If you’re in the tech field, the Netherlands is one of the best places to scale into. For a start, there’s vibrant start-up scene here already and the Dutch are known the world over for their openness to technology and innovation. What’s more, the Dutch don’t shy away from foreign technology, so if you have the right solution, your chances of success here are as good as anyone else. The only question now is, “how do you reach out to the Dutch?” Well, the Dutch are generally very relaxed, friendly and enjoy a good laugh as much as the next person but they are also clever businesspeople and will expect things to be done in a certain way. Take a look below to see some of the thing you should take into consideration when reaching out to a Dutch prospect.
Watch your timekeeping
It’s rude to turn up late anyway but the Dutch are particular about this. If you are going to be unavoidably late, it’s polite to let your hosts know but if you make a habit of it, they will stop taking you seriously and consider you unreliable.
Be crystal clear
The Dutch have a very direct communication style which leaves no room for confusion and they will expect you to be the same. Try not to be too subtle in what you say and avoid having a subtext at all costs as this will just annoy your prospect.
If something is decided on in a meeting, remember to action it as soon as you can. The Dutch are keen to do business and as such, they find unnecessary delays extremely frustrating.
No means no
The purpose of a meeting is to determine if there is a business fit and if there’s not, the Dutch will point it out. They would also appreciate it if you did the same. There is no point in negotiating to find an unworkable deal. It’s better to move on and approach another prospect.
Respect the Boundaries
The Dutch like to separate their business life and their home life, so a call or a meeting request outside of business hours or on a weekend will not be appreciated. If you absolutely have to make contact during these times, you’d better have some amazing news.
Do what you say you will
The Dutch value honesty and reliability in their business dealings and will not put up with someone who can talk the talk but who cannot walk the walk. This is all in line with their dislike for timewasting. After all, time is money.
Relax a little
By and large, most Dutch companies don’t have a strict hierarchy and in the tech domain this is even less likely. While it’s probably wise to use the polite form of “you” in the first instance, you’ll probably notice that proceedings become less formal quite quickly.
The Dutch play fair
The Dutch don’t like inequality between the parties in a business meeting. So, even if you are a small vendor, you can still approach big companies and be treated with respect.