Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Consultant

1. How many practice transitions and/or sales have you been involved with?
Answer: over 1,400

2. How many years in the business?
Answer: Combined 30+ years in practice transitions and another 10 years consulting in the areas of business and finance.

3. How many of your sales have ended up in litigation/arbitration or in professional divorce?
Answer: Fifteen. Two arbitration and thirteen separations of associate buy-in type transactions with no arbitration or litigation.

4. How many purchasers have defaulted on their promissory notes to sellers and/or banks?
Answer: Five to a bank and two to the seller.

5. What is the charge for an appraisal?
Answer: Typically $2,500.00. (Is the fee part of the total fee charged for the
sale of the practice? Answer: Yes.)

6. What do you feel are your strong points in providing transition/brokerage services?
Answer: Integrity; timely communication; a fee for performance; competence with 10 years of prior business and finance experience; follow up after the transaction; providing a transition guide for buyer and seller; conducting staff meetings on how to best handle the transition; and having an attorney and accountant on retainer for updating and researching changes in law and tax law.

7. Is your appraisal contingent on signing a listing agreement?
Answer: No.

8. How do you know you are accurate with your appraisal?
Answer: By using legitimate, tested formulas and tracking the results of previous transitions.

9. Do you feel there is a conflict between appraising a practice and then listing it for a percentage of the sales price?
Answer: Yes, because the higher the appraised value, the potential for more brokerage fees. Some brokers will inflate the sales price to persuade the seller to sign the listing agreement. A biased appraisal makes it much more difficult in convincing a purchaser that the sales price is fair and equitable. The broker might also play favorites with his more expensive listings.

10. What type of post-sale/post-transition follow-up do you do, both with the buyer and seller?
Answer: Every month for the first three or more months after closing, then on “as needed” basis. Also, we prefer the buyer send us monthly reports for the first 12 month period to allow us to track the practice status.

11. Is this your main occupation or do you have other activities to help subsidize your consulting business (i.e. sell insurance, securities, real estate, equipment/supplies, or practice dentistry or management)?
Answer: Our time is devoted entirely to facilitating successful transitions.

12. How will I know that these other activities do not conflict with the quality of service I’ll receive?
Answer: Our only activities are facilitating, consulting, and coaching dental practice transitions. Our compensation is derived solely from practice transitions and post-transition management.

13. How do I know I have the right candidate (seller/purchaser)? What systems do you have to help both parties better understand their compatibility concerning goals, needs and personalities?
Answer: Depending on the type of transition, many times we have each client fill out a personal needs analysis and/or a personality profile. This tells us more about their goals and their work style. We look to see if goals are complimentary with both parties. We encourage “Pre-courtship” activities (i.e. checking references, out of the office activities, spouses meet together, etc.) This helps establish a better understanding of both parties needs and goals. We look at how they follow through with their commitments through the consulting process.

14. Do you have “pre-qualifying” financial guidelines with regard to whether or not a potential buyer can secure funding?
Answer: Yes, we have established professional relationships with several lending institutions which check credit references. We also review financial statements and income needs.

15. What do you include in your appraisal?
Answer: A comprehensive practice prospectus covering practice operations and statistics along with an appraisal report analyzing financial information and projections.

16. Does your appraisal cover enough information for one to complete a due diligence to the practice?
Answer: Yes, with the exception of a chart audit which the buyer completes independently.

17. What resources do you have to keep up on the latest changes in business and tax laws?
Answer: We have an attorney and accountant on retainer and also subscribe to publications on legal, tax and practice management issues.

18. How long does it take to transition/sell a practice?
Answer: This depends on various factors, like location, size of practice, terms, type of transition and market demand. In most cases, 6 to 12 months.

19. How are you compensated?
Answer: Our current fee schedule is based on a fee for performance and depends on the characteristics of the practice and the type of transition. In no case will our fee exceed 10% of the selling price of the practice.

20. What services do you offer for the fees charged?
-Locate a buyer or seller.
-Secure financing for the acquisition.
-Determine the proper transition structure.
-Draft contracts for attorney’s review.
-Oversee the closing.
-Conduct a staff meeting on how to have a smooth transition.
-Instruct doctors and staff on how to transition the patient base.
-Show ways to increase new patient flow.
-Instruct on how to conduct effective staff meetings.
-Provide practice management guidelines for a successful practice.
-Facilitate office lease arrangements.
-Address any ongoing concerns during the first year of transition.

21.Please tell me how your form of compensation is best for me and the transition of the practice.
Answer: Adds more integrity to the process. It requires the practice transition consultant to handle the transition on a win/win basis and helps minimize the need to compromise the goals of both parties.

22. Do you have any literature that will help me better understand the transition process and how I can better prepare myself for it?
Answer: Yes, we have a booklets and audio presentations for sellers and buyers which cover many important issues regarding the transition process, as well as other written materials.

23. How well does the buyer do after the transaction is completed?
Answer: Over 93% of our buyers either meet or exceed the previous year gross production in the first year and experience less than 10% patient attrition. Survey: 96% client satisfaction

24. Can you furnish a list of the five most recent sales and/or transitions of buyers and sellers?
Answer: References are furnished upon request.

For more information regarding how we work and the services we provide, contact us.

CTC Associates:
(303) 795-8800
(801) 298-4242

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