Doing business with the Dutch
If you are an investor or an entrepreneur wishing to do business in the Netherlands, you will have the pleasure of doing business with the Dutch. Due to the fact it is relative small country, not everyone is familiar with interacting with a person from the Netherlands. Dutch people however, have been used to foreign business contacts for ages. These experiences over the years have made the Dutch who they are today, and that is why doing business with the Dutch is so pleasant to many people around the world.
In general, the Dutch have a very positive business reputation. They are praised for their tolerance, their trustworthiness and their responsibility to take risks. Dutch people try to adjust to their environment and the people they interact with. Chances are you will enjoy your first time doing business in the Netherlands. As there is always room for improvement, here are some useful tips to make your Dutch experiences even better:
- Dutch directness
People in Holland are known for their directness in communication. Especially in the areas of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the Dutch feel free to speak their minds. Body language and ‘hidden’ context are less important in the Netherlands, as almost everything is expressed verbally. Do not regard this as rude behavior, because the Dutch perceive their own directness as a sign of honesty. When doing business with the Dutch, always keep in mind that it is fine to be more open and direct yourself as well.
- The importance of agreements
In Holland, a spoken agreement is perceived almost just as important as an agreement on paper. The Dutch prefer a well-organized way of doing business, and may not appreciate when their business partner says one thing but in the meanwhile does something else. If you are unsure about making a promise, it can be better to wait.
- Social meetings
Doing business with the Dutch is often about meetings. Dutch people prefer to talk business over a cup of coffee or at lunch time. Some meetings are just informal chats, and are simply meant to get to know each other and to arrange a further meeting. Discussing non-work matters are perfectly accepted,so feel free to engage.