Want to learn how to find a practice to buy?

Learning certain things is easy.  My son has been learning how to make a secret pressure plate alarm for his bedroom using electronic equipment. Step on the oh-so-sneaky cardboard right outside his bedroom door and an LED light alerts him to possible intruders of the sister-variety. 

At least in theory. 

Although he’s still perfecting the design, the feedback loop is pretty foolproof. If he got the wires, power supply and resistance correct, when the device gets stepped on the light turns on. If something’s wrong – no light. 

Learning certain things is easy because of feedback loops. Try a new cookie recipe? Taste it and you’ll find out how well it went. Want to learn the guitar? Strum a few chords and you’ll immediately hear if you have the fingering correct. 

But what about learning something without an immediate feedback loop? 

What if you’re trying to learn something like…oh I dunno… finding a dental practice to buy?

What if you’re trying to learn the skill of connecting with grey-haired dentists who you want to know, like and trust you and might want to sell you their practice? 

What do you do then? 

The truth is that it’s harder to learn that skill. 

Harder. Not hopeless. 

The trick to learning skills that have a longer feedback loop is to find others who have accomplished whatever it is you’re trying to do and copy them. Trust them enough to do whatever they did. 

For example, you want to lose a few of those 2nd-year dental school pounds? Think eating salads at lunch is the answer? Eating one salad isn’t going to give you enough immediate feedback to know if you’re on the path to success. 

You need to track down others who have been in situations similar to yours and copy their successful formula. 

In the case of finding a dental practice to buy, I’ve done some of the learning work for you. I’ve talked with hundreds of dentists about exactly how they found their practice to buy. The success formula isn’t complicated: 

  1. Only spend 20% of your time on passive searches like broker’s sites and spend 80% of your time connecting with grey-haired dentists in your target geographic market.
  2. Reach out to the dentists respectfully (either through mailers on one-on-one connect points).
  3. Make a personal connection with the dentists who respond with sincere compliments and genuine questions. 
  4. Let the dentists know you’re in the market for a practice to buy.
  5. Stay in relatively frequent contact with the dentist to stay top-of-mind.
  6. Don’t be creepy. 

The formula isn’t complicated but the secret is in the execution. And because the feedback loop between connecting with a bunch of grey-haired dentists and hearing about a good practice for sale is long and uncertain, most of your peers won’t do it. 

That’s good for you because there will be less competition for the attention of the grey-haired dentists. 

You’ll learn the hard skill.

And you’ll be the one that finds the good practice to buy. 

Call me when you do!

–Brian