A successful transition of a dental practice should always keep the best interest of the patients in mind. Financing and purchase price depend on patient retention after the sale, which is why notifying your patients needs to be done properly and in a timely manner. A properly crafted exit strategy should include these key elements.
Send a letter as soon as the deal has gone through to your current patient base (both active and inactive) stating your reason for the sale (retirement or otherwise) and introducing the new dentist, including their qualifications and background. Additionally, the new dentist could send their a follow-up letter introducing any new staff or changes to standard operating procedures.
Inviting patients to a social hour, typically held during non-business hours, is a great way for patients to give their well wishes to the seller and meet the buyer. Dentists who have hosted these types of receptions have reported at least 20 percent of their patient base attending.
Something as small as placing a photo of the buying dentist in the lobby with an accompanying bio will help put patients at ease when being welcomed into the office after a transition, affording another opportunity for patients to learn about the incoming dentist.
A joint announcement in the local newspaper will help to involve the community in the transition, perhaps even driving new business to the practice with the added exposure.
Regardless of the reason for the sale, the selling dentist could stay on to help ease the transition for both the staff and patients. Limited office hours for a month after the sale will give the seller the opportunity to introduce patients to the buyer and offer advice on operating the dental practice.