Timing is everything. When dealing with delicate situations such as selling your practice, you should approach the conversation with staff carefully. Some dentists experience feelings of guilt by keeping the news of their dental practice sale a secret from their staff. Or they view keeping the secret as a form of betrayal. What is important to remember is that in many cases, bringing staff members into the loop too soon can have negative impacts on the practice value and overall sale.
It is expected that when staff members hear about the news of the dental practice sale, they get nervous and worry about their job security, changes to their compensation/benefits, and so many other factors. Some may even leave before the sale is finalized.
As your staff often has direct relationships with your patients, they are considered one of the practice’s biggest assets. If staff members decide to leave or share the news of the sale prematurely with patients, it could potentially snowball into a decrease in the practice’s patient retention which would drastically impact your dental practice’s value.
Here are some tips on when to share the news of the practice’s sale:
- Before notifying staff, be sure that the sale is going to occur.
- Wait until both parties *(Buyer and Seller) have executed the Purchase Sale Agreement.
- Keep the news private until the buyer has placed a non-refundable deposit into escrow.
- Wait for the buyer’s due diligence review to be completed
- Finally, hold off until the buyer receives a financial commitment from a lender (if financing is a condition to the sale) and he or she has entered into a satisfactory lease agreement with the landlord of the space.
If possible, try to make the announcement to the staff a few weeks before closing. This will prevent any unnecessary tension between staff and the buyer as they will have a few weeks to get used to the idea of change and have a better understanding of what to expect with the transition. The first announcement of the sale should be made during a meeting with you staff members without the buyer present. It is also a good idea to make yourself available for a follow-up meeting to address any fears or anxieties. And thirdly, it’s a good practice to bring the buyer in for an introduction where he or she can discuss his/her plans and answer any questions.
Notifying your staff about the news of your dental practice sale is not easy, but with these recommended tips, you now know when you should have the conversation. Notifying your staff about the news of your dental practice sale is not easy, but with these recommended tips, you now know when you should have the conversation.
For more information, contact Ellen Dorner, the Managing Director of N/L Transitions. With over 25 years in the dental industry, Ellen’s experience will help guide you through the transition process from start to finish. She can be reached at 410-616-2042 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.