If you’re trying to figure out how to sell your dental practice, at some point, you’ll have to consider how your staff will be treated once you’re gone. All too often, dentists are worried about the staff that they’ve carefully been investing in for years.
Many owners avoid a conversation altogether until the deal is over, then hit their employees and patients with sudden departure and a new owner. However, this is a very tumultuous resolution that will lead to a lot of questions and tension across the practice.
Before the transition occurs, it’s critical to be open and transparent with all parties involved. Open conversation will help the new owners, patients, and staff develop a trusting rapport with each other. The more trust you can transfer, the better off your staff will be.
Talk to the Owner
Understanding the new owner’s plans for the practice is the first step in taking care of your staff. Usually, the buyer wants to keep things similar to the practice they’re used to. However, there may be some minor changes to pricing and employee benefits.
Regardless of what changes, you need to be the one to “sell” it to your staff. They trust you; they don’t trust the new owner. Bring in the buyer and introduce him, but be prepared to discuss any upcoming changes independently in your practice. The opinion of the new owner you present will influence the opinion your staff and patients develop.
Talk to Your Staff
Being open with your staff is the most crucial step in the process. They are the driving force behind your business and add great value to your company. The buyer knows this, but sometimes the employees don’t.
Talk with your personnel when you begin the selling process and explain that while you may be leaving, you haven’t forgotten about them. Explain how valuable they are and let them know that you are going to find a buyer that will take care of them.
Once you find a buyer, introduce him and explain to your crew why they are the right buyer for the practice. Encourage them with all the components that will stay the same, and discuss concerns they have going forward.
Talk to the Patients
A concern that will likely come up in your conversation with your staff is how to handle concerned patients. You are handing over a large amount of client’s personal information, and their apprehension is reasonable.
Again, the key is to keep them informed and updated throughout the process. Connecting will not only reassure the patient but minimize the amount of questions your staff has to deal with during the transitional period. There will be some attrition, but the more open you are, the less loss you will see.
Your dental practice transition doesn’t have to be a nightmare that results in you and your employees being overwhelmed. Communicate early and often with all parties involved, and the process can go very smoothly. For an even smoother transition, consult with a specialist.
US Dental Transitions was founded by a dentist with more than 25 years of experience, so we truly understand the complex, emotional and financial ramifications of perhaps the biggest change in the life of a practitioner. If you intend to continue your legacy by selling to a dentist who will honor your desire to care for your patients and staff, we’re confident we can connect you with a buyer that can meet your selling criteria.