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Relationship Selling in Dentistry

Dr. Sonny Chokka, a noteworthy PDS®-supported Owner Dentist, is here to share his expertise; not only does he cover relatable dental-office situational scenarios, but will also supercharge your interpersonal communication abilities. As a lecturer, speaker, advisory board member, and consultant at PDS®, Dr. Chokka has identified two skills that he believes are critical to interacting with patients and developing lasting relationships: emotional intelligence and empathy

Relationship Selling

Click to read the full article on dentalaegis


Emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to the awareness, control, and management of our emotions.

Dr. Chokka identifies EQ as “our intuition of appropriate behavior and response to any situation. Individuals that have a high EQ are able to process information and act in a manner that is becoming and effective…it is our ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others” (dentalaegis).

Empathy, on the other hand, is sensing other’s emotions, and moreover, understanding their perspective.

With more than hundreds of patient interactions under his belt, Dr. Chokka is able to identify that:

  • Empathy is sensing other’s emotions, and moreover, understanding their perspective.
  • Empathy is the driver of connection.
  • Empathy is feeling the pain and joy of another in your heart.
I see you = Head = Emotional IQ
I feel with you = Heart = Empathy
I can help you = Hands = Emotional IQ & Empathy


Dr. Chokka highlights The Law of Psychological Reciprocity – where “people are instinctively compelled to return the same attitudes and behaviors that we exhibit toward them”. The reason this is so crucial for any practicing clinician to understand is because “people skills and the ability to forge connections and emotional ties with patients will trump the dentist who boasts of his clinical skills but is behaviorally incompetent…When we listen to others, they listen to us. If we create value, they want to return value to us. When we understand people, they trust us. If we see people as they are, they see us in them. When patients sense they are in the presence of a caring dentist they are more themselves, connected and open to recommendations and treatment plans” (dentalaegis).


1. dentalaegis. Chokka, Sonny. “Relationship Selling in Dentistry“., Mar 2015. Web.

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About Katie Leonard

Katie Leonard is the Talent Acquisition Marketing Coordinator at Pacific Dental Services. She graduated from Chapman University, where she studied psychology and business administration. She's a big fan of marketing, soccer, anything considered "dessert," and a clean desk.