Finding The Right Purchaser

Finding The Right Purchaser

“Beauty is in the eyes of the holder” and so it is with the perception of the value of a dental practice. The right purchaser candidate will understand that the real value of a practice is in the long-term income opportunity that it represents. The right candidate will seek to complete a transaction that is fair to both parties. The wrong purchaser candidate, on the other hand, will want to strip away any positive features of the practice and focus on perceived negative features, looking to initiate the very negative “negotiation process” where one party must lose for the other party to win. Trying to sell your practice to the wrong purchaser is like trying to beat square pegs into round holes… it just does not work!

There is a “right” purchaser for every practice, and there is a “right” practice for every purchaser. It is just a matter of putting forth the time and effort to locate that right person for the practice, or the right practice for that person. Putting the wrong purchaser into a practice just to get a “deal” done will usually lead to disaster. The wrong purchaser candidate will often “negotiate” themselves out of a great practice opportunity in an attempt to get a lower price or terms the seller would not usually agree to. Square pegs… round holes.

The right purchaser candidate loves the area where the practice is located; the wrong purchaser candidate thinks it is only ok. The right candidate likes the office overall; the wrong candidate only sees problems. The right candidate sees the practice as a long-term opportunity; the wrong candidate only sees problems that need overcoming. Square pegs… round holes.

Not all purchaser candidates are real purchasers. Many so-called purchaser candidates only want to look at practices and read the seller’s confidential financial information, with no intention of purchasing it. These wrong candidates like to feel important and like the idea that some practice owner will spend a lot of time catering to their unreasonable demands for more information. They will attempt to hold the seller and the practice hostage as the seller invests a lot of time and energy pursuing a transaction with the wrong candidate. Square pegs… round holes.

The right purchaser will be prepared to meet the seller’s price, and terms provided the price and terms are reasonable. On the other hand, many purported purchaser candidates believe that if a seller accepts the terms of the purchaser’s offer to purchase, then they must have offered too much money or terms too generous, and they will be tempted to lower their original offer at every opportunity during the negotiation process. The right purchaser believes in win/win, the wrong purchaser cannot understand a fair deal and will want to win at the expense of the seller every time. Square peg… round hole.

We understand that there are also sellers who want to squeeze the life out of a transaction as well. They love the adversarial process and are ready and willing to take advantage of any young, new purchaser candidate who is naïve enough to accept their overblown price and terms. That’s the way it is and will always be. The right purchaser candidate for this doctor is the negotiator purchaser who sees a practice acquisition as war and is prepared to do battle. This fight is a square peg and a square hole, and they are meant to do battle against one another. One will win, and the other will lose, but this is the way they will go through life, sometimes winning and sometimes losing.

AFTCO has plenty of round peg purchaser candidates for round hole practices, and we know how to identify them and put them together. If you would like your practice to be transitioned to the right candidate, then it’s time to call AFTCO at 480-634-4803 or visit our website at