Horse Reisman

Speak for Yourself to Grow your Dental Practice: How this horse might help you sell more dentistry

May 8, 2014
This horse and its owner's speech made this author think of dentists selling their services

I succumbed to a horse-drawn carriage tour of Charleston, South Carolina's charming downtown district recently. What did our tour guide talk about for the first five minutes of our 60-minute adventure?

Mr. Edwin, our horse, of course. We learned that Edwin loves his job. In fact, Edwin chomps at the bit to schlep 11 people on a carriage ride on cobblestone streets for three to six hours each day. We heard that Edwin gets three weeks off to hang out on a horse farm every six weeks. (Not bad) And finally, we heard about how much food Edwin digests. FYI, he eats a lot every morning and evening and drinks barrels of water after each tour. We actually watched Edwin slurp.

Why did our tour guide spend his pivotal gain-a-great-first-impression-five-minutes on Edwin? He HAD TO. He had to overcome our conscious or subconscious negativity about cruelty to animals.

If Edwin could talk, he might say, "I don't like carrying around all this weight. There are too many people in my carriage! Let's talk about my carriage. It's old and heavy too. And I hate my outfit. Why do I need to wear a jeweled harness, for horse's sake?"

But, our tour guide wanted us to believe that Edwin is happy. After his opening talk, we were capable of hearing everything else he had to say, and of giving our guide a much-deserved tip.

What are the take-aways from my experience for YOU?
1. Ask yourself, "What are the obstacles for my patients during a case presentation or a suggestion from me during a regular prophy? Where might my patients become distracted from my messages due to some judgment or assumption around cost/pain/time?"
2. By overcoming these obstacles early in your conversation, you will continue to sell your goodwill and your dentistry.

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Karen Cortell Reisman, author of two books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with organizations, dentists, and dental associations on how to make more money. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. More short articles at

© Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S.