How to Use BROKERS to Find a Dental Practice to Buy

If you’re looking for a dental practice to buy, follow my 80/20 rule. It’s pretty simple: When you’re looking for a practice, you should spend 80% of your time networking with other dentists, especially grey-haired ones. That’s where most of my clients find their eventual practices, and it’s usually how you’ll find the best ones (the ones that never even hit the other market.

The other 20% should be spent with brokers, also an excellent resource. You can do that passively, just by checking their websites, or proactively, by connecting with them personally. Find brokers in your desired area with a quick Google search: “El Paso dental brokers” for example. Once you find them, connecting with brokers is both easier and trickier than working with other dentists.

How It’s Easy

Brokers are all about moving practices between hands, so they’re familiar with the process, they’re familiar with your needs as a buyer, and best of all, they have a list of available practices for you to peruse.

If you want a quick way to see some available practices through brokers, make sure you’re signed up for my free, semi-monthly PDF with several dozen practices, with brokers’ contact info built right in. I’ve had many dentists get lucky already through those lists; maybe you’ll be next!

For a more personal approach, once you know what area(s) you want to settle down in, do a quick google search for dental practice brokers in that area, and check out their websites—thoroughly. (More on that in a sec.) Keep an eye on those listing boards, checking them once a week or so in case something perfect pops up.

How It’s Hard (but Not THAT Hard)

Here’s the tough truth: Brokers don’t actually want to hear from you. While that may sound harsh (even to a few of my broker friends), here’s what I mean. When a broker completes the sale of a practice, they get paid by the selling dentist—not by you. So they’re technically on the seller’s team, not yours. On top of that, they’re very, very busy with those sellers.

So if a broker gets a call out of the blue from a buyer, especially if that buyer is just poking their nose around without much sense of purpose, the broker is going to get off the phone as fast as he or she can and get back to where they actually make money. So it’s not so much that they don’t want to hear from you, it’s just that other buyers have kind of ruined it for you.

“But wait,” comes the common objection. “Sellers need buyers, so the broker should be happy to hear from me!” And if that’s your thought, then…you’re absolutely right. If you want a broker to happy to hear from you, here’s what you do:

    1. Do a thorough reading of their site. Know the answers to a few basic questions. Is it a solo broker or a team? Do they specialize in certain types of practices? How far does their geographic area extend? You’re basically making sure you’re reaching out to the right broker and not wasting their—and your—time.
    2. Send an introduction email. Nothing fancy or overly long. Just a few paragraphs introducing yourself, telling them what you’re in the market for, and promising to follow up.
    3. Give them a call, and keep it pithy. A few days to a week (whatever you promised) after your intro email, give them a call. This initial call is much the same as your email, a simple introduction. Keep it focused, and try to keep it to five or ten minutes. Remember, they’re busy. Lastly, if you leave a message, give them time to get back to you—at least a day, maybe two or three. Spamming phone calls to the broker is a great way to get them to block you.
    4. Stay in touch, and don’t be annoying about it. Follow up with the broker by email about once a month or so. Often enough that they’ll remember who you are, not so often that you’ll annoy them. Remind them what you’re looking for, fill them in on any relevant updates, and ask that they keep you in mind if a good practice comes up.

Follow those steps, and you can effectively add brokers to your networking spreadsheet. There’s a reason it’s the 80/20 rule and not the 100/0 rule—brokers can be a fantastic resource for finding a practice to buy. You just need to remember where they’re coming from and how you can actually help their business, rather than waste their time. Do that, and they’ll be thrilled to add you to their own rolodex.

Speaking of which, I’d love to add you to MY rolodex! If you’re on the hunt for a practice to buy, and especially if you think you’ve found one worth looking at deeper, then schedule a call with me and introduce yourself. I’ll be thrilled to help you through the purchase process and get you on to the next stage of your career.