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The Perfect Dental Practice Sale

By October 24, 2023October 27th, 2023Selling A Practice

So, you’re thinking of selling, and you want to have the perfect sale? What does that mean to most selling dentists? Highest Price. Quick Sale. Smooth. Pain-free. One-Sided Terms (in favour of the Seller). Best Terms for Associating. Everyone at your office is taken care of by the friendliest and most skilled buyer dentist. Total peace of mind. Right?

Well, here are five steps every selling dentist should take to manifest the perfect sale:

  1. Define Your Desired Manifestation
  2. Identify With Your Desired Manifestation
  3. Recognize the Separation Between You and Your Desired Manifestation
  4. Heal The Separation Between You And Your Desired Manifestation
  5. Flow With It

Step 1: Define Your Desired Manifestation

As with anything you want to manifest, the first step is to define your intention. Here, the intention is to have a perfect sale. So, write down, in your own words, what the perfect sale would look like. Some dentists may say the price is less important than a short associateship term because they are moving away. Other dentists may see price as the most important because they need to live off this for the next 20+ years. And some dentists may feel they want a buyer who can take on their legacy and build upon it to help the patients and the community.

Determine what is most important to you, and continue from there. Write down how long you’d like the process to take, how much you want to be involved, etc. But remember, you need to be realistic here and get feedback from professionals to understand what you can influence and what depends on others.

Step 2: Identify With Your Desired Manifestation

Once you have written out what a perfect sale looks and feels like for you, the second step is to identify with what you wrote. You honestly must believe that you are the person who has already achieved that perfect sale. You need to act, feel, think, and BE as if you have already manifested this sale. In other words, DO NOT see yourself as separate from your desired manifestation.

That’s the law of attraction: you attract what you are – the actions you take, thoughts you think and beliefs you live by are what you attract back to you. It’s all within your grasp. Yes, I’m serious: your perfect sale is within your grasp. You might be a bit misguided in describing the perfect sale, but with some guidance, you should be able to zero in on it and actually receive it.

This is usually the point where you might stumble and say, “Wait a second, I’ve written out my intended manifestation, and I’m trying to convince myself that I’m not separate from it. But it hasn’t arrived yet. So, aren’t I separate from it? Why isn’t it happening?” If you find yourself here, it’s because you’re trying to “convince” yourself that you aren’t separate from your desired manifestation, but you still THINK, FEEL, and ACT as though you are. This brings us to step 3.

Step 3: Recognize the Separation Between You and Your Desired Manifestation

Your third step is identifying the separation between you and your desired manifestation. In other words, what’s keeping you from getting that perfect sale?

This will be different for every dentist. But we hear some common things, such as interest rates, inflation, high labour costs, labour shortages and lowered spending per capita on dental services. You can always find something to worry about. THERE’S LOTS TO FEAR! There are also things outside your control that cause delays once the sale has begun – from uncooperative landlords to professional advisors not being responsive or making mountains out of molehills! Writing will help you in this step, too. Write out all the things floating around in your head that you are worried about.

So, now you’ve identified the fears keeping you from genuinely THINKING, FEELING, and ACTING as though you already have your desired practice sale. What can you do about it?

Step 4: Heal The Separation Between You and Your Desired Manifestation

In this step, I’m talking about reducing the gap between how you are now and your desired sale. You do this by focusing on actions (that are within your control) to reduce the perception of the separation. If you focus on healing the separation, things will start to materialize for you, and you’ll end up bringing in (like a magnet) the perfect sale.

The key to remember in this step is what is in ‘your control.’ Because there will always be external factors beyond your control – like interest rates, inflation, landlords, etc.). You can’t change things outside your control. But you can focus on things that are within your control, which will help “ground” your ideal sale in your mind and make it feel reasonable or attainable.

Here are things you can do to reduce the separation between you and your perfect sale:

  • Be Organized
    • For example, get your HARP reports for the last 3 years, production reports by provider and procedure for the previous 3 years, financial statements for the last 3 years, material contracts and invoices, team contracts, lease documents, corporate minute book, etc.
  • Manage Your Expectations
    • For example, interest rates are high, which will translate into higher borrowing costs and lower purchase prices – that’s outside your control. But taking this into account when considering your potential price limit and managing your expectations is within your control!
  • Be Informed
    • Listen to your professional advisors, read about the sale process, the market conditions, etc. And ask for help. It may be your first (and only) sale, but it’s something your bankers, lawyers, and accountants have often dealt with. We are here to help.
  • Be Pro-Active
    • You can avoid unnecessary delays by trying to anticipate issues before they arise (reupholster your chairs or request your x-ray floor plans now !). Also, many things need to be reviewed ahead of time – like tax planning with your professional corporation and its financials, your team contracts and your lease, so don’t dilly-dally and wait until it’s too late. Ask us what you can do before selling to make things easier.
  • Be Adaptable 
    • Be willing to accommodate. Like life, not everything is going to go perfectly. You will face hurdles, and you need to recognize them and be prepared to respond in the best possible way for you!
  • Be Transparent
    • Especially when it comes to the not-so-great things you’re trying to hide from yourself and the world, as the buyer may discover them before or after the sale, leading to legal consequences. So, you’re better off disclosing it so you can sleep better at night. If the deal doesn’t go through, it wasn’t meant to. But at least you’re not facing a lawsuit. If it does go through and the buyer accepts the risks involved, you’ll be much happier.
  • Be Patient.
    • Selling a practice often takes 3-6 months, assuming everything is done correctly. You must understand that many things need to come together to have an ideal sale. If you try to rush, you’re fighting with the universe, and it could backfire (skipping steps could cost you a lot in terms of a reduced purchase price, paying more taxes, getting the wrong buyer, etc.). So don’t rush; let things unfold in their own order and time. You focus on yourself, and things within your control, and that’s it.

And, of course, having reliable help with all or any of the above is critical. Make sure you get a team of professionals who know what they’re doing and can help guide you through your perfect sale.

Step 5: Flow With It

And finally, we come to the final step – Flow with It.

Yes, you can control what you DO. And yes, you can hire a team of experienced legal professionals to help you get your desired sale. But you must then surrender to their knowledge, skills and experiences and flow with the process. Keep a flexible and open mind to whatever arises in the sale process. Otherwise, it will be an emotional rollercoaster instead of a smooth and stable experience. Know that you have made the right decisions and followed the steps, and now it’s time to surrender to the process as you continue to focus on yourself.

Bottom Line

Is the perfect sale always the highest price, quickest closing, and one-sided terms in your favour? No. In fact, a rushed sale where you squeeze the buyer for the most money and then leave right after the sale might lead to a lawsuit (the seller hid something; the buyer is under tremendous financial stress and is looking for a scapegoat, etc.). This situation would lead you spending tens of thousands of dollars defending yourself against a frivolous lawsuit when things could have gone much better. You get the idea: balance is key because you get the best of all worlds (peace of mind, money, associateship, time off, complimentary mindsets between buyer,  seller, team and the patients, etc.).

Like anything in life, the perfect sale is the one that makes you the happiest.

And, using the principles above, you can get precisely what you’re supposed to get at the perfect time, with little or no resistance, and be happy during and after that process.

I hope this helps! And if you need help selling your dental practice, feel free to contact us at DMC LLP any time.

The Content of this post is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal, financial, tax, or other professional advice of any kind. You are advised to contact DMC (or other counsel) to seek specific legal advice concerning your individual situation.