Austin Powers
Photo Credit and Apologies to Austin Powers!

Snackable Persuasion: Authority, or

Why I Let My Dentist Put His Hands In My Mouth

I actually like my dentist. He’s a nice, experienced man who is intensely fascinated with dentistry. He also just saved me a tremendous amount of pain and money.

After a routine cleaning, he gave me some priceless advice.

It went something like this:

Him: “Hon, I hate to tell you this. Everybody hates dentists for telling them things. But I have to tell you that you’re molar back there is going to break on you suddenly one day.”

Me:… ?!? … Mmmphh?” (his hand was still in my mouth)

Him: “Well, this one above it works like a little hammer every time you chew. It’s too long. And at the back of your mouth there honey there’s a lot more force than you think. It’s simple mechanics. Dentists don’t get taught about simple mechanics anymore! *cue speech on modern surgical approaches vs. practical mechanics*”

Me: (eyes widening in horror) “gurrrgle… yes, that feels a lot better without your hand in my mouth, thanks. That’s very interesting! Is there any way to PREVENT my tooth from suddenly breaking one day?”

Him: “Oh sure! It would only take a few seconds with you here and now in the chair. I won’t even charge you anything. Sue, give her a hit of that laughing gas, will you?”

Me: (brightening at the thought of laughing gas, but still unconvinced) “How much will it hurt?”

Him: “Not at all. I’ve done this thousands of times and have never hurt anybody. I promise I won’t hurt you. Will you trust me?”

Me: “Ah… okay.”

In less than a couple minutes, my prior anxiety soothed by laughing gas, I was out the door with a healthier bite and a lot of gratitude. It didn’t hurt and I can tell a difference when I chew. Now I’ll gladly refer him to my friends.

Why did I trust him?

  • Experience: He’s been a licensed, practicing dentist for over 40 years.
  • Confidence: He’s successfully prevented tooth breakage over an observable period of time, having been in practice in the same community for over 40 years.
  • Assurance: He clearly communicated the process, what would happen, why it needed to happen, and how long it would take.

If you want people to pay attention to your brand online, clearly communicate authority via your site (and application’s) written and visual cues. Give your potential clients reasons to feel safe about trusting you.

Do you have any stories about following the lead and advice from a trusted authority? When’s the last time you had you teeth cleaned…? 😉 Please tell me in the comments below.