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Effective Negotiations: Making Your Dental Practice Sale A Win-Win

Are you contemplating the final stage of your dental career? Looking forward to enjoying the fruits of many years of laboring in the dental industry? Now that you have decided to move on to greener pastures, what is the best way get there with the least amount of stress and frustration?

Planning is step number one. Just like a successful case presentation, the more planning that goes into your sale, the better the chances of a successful outcome. Ideally, the retiring dentist will begin this plan 3-5 years prior. That said, when you are ready, having all of your financial and practice data organized and ready to disseminate is the next step in order to help establish the value of your practice.

Look before you leap
Once an interested party emerges with an offer, the work begins: negotiating the sale. In all sales there are two basic categories to be considered, price and terms. Which is most important to you? In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey recommends starting with the end in mind. Visualize the success of the sale transaction before you begin. Have your ideal outcome in mind and do not be afraid to present it from the start. Keep in mind; occasionally the negotiating and selling process becomes challenging and stressful.

Better to collaborate than compete
The best negotiators think in terms of cooperation and collaboration instead of competition. Competitors like win-lose outcomes. I win, you lose. The best-case scenario often occurs when you negotiate with a collaborative mind set. This type of negotiation happens when both parties work together for the common good. “How can we structure this transaction in a fair and amicable way so that we are both 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.

Most dentists have worked at their practices for their entire career, and their practice has become part their lives. Therefore, many doctors 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 did.

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. The sale of your practice involves people and personalities as much as price and terms. Balance among all of those factors is a worthy goal to achieve.

For more information on successfully negotiating the sale of your dental practice, please contact your local ADS Florida representative.

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