Marketing For Associates

Many of you have talked on group and 1:1 calls about associates and exit strategies.

And, I’m sure you’ve all either HAD experiences or have heard of others’ experiences with associates, partners, and so on. Some good, mostly, probably bad.

It’s really a mixed bag when you look at associates. I think over HALF of it though depends NOT on the associate/partner/etc., but you.

It’s not unlike selling a patient. Whether or not they accept what you’ve told them and they decide to move or not move on tx you present is really mostly about YOUR attitude, not theirs.

So…in looking at associates, etc. as an exit strategy or transition strategy, the first thing to check is you.

Questions to ask: Can you turn over tx decisions to a subordinate (or equal)? Can you accept their ways of doing things? Can you be a “coach” and mentor? Are you staff appropriately? Can or have you created sufficient patient flow? Do you know the REAL COSTS associated with this kind of move? How many NPs will it take weekly/daily to make it work? Are you MENTALLY ready? Can your staff “buy into” another person’s work methods and philosophy? What can your practice afford? Should you pay % or base day rate? (I like base day rate as a safety net with % of collections – no more than 25% if you’re paying EVERYTHING! –That’s just a brief rundown. Of course there’s more.

Now, for planning……Just an idea

Plan at least 1 year out. In other words, if you’re a year or so away, begin the process YESTERDAY. Determine what kind of experience level you’d accept. Do you have will or desire to coach/mentor? What are the BENEFITS (not features) of living and practicing in your community? What do YOU offer and your area offer others may not?

Next, I’d look at WHERE am I going to find potential applicants? Friends have had success with sending direct mail to all licensed dentists in state and also on websites like OHSU and U of W. They have dental alumni pages where you can list practice opportunities and so on…AND, you don’t have to be an alumnus! These are free and are your best bang for the buck. I would also post an ad at my alma mater, too. That’s a no-brainer.

And, I’d also look at supply reps, industry contacts and so on for referrals. Don’t be afraid to kick $500 cash to someone who refers a great candidate you eventually hire…greases the skids for next time around. Because, there’s no guarantee they’ll work out.

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