January 8, 2023
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Known as “gaul”, “audacity”, or “cojones’, its something people like George Santos and Sam Bankman-Fried have in excess and most dentists too little.  Having the courage to speak one’s mind can be used for good or evil.  Lack of it, is what impairs many dentists from doing the good their patients deserve.

Case acceptance rates in dental practices nationally, are at 35%.  That means that 65% of patients are not receiving the care they need to relieve and/or avoid oral health and related systemic problems.   35% might be exceptional for a baseball player’s batting average or for the close rate of a vacuum cleaner salesperson; no one’s going to be physically hurt by the failures to convert to a ‘YES”.  35% is pathetic for a healthcare practitioner.  65% will get hurt.

Having the chutzpah to promote falsehoods is all too common today.  And, it has eroded the trust people have in everything, including healthcare professionals.  That erosion of trust has increased the challenge of ‘case presentation’.  Coupled with financial concerns, it foretells case acceptance rates falling to even more abysmal and health-threatening levels.

In other words, if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’re likely to get even worse results.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect anyone to present treatment that is inappropriate.  It’s not that difficult to diagnose comprehensively.   It just takes time and expertise (that most experienced dentists have, and AI will soon facilitate).  It’s not even that hard to present findings to people.

It’s a totally different skillset to connect with a fellow human being.  It requires asking the right questions and listening.  No chutzpah is involved…just time and empathy.

Once such a connection is made, and only then, can a treatment plan that incorporates the patient’s wants (desired outcome) be combined with their needs be crafted and successfully presented.

But it does take a little chutzpah to look a patient in their eyes and tell them about the potential negative consequences of inaction or inappropriate action.

It’s one of the reasons dentists ‘watch’ issues like caries, root exposures, shifting teeth, and gum inflammation without recommending treatment and/or preventative strategies.  It’s one of the reasons many offices screen for sleep and breathing issues and yet never follow-up.

Case presentation, of treatment that is aligned with a patient’s wants, requires confidence and a mindset that the plan will achieve your and the patient’s goals.  And, it will help them avoid some of the significant negative consequences that are known to occur when treatment isn’t initiated and maintained.

Call it what you want but a little chutzpah is a good thing.  Confidence comes across.  Ambiguity promotes distrust and results in a “NO”.

Nowhere is this more important than in Dental Sleep Medicine, where a failure to resolve Sleep Apnea can have life-threatening and life-shortening consequences.  Anything less than a 100% acceptance rate should be considered a failure.

What if someone who left your office after refusing treatment fell asleep at the wheel and killed themselves or someone else?  How would that make you feel?

Do you and your team have the right amount of chutzpah to communicate that urgency?  Some would call it a professional mandate.

Marketing is the ability to influence others and get them to act.  As such, everything involved with getting people into the office, getting them to say “YES” and following through with care and maintenance is MARKETING.

That’s why our first 4 monthly Coffee With The Coach webinars will be on Marketing.  Getting more people into the office is a minor part of what we’ll cover.  Influencing them the follow through with treatment, getting more referrals from unpaid strategies, and encouraging health maintenance will be topics we cover.

The ‘live’ webinars are free for everyone.  The recorded version and OTHER BENEFITS are available to subscribers.

Start the New Year off by giving your team the tools and support they need to help you influence people to do what is in their best interest.  Let’s prevent those potential crashes and shortened lives.

Towards helping more people,


P.S.  By improving your case acceptance rates, you will need fewer new patients and be able to reduce costly marketing, something we will also cover in the upcoming webinars.

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Dr. Michael Goldberg is one of the leading educators on dental practice management in the United States.

Michael ran and sold a prestigious group practice in Manhattan and has been on Faculty at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center for 30 years including Director of the GPR program and Director of the course on Practice Management.

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