4 Questions to Stand Out in the First Meeting | Evaluating a Dental Practice to Buy

Q: How can I make a good first impression on a seller?

A: That first meeting with a seller is vital, and so is the first impression you give them. Making that great first impression will largely come down to the questions you ask, and how well you listen to the answers.

Here are 4 excellent questions to ask to set yourself apart. 

1. What’s the culture like in the office?

This is a great open-ended question that gives the seller a chance to go in a direction they choose. If you listen closely, it gives you some insight into the practice that might be difficult to glean otherwise. In your follow-up questions, be sure to focus on the positive, not the negative.

2. Tell me about your treatment style.

This one is more targeted, less open-ended. You want to know that your own treatment philosophy will mesh with what’s already in place.

3. What do patients consistently say about your office?

A question like this is all about gaining insight into how the seller thinks about their business. Again, you’re looking to see if your own philosophy will mesh well with the practice.

4. How have you been so successful? What’s your secret?

The trick to this question: sincerity. If you’re only asking this to butter up the seller, you’ll (rightly) come off as phony. If this is a successful practice that’s worth buying, then you’d better believe this seller will have some real wisdom to dispense. Ask about their secret sauce, and you might just get some real tips for your own future success.

As always, try to put yourself in the seller’s shoes. They’re looking for someone who will run the business they’ve worked to build, likely for the last several decades of their life. We might want to make a dental transition all about the numbers, but there’s a lot of emotion involved, too. It might not be a line item on the P&L, but we need to account for it all the same.