The key to a successful dental practice transition is retaining the existing patient base. While there are some inflated statistics out there that say practices lose 20% or more patients when a new owner comes in, we have found that this is not the case. In fact, the average patient loss for our buyers is closer to 2%, and their production rates increase dramatically.
Develop a Strategy to Retain Patients
During our years in the dental transitions field, we have found that there are a number of actions that should be taken to minimize patient attrition following the sale of a practice. The first thing the selling doctor should do is introduce the buyer to the staff; in fact, we recommend that this introduction is made within one day. By getting the staff onboard and alleviating any fears they may have, their feelings towards the new doctor will be passed along to the patients.
We also recommend coaching the receptionist. As the face of the dental practice, the receptionist has nurtured long-term relationships with the patient base. A positive attitude towards the new owner is critical in instilling confidence in the patients.
The selling doctor should also send out an introduction letter to his or her patients thanking them for their years of loyalty and explaining that the practice has been purchased by a new owner. Above all, the letter should be very positive and sincere towards the new owner to reduce any apprehension patients may have regarding the change.
There is a popular belief that the selling doctor should stay on with the practice to minimize patient loss; however, this is not always the case. Over time, conflicts between the selling dentist and the buyer may arise as the seller becomes stressed about the loss of his or her practice and the buyer of the practice tries to implement his or her own ideas. In fact, if the selling dentist is going to continue to work within the dental practice, we recommend coaching to resolve any potential tension and smooth the transition.
Contact Our Transition Team to Learn More
A great deal of patients will remain following a dental practice sale; after all, they already know the location and the staff. However, this isn’t something that should be taken for granted. At Southeast Transitions, we have developed a dental transition checklist that has proven effective at retaining patients. Our dental practice brokers work closely with buyers and sellers to ensure that the practice remains profitable following the dental transition.
Did you like this article? Check out our other dental industry blog posts such as when to tell your staff about a dental practice transition and guide to making an offer to buy a dental practice!
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call us at 678-482-7305 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are considering buying or selling a dental practice and would like to know more about patient retention, contact Southeast Transitions today to schedule a complimentary consultation. email@example.com