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Dental Showcase Reflections – Proud, One Straw Too Many, Attendance

Posted on October 25, 2017 in Articles & Frank Taylor & Associates

The easy bit first – seeing the team in action it is easy to see how they are the leading providers of business services to the dental profession. The quote of the Show for me was:

I only had to speak to them to see the difference.

‘I’m not taking it anymore!!’ This or a (spicier) variation of it was voiced by many dentists looking to buy a dental practice. For anyone who has been on the hunt for a practice for the past year or so knows values are at an all-time high. This in itself is a reflection of the supply and demand and most buyers accept values are high. However, it is the further commission payment to the sales agent to buy a practice which is the straw that’s breaking the camel’s back.

Over the course of my three days at the Show I heard of cases where a buyer had paid an extra £48,000 to the agent for the privilege of buying a practice and a corporate buyer paid over £130,000. Let’s be clear this money is due to the seller.

My position on this hasn’t changed for the past 17 years – it’s wrong! The buyer should not pay the sales agent, the seller should because that is who they are acting for. Whilst I have banged on for ages about the clear conflict of interest there is still a minority of sellers think that selling for free is good.

The tide is turning, and now sophisticated sellers get this is a bad idea and buyers are rejecting it as a payment too far. This is excellent news all round and I hope to see this practise disappear in the next year or so. Over the years I have successfully managed to persuade a number of corporate buyers that it’s a poor business tactic as the seller should receive the extra payment not the sales agent. In some cases, not only does the seller pay the sales agent but the buyer too – it is easy to see how a market can get a poor reputation.

For the avoidance of doubt Frank Taylor & Associates does not take any commission payments from buyers and never will.

I haven’t seen the attendance figures yet but the general volume in the hall seemed low – might be people were doing business by whispering but my gut tells me numbers were down and by a fair bit.

Hope you had a good one too.

Andy Acton,
Director and shareholder at Frank Taylor & Associates

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