As it first appears it is 12 v 1. 12 Local Dentists (LD) and 1 Entrepreneur Dentist (ED). You commence the process by emailing all 13 dentists and introduce yourself, your credentials, and your suggested procedure going forward. You also introduce the question of your fees which does not become a problem.
In the email you say that you intend to meet, first, with the ED and then, in a separate meeting, with the 12 LD’s. After the meetings have taken place, you will send an email with further suggested directions. A soft, focused and non-controversial beginning and you follow up with a meeting with the LD. He takes a private meeting room in city centre offices – a shame because you prefer to meet parties to a mediation, so far as is possible, where they work so that you can get a feel for the atmosphere of the issues that will be discussed.
LD is, as you expect, competent, factual and straightforward. As he takes you through his narrative you imagine him as a dentist and as a businessman – you can visualise him with patients and with bankers. He is talented. He knows he is good with a self-confidence that borders on arrogance. He is a self-made man and pleased with where he is in his life.
There are issues that you probe ever so gently. For a middle aged man he is, unusually, in his third marriage with two divorces along the way. Alimony does not appear to be a problem as his two children are from his present, third, marriage. He says enough to lead you to conclude that his marriage is stable and warm-hearted. As you listen to his narrative you become aware that the interest of the US investor is a big issue. ED has done well to move from his own sole dentist practice to buying up practices. He is now ready for the next big development in his career which is a substantial investment in his company – 49% and with a big injection of funds, some for himself and some for future expansion.