Posted on Dec 26, 2011
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Posted on Dec 26, 2011
By Peter Almonte, JD, The Almonte Fallago Group
The manner in which a dental practice transition is handled can cause the buyer financial hardship, or create an environment for the buyer’s success. Here are our tips from your Dental Practice Brokers to ensure a smooth transition of the seller’s patients to the buyer.
1. Introduction to the staff, preferably 3 weeks before the closing.
2. A letter to patients announcing the dental practice transition and enthusiastically recommending the buyer, preferably before the closing.
3. Announcements in the local newspaper for three successive weeks after closing. An article about the dental transition in a local newspaper is also helpful.
4. Allow the buyer to shadow the selling dentist in the practice for a week before the closing to observe the seller and the dental practice for sale in operation.
5. A letter to specialty and referring dentists announcing the transition and encouraging them to work with the buyer.
6. Send a letter to active patients after closing advising them of any added procedures, increased office hours, etc. and a letter to inactive patients welcoming them back to the practice; the buyer will be pleased when some of the inactive patients return to the practice.
8. Review patient charts with the buyer for 30 days after closing. The seller can offer input on patients’ treatment, phobias, family news; this will help the buyer become acquainted with his new patients.
9. Telephone patients who will be coming in the first couple of weeks after the closing, especially if seller’s letter is mailed on the date of or after the closing.
10. Obtain permission to use the seller’s name on buyer’s stationary for 12 to 24 months after closing.
11. Have the receptionist answer the telephone using both the seller and buyer’s name for a period of time after closing.
12. The buyer should meet with staff separate and apart from seller and reinforce that their jobs are secure. Consider meeting them socially as well. The current staff can be the buyer’s biggest supporters and boosters with patients.
13. Request that the seller be available for consultation after closing for a limited period of time with respect to any staff, patient, or management issues at no additional cost. If the seller’s spouse works in the practice, determine what role the spouse will play in the dental transition. Also, determine if the seller will remain as an associate and treat patients after the closing.
As your dental practice broker we recommend implementing some of the above activities before the closing, provided the Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed, the buyer’s deposit is nonrefundable, and buyer’s financing is approved and in place. If the seller and buyer coordinate a dental practice transition plan, the buyer should expect to retain 95% of seller’s patients.