Effective Negotiations: How Selling Your Dental Practice Can Be a Win-Win
Are you contemplating the final stage of your dental career—selling your dental practice? Looking forward to enjoying the fruits of many years of labor in the dental industry? Now that you have made your decision, what is the best way to accomplish your goals with the least amount of stress and frustration?
Step #1: Plan for Selling Your Dental Practice
Just like a successful case presentation, the more planning that goes into selling your dental practice, the better the chances of a successful outcome. Ideally, retiring dentists will begin planning 3-5 years prior.
Step #2: Get Organized
When you are ready to put your dental practice on the market, you need to have all your financial and practice data organized and ready to disseminate to dental practice transition consultants who will help you establish the value of your practice.
Step #3: Decide on Your Ideal Outcome of the Dental Practice Sale
Once an interested party emerges with an offer, the real work begins: negotiating the sale of your dental practice. In all sales, there are two basic categories to be considered: price and terms. Which is most important to you?
In the bestseller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey recommends starting with the end in mind. Visualize the success of the transaction before you begin. Have your ideal outcome in mind, and do not be afraid to present it from the start. Keep in mind that occasionally the negotiating and selling process can become challenging and stressful.
Step #4: Negotiate for a Win-Win Deal
The best negotiators think in terms of cooperation and collaboration instead of competition. Competitors like win-lose outcomes—I win, you lose. The collaborative mindset happens when both parties work together for the common good. The key question becomes, “How can we structure this dental practice sales transaction in a fair, amicable way so that both me and the buyer are treated equitably at the closing table?”
The answer is fair compensation for fair market value. This is the best way to work toward the common goal of selling your dental practice with a win-win result.
Most dentists have worked at their practices for their entire career, so it is understandable that many may not be willing to sell to the first buyer that comes along. Practice philosophies may differ slightly, but ultimately, most want someone who will treat their patients as well as they have for so many years.
In the end, research has shown that while price is often an important factor in sales negotiations, money does not always correlate as much to lasting happiness as friendships, social ties, and peace of mind. Selling your dental practice involves people and personalities as much as price and terms. Balance among all these key factors is a worthy goal to achieve.
Henry Schein Professional Practice Transitions, Inc. is a national leader in dental practice transitions. A subsidiary of Henry Schein, Inc. they provide expert guidance for dental practice management and fees, selling and buying dental practices, assessing partnership and associateship opportunities, and performing dental practice appraisals and valuations.