Use this method to find a practice for sale

When you were eight years old and you got a piece of mail, chances are good it was from your grandmother, and it had a nice $5 or $10 bill in it. Cha-ching! Then one day you became an adult. Now you open the mail to Costco ads, bills, and credit card offers … so many credit card offers. That’s a mass mailer.

For every 100 people reading this, 99 of you throw those offers away. However, one of you just happens to be wanting to switch or add another card, so you open it. That’s exactly what we’re shooting for with mass mailers to dentists. We’re hoping for at least 1% of recipients to respond. And because this isn’t a credit card offer, chances are that this method yields much higher results than just 1%.  

Imagine if you’re an owner of a strong practice for the last 40 years. Retirement has been on your mind but the thought of finding a broker and haggling with buyers makes you push it off more and more. 

All of a sudden, a young buyer approaches you and introduces herself. This could be the ideal scenario for both of you! You won’t have to vet dozens of dentists or give a broker a cut of the purchase. The buyer won’t have to compete with all the other buyers. Sounds like a win-win to me.

But to reach that one-in-a-hundred dentist, you need to put the “mass” in “mass mailer.” You need a large pool. How large you may ask? You should be sending out at least 100 mailers, though a much larger number is preferred. 

If 1% of people respond, wouldn’t you want to make your pool as large as possible? Though numerically it’s not a big difference, 1% of 100 and 1% of 300 could be the difference between finding a practice and finding the practice. Start by looking at an entire state of dentists. Better yet, look at two. Then put all of them on your list. Yes, even the young ones. Even if the dentist receiving the mailer isn’t selling, they may know someone who is.

When you’re sending out your mailers, two keys to your success are the quality of the mailers and the follow up. First let’s dig into what makes a quality mailer.

If you are the 1% who opens the credit card offer, why did you open it? Out of the 14 you’ve received in the last week, why this one?  It was probably visually appealing, direct and instructive. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Make sure to BLUF- Bottom Line Up Front. Describe yourself and why a seller should choose you. Addressing this right off the bat will give the seller some context as to why they’re receiving this mailer.
  2. Make sure your mailer sends everyone to the same place. Set up an email account that’s specifically for your search. This way things don’t go unnoticed. 
  3. Use a “Return Service Requested” stamp to track bad addresses. This way you can know how big of a pool you actually have.

Now for the second ingredient to success. Just like dessert, I’ve saved the best for last. The most important thing you can do though is to follow up. Let me say it again for those in the back: FOLLOW UP. This is the secret. Very few dentists will respond to the first attempt, so follow up with at least two more notes to each dentist.

If you haven’t realized it yet, everything I’m advising you to do, based on my years of experience, requires effort. This is a project you will be working on. Don’t just expect to pull out your iPad while watching The Office and expect to crank this out in an episode or two. Give this, and Steve Carrell, the attention they deserve.

As I mentioned before, there are multiple ways you can find the practice you are jazzed about. This is just ONE of them. If the mass mailer approach isn’t for you, that’s totally fine! Different strokes for different folks so let’s try another route. I’ll explain to you next week how to do targeted mailers.