20)
  • “Your website should be as good or better than the competition.” (24:36—24:40)
  • “With marketing, the number-one mistake we make, in general, is that we think it’s all about us. Nothing is about us. It’s all about the consumers and how they react to something. And if we can focus on that, we will always be successful in our marketing.” (25:54—26:09)
  • “Before I even go to the website, I would have you make a Google My Business page because it’s free. I would literally have you create a Google My Business page, make sure you ask everybody that you're seeing, all the patients, all of them to write you amazing, amazing reviews, write a saga around it. Make sure the reviews are like love letters to how amazing the practice is, and all that stuff, because it’s free. You could have a website. But if it doesn't show up in the search engines, what's the point?” (26:30—26:57)
  • “Do I recommend [Google My Business]? No. I recommend for you to have a proper website. I highly recommend that. But if you have no money, you are just getting started, people are going to go to your website once they find you and look at your reviews.” (27:16—27:30)
  • “For a new practice that has no money, [Google Post] is a great place for you to show off your team, to show off your culture. Perhaps you have a new patient special running. Perhaps you have a whitening special running. This is where you will start showing it. But the number-one thing I will tell you is to focus on that. The number-two thing I would tell you is to make sure that you have one of the biggest, very cliché, big banner right outside your practice that says, ‘Accepting New Patients!’” (28:30—29:00)
  • “Drive-by continues to be in the top five referrals for new patients. We all know that we keep driving that road, and we all have seen businesses because we keep driving by those roads. I just drove by a chiropractor who has the biggest, ugliest banner I've ever seen that said, ‘Accepting New Patients!’ Now, I know the chiropractor is there accepting new patients.” (29:11—29:30)
  • “A lot of times, when I talk to practices, they're like, ‘But no, [the “Accepting New Patients” sign is] so ugly!’ And I'm like, ‘I know. I know it’s ugly. And I know it doesn't go with everything that you're doing. But you need patients. Once you have the money, you can start throwing it at Google Ads. Once you have the money, you could start throwing it at a website. But first, you have to have a little bit of something.” (30:36—30:55)
  • “Here’s another trick. And again, I'm not going to tell you to do this. But this is for that dentist who has no money. If [you get Google Ads credit and] you call Google and say, ‘I want the $500 credit,’ somebody at Google will set up your ads for you on Google.” (31:25—31:39)
  • “A lot of it is ground marketing, but people need to see you. They have to see who you are. They have to connect with you. And I know we all hate that. We hate going randomly and surprise a business. And we know we are going to get that cold shoulder. But unfortunately, when we have no money and we are trying to open up a business, we have to hustle. This is a part of it. I mean, we have all done it. This is the same thing. So, I would say spend a lot of time in your community going around, introducing yourself.” (33:16—33:43)
  • “If you're a small practice, you're just opening up, pick up that phone after the day and call that patient, ‘Hey, how are you doing? Just wanted to check in. Is everything okay about the treatment?’ That's how you build loyalty. That's how you build trust. Because nobody else is doing that, that's what's going to help you connect with your patients.” (35:06—35:24)
  • “If you want to connect with your audience with marketing, things are only as big of a deal as you make them. So, if you want to go ahead and give out a spa basket, don't just do a spa basket — make a big deal around it. Make sure that everybody knows about it. So, you have to start thinking about different ways when it comes to internal marketing on how do you strategize so that you are getting some ROI from it, so that you are seeing feedback from it.” (41:06—41:32)
  • “Don't focus so much on yourself, focus on what the consumer needs and wants from you. And that's it. And then, marketing becomes easy.” (44:16—44:24)


  • 0:00 Introduction.
  • 2:42 Minal’s background.
  • 7:26 A marketing company versus marketing strategy.
  • 10:31 Why video is important for marketing.
  • 12:50 Learn about your target audience.
  • 15:25 Understand which marketing strategies will work for your practice.
  • 17:01 Your current patients are in the top for new patient referrals.
  • 18:11 What you can do today for internal marketing.
  • 21:12 Understand your consumer’s wants and needs.
  • 23:55 What dentists get wrong when spending on marketing.
  • 26:13 Top priorities in marketing.
  • 27:43 What is Google Post?
  • 29:00 Use an “Accepting New Patients!” banner.
  • 32:33 Other tips for when you're on a budget.
  • 36:05 Tips for when you want to start spending a little money.
  • 39:18 Be strategic with internal marketing.
  • 41:39 Build your avatar to figure out your ideal patient.
  • 43:38 Last thoughts.
  • 45:51 More about Minal’s book and how to get in touch.

Reach Out to Minal:

Minal’s website: https://minalsampat.com/

Minal’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RealTalkWithMinalSampat

Minal’s social media: @minalsampatllc


Why Your Marketing is Killing Your Business by Minal Sampat: https://minalsampat.com/whyyourmarketingiskillingyourbusiness/

Minal Sampat, RDH Bio:

Minal Sampat, RDH, BA, has spent over a decade helping practices reach their goals through effective, strategic, easy-to-implement marketing strategies. Whether it’s getting more patients in the door, strengthening your team, or growing your business, a meaningful marketing strategy can help you achieve your business goals. Learn the why, how, and when of successful marketing and gain the knowledge and tools necessary to break through the “white noise.”

Today, she is a speaker, an experienced marketing strategist & coach, bestselling author of Why Your Marketing Is Killing Your Business: And What To Do About It, and proud member of the National Speaker Association, the Speaking Consulting Network, AADOM Speaker and Consultant Alliance, Dental Speakers Bureau, Dental Speaker Institute, Educational Director for Academy of Dental Management Consultants, Board Member for Dental Entrepreneur Woman, and Marketing Faculty for Dental Speakers Bureau.


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