March 10, 2024
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Article II, Section 3, clause 1 in the United States Constitution states that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”  This is the basis for the now yearly custom for the Commander-in-Chief to deliver information related to the State of The Union to Congress and WE THE PEOPLE.

In the opening minutes of last week’s State of the Union address, POTUS felt the issue of a foreign conflict was the foremost, issue of import. Congress and the people whom he and they represent, probably felt otherwise.  A Pew poll performed in January 2024 showed that fully 73% of Americans want policies that strengthen the economy.  “It’s the economy, stupid” the maxim made famous by Bill Clinton’s’ strategist James Carville in 1992, still holds true.

Does anyone think that the unfortunate war in Ukraine is the most pressing matter on the minds of Americans, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent or Republican?

The reason most Americans (56-60% in various polls) are displeased with their choice in the forthcoming election is not just the age of the candidates.  Face it, they’re both old.  Even RFK Jr., at 70, is no spring chicken.  They might have different outward signs of age, but the inevitability of age-related deterioration is undeniable.  Ask me how I know!

It’s the apparent tone-deafness that frustrates.  Does President Biden really think the American people care more about a battlein Europe than what they see with their own eyes at the grocery store, on their streets, or in their schools?  Does former President Trump think that a tone reminiscent of a playground bully resonates with most Americans?

It’s not just the WHAT, it’s the HOW and most importantly, the WHY.

It’s not that the many wars in the World (there are 69 armed conflicts around the world according to the Geneva Academy), are not important.  They are and they do or can have an impact here at home.  But when speaking to someone, until they know that you care about their needs, they will be immune to other matters.

Presidents, current or former, have little difficulty getting attention.  It’s what happens once people are listening that matters.  And in that regard, both major candidates get failing grades.  Do they not realize that WE THE PEOPLE are their customers?

Individuals and business owners will have their say on the Union this coming election day.  There’s no need to wait to change the state of YOUR union, the confluence of your work and your life.  You can improve things now!

What do YOUR customers or patients want?  Once you get their attention, which in and of itself is a challenge, are you listening, or are you presenting what YOU want them to hear rather than what THEY want hear?

The same market-message disconnect plays out in dental practices around the country.  We know this because Jarvis Analytics recently published “The State of The Business” for the dental industry in 2023, which includes several sobering statistics.  Relevant to this conversation is that CASE ACCEPTANCE RATES average 45%.

45%?  That means that more than half the people who come to dental practices leave without receiving the treatments they need.  It means that dentists too are tone deaf to what theiraudience wants.  Or, once they’ve gained their attentions, havebeen unable to INFLUENCE and PERSUADE people effectively.


In his seminal work “Influence; The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr. Robert Cialdini describes the PRINCIPLES that govern how people decide what to listen and act upon.  Dr. Daniel Kahneman another psychologist won the Nobel Prize in economics for similarly explaining how decisions are made.  His book, “Thinking Fast and Slow” is a must read for anyone seeking to improve their communications.  After reading theirwork and deploying the principles, I was able to dramatically increase patient case acceptance.  While the Jarvis report maintains that the “benchmark” or reference for treatment acceptance is >65%, we were able to routinely achieve greater than 80% acceptance.

The principles of persuasion were used throughout that patient encounter process, from marketing to phone call to office tour, to seating the patient.  Opportunities to deploy a principle was always on the entire team’s radar.  Our team was trained to be INFLUENCE SLEUTHS.

Once a patient is in the chair, multiple opportunities to prepare the patient to say YES, have been missed.  And you can’t go back.  Once these opportunities are gone, the ability to persuade and influence become nearly impossible.  That’s why the national average for treatment acceptance is so paltry.

Do you want to increase your treatment acceptance?  Do you want to learn how directly from the Professor of Persuasion himself?

You too can learn directly from Dr. Cialdini.  As a founding member of The Cialdini Institute, I can offer a significant discount on his Ethical Influence Practitioner Course, the same one I took.

Don’t make the mistakes we’ve seen and will be subjected to over the presidential campaign.  Be smarter, be more effective, be more successful.  Get access to this amazing program so you can watch your treatment acceptance rate soar and enable more people to get the care they need.

It’s not uncommon for consultants to recommend that fees be discussed by someone other than the dentist.  At Practice Perfect Systems, we take a more customized approach by analyzing the many factors that make a successful practitioner of ethical influence.  It might be the doctor, a treatment coordinator, hygienist, or dental assistant.  We have learned that the skills required to get a >70% treatment acceptance rate can be learned.

For the average, single doctor practice, a mere 10% increase in case acceptance can add $80,000 of additional revenue a year, most of that profit.  For those struggling with insurance dependency, the Ethical Influence skill can mean the difference between profitability or loss, as many patients can benefit from non-covered therapies such as whitening, implants or TMJ therapy.

Every month, as part of The Liberated Practice program, lessons enabling doctors and their teams are presented that help solve the problems most practices have.  These webinars are open to all but recordings are only available to members of The Liberated Practice.  The upcoming webinar will be on how to use The Principles of Influence in all patient communications.  REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR NOW.

Don’t be tone deaf.  Listen to what your patients are really telling you. By becoming an INFLUENCE SLEUTH, you will start hearing fewer “NO”, “I’ll think about it” or “will my insurance cover it?” responses to your treatment presentations.

To more effective communication,


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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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