Practice Transition Psychology: Part 1

Welcome to the first part of my three-part series on the psychology of practice transition.  I’ll be talking about how to get an associate into a practice with the goal that they will buy the practice.

Today, let’s discuss today the selling doctor’s concerns. If you’re the selling doctor, one of your big concerns is, “I don’t want to make a mistake. I want to find someone who’s the right fit.”  I will tell you, trust your instincts. Don’t ignore any red flags. No, nobody’s perfect, but if something’s nagging at you, if you’re not sleeping at night, if you’re worried that maybe you’re not making the right decision, don’t do the deal. You absolutely want to make sure you find the right person. Don’t settle.  You don’t have to sell to this person. They’ll always be another seller who comes along.

How do you determine if something is a good fit, if it’s going to work out, if

this person really is going to be compatible with you and share your values?

I like to use scenarios, hypothetical situations. I give both the associate and the seller a scenario. Maybe it involves, “How would you deal with this situation as it relates to a patient?” Or, “How would you deal with this other situation as it relates to a member of the staff?” They work on these scenarios independently. Then we come together by phone, by Zoom, and sometimes in person, and we discuss.

You learn so much: you learn how people think, you learn how they prioritize.

You learn how they process information, and, most importantly, you learn about their values–by using these scenarios, these hypothetical situations. It’s so important because you gain many valuable psychological insights and that helps you make the right decision.

I enjoy using these scenarios and being the facilitator to make this work out. 

In the second part of my three-part series, I’m going to discuss the concerns facing the associate.

Team Training Video Series

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Practice Management by the Numbers: Countdown to Success

Free Webinar Presented by David Schwab, Ph.D.

NEW!  Fast-paced one-hour live webinar loaded with insightful, practical pearls.  In a world challenged by a pandemic and economic uncertainty, this timely and important webinar delivers upbeat messages, clear insights, and step-by-step advice on how run a very efficient and successful dental practice.

This webinar is available for dental specialists to offer to referring dentists, study clubs to schedule for members—and even group practices (two doctors or more) to schedule for team training.  Thanks to corporate support, it is offered at no charge.

Attendees will learn:

7 Confident responses to the money objection

6 Action steps to higher case acceptance

5 Critical reasons why patients accept treatment

4 Great responses to the “I’ll think about it” objection.

3 Practical ways to convert leads/inquiries into appointments

2 Important reasons that patients do not accept treatment

1 Essential action step you should take immediately.

Schedule this live webinar now!

David Schwab, Ph.D.

Call or text: (407) 324-1333


About the Speaker:

David Schwab, Ph.D., is a motivational speaker, consultant, and author who helps dentists grow their practices, educate their patients and train their teams to make practices more profitable.

Here are some comments from seminar attendees: 

  • Our most requested speaker! 
  • Awesome! 
  • Inspirational. 
  • Content was relevant and specific. 
  • An “11” on a scale of 1-10.

Dr.  Schwab has served as Director of Marketing for the ADA and as Executive Director of the American College of Prosthodontists. Recognized as a prolific and insightful author, Dr. Schwab’s practice management and marketing articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Journal of the American Dental AssociationDental Economics, the Seattle Study Club® Journal, and the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association. Dr. Schwab works with major corporations and consults with dental practices.

Finishing the Year Strong

It’s time to gear up for the race to the end of 2020.  The upcoming holidays are our signal to turn the page, focus on success, and forge ahead.

I received a very kind note from a client as we wrapped up a long and successful project. “Your counsel provided my practice with the boost it needed to get over some tough times which in turn significantly reduced my personal stress levels,” he wrote.

I appreciated his comments because that is why I am here—to advise, be a sounding board, train the team, help increase production and case acceptance, and chart a path to success.

The best way to prepare for a strong 2021 is to finish 2020 on a high note. There is much work to be done in dental practices to make up for lost time and be positioned for the future.

I am optimistic that, at least from a business point of view, we have turned the corner as we roll into a new year.  Better days lie ahead.   

Some questions to ask yourself.  Will there be changes in the practice related to:

  • New team members?
  • New doctor?
  • Office renovation or new office?
  • Changes in insurance reimbursement?
  • Planning to retire within the next five years?
  • New technology or services offered?
  • Changes in hours of operation or scheduled appointment times?
  • Increased overhead?

The time to address these issues is now.  With good planning, 2021 can be a great success.  Let’s have a conversation.  To set up a call, contact me at

The View From Inside

An “insider’s view” is supposed to be valuable.  However, “you can’t read the label from inside the jar,” as the wise saying goes.

The pandemic has placed us all in the jar, so to speak.  We yearn for perspective, but we don’t know what we don’t know.  Through it all, we have marvelously adapted.  There are countless new protocols in dental offices, and patients have, for the most part, admirably adjusted. 

The Covid crisis is the most significant disruption to daily life and security since World War II.  The very act of coping causes us stress.  One day, we will look back and gain perspective on how our world of certainty was thrown off its axis but still managed to right itself.  For now, we soldier on.

For years we tried to educate those patients who had only sporadic contact with the dental profession.  We wanted to bring them in, show them all that modern dentistry has to offer, and turn them into high dental IQ patients who take responsibility for their oral health and consequently also garner general health benefits.

It turns out that there was a larger cohort, those loyal patients of record who would not be denied dental care.  They could not wait for offices to re-open; schedules filled quickly as patients rushed back to dental offices.

As dental practices work through the backlog of pent-up demand, the time is now to plan for the future.  The post-pandemic dental practice needs to rebrand itself.  Patients now have a better understanding of dentistry as an overall healthcare service.  Practices need to build on that understanding and redouble marketing and education efforts.

The future of dentistry is bright, but it will not write itself.  It’s time to think about emerging from the jar, surveying the landscape, and planning for success throughout the rest of this year and into the next.

Schedule me.

United We Stand

The dental professional is waging a ferocious war against COVID-19, the invisible enemy.  To prepare for battle, dental professionals have Zoomed, webinared, phoned, e-mailed, texted, talked, reflected, discussed, shared, learned, and shopped. To reopen, dental practices have masked, barriered, digitized, cleaned, covered, sprayed, wiped, sanitized, decontaminated, autoclaved, air purified, suctioned, UVed, and fogged. 

Patients are held in their cars or hallways, the wonderfully euphemistic “virtual waiting room,” until those other potential virus-carrying patients are gone, then ushered in to be greeted by the administrative team through plexiglass and/or masks and face shields to be temperature checked and health questioned.  Patients are asked to wash their hands, and in some cases also instructed to rinse their mouths and don disposable protective gear just for them. 

In treatment rooms patients encounter a clinical team in full COVID-19 PPE regalia who look like Neil and Buzz on the surface of the moon, triumphant in a hostile environment.

For years we talked about educating patients and explaining treatment.  The pandemic has reminded us that there is a cohort of patients who are committed to optimal oral health.  They demand dental care; they hold dental professionals in high regard; and they appreciate all the extraordinary measures taken to keep them safe.

Given the dental profession’s outstanding track record of protecting patients, their team and themselves from cross contamination due to H1N1, HIV/AIDS, SARS, MERS, and other pathogens, the public can rest assured that dentists will never be satisfied in their quest to provide quality care in the safest possible environment.  When dentists cannot jam one more piece of anti-viral equipment into a treatment room, they still ask, “Are we doing enough?” 

The virus is a formidable enemy, but it does not stand a chance of getting between dental professionals and their patients.