At some point, every kid asks themselves, “If I could have any super power, what would it be?” For some of us, it was flying. Being invisible. Laser eyes. Shooting ice out of our fingertips!

But did you ever think about how cool it would be to have the powers of mind control?

Believe it or not, this super power is far more than science fiction.


Dr. Robert Cialdini (and over 60 years of thorough research) have proven that there is some seriously powerful science behind “mind control”—a.k.a. the art of persuasion. He has broken this science down into 6 Principles of Influence, and each one–when used properly–can increase your chances of getting a person to say “Yes” to a request. So, if you can learn to MASTER these 6 principles, you will significantly increase your chances of getting your patients to say “YES!” to treatment!

The principles include:

  1. reciprocity
  2. scarcity
  3. authority
  4. commitment
  5. liking
  6. social proof


Let’s talk about the ethics of using these principles. We can all agree that manipulating someone to do something that’s not beneficial to them in order to help yourself is greedy and wrong. Throughout history, we’ve seen countless examples of charismatic leaders using their persuasive powers for evil…

But what if you could influence someone (your patient) to make a decision that is GOOD for them? What if you could save them a lot of future pain and expenses by persuading them to say “Yes!” to treatment? Let’s be honest–a lot of times, patients don’t understand the importance of treatment. You just want to shake them and say, “I’m just trying to help you here!

You need to understand that using these principles to persuade your patient to accept necessary treatment is a HUGE win-win– for your patient AND the practice. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using all of your capabilities to get done what NEEDS to get done.

So, let’s get started! Today, we will discuss the principle of Reciprocity.


The law of reciprocity states that people are more likely to say “Yes!” to somebody they owe. It’s the obligation to GIVE when you RECEIVE.

Chances are, you’ve encountered this principle before… You may have even used it yourself without realizing it! Have you ever taken someone out to dinner or lunch before asking for a favor? Tried to “butter them up”? How about helped someone out of a tight spot in hopes that they’d help you out when you were down on your luck? Yeah, we thought so… It all comes down to the HUGE role that obligation plays in our social interactions.

So, how can you use reciprocity to get your patients to say “yes!” to treatment? Well, it’s pretty simple. Here are a few ideas:

-Make sure your team members are greeting patients with a smile when they walk in

-Hand patients a cold beverage or tasty treat while they wait in the reception area

-Give new patient gift bags filled with goodies

These might seem like small–almost insignificant– gestures, but they actually go a long way towards getting your patient to say “yes!” Think about it… You’re presenting a treatment plan to a patient who is physically clutching the gift bag you gave them… It definitely helps your chances!

The law of reciprocity operates on basic psychological functions, but don’t confuse it with BUYING someone. In fact, big, expensive, gifts can make the recipient feel awkward… These gifts often feel over-the-top or forced! Instead, opt for small, thoughtful gifts or exciting Patient Appreciation Events.


Want to learn more about getting your patients to say “Yes” to treatment? Hear Dr. Cialdini LIVE at the Scheduling Institute’s Best Case Presentation Event Ever! For more information and to register, go to


Have an energetic, productive Thursday!

-Your Scheduling Institute Marketing Team