Business relationships in the Netherlands are informal with first name terms being generally used.
Everybody in the team has seemingly similar status and to pretend to be somebody special will result in problems with other members of the team.
When success is achieved, it is important that the success is attributed to the team rather than assumed by any of the individuals within the team.
It is important to be seen by others in the team as professional and diligent – and an important element of this is to be thought of as someone who will honour commitments of whatever nature or size.
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
If you are currently doing business in Europe it is likely that you will have had some contact with the Dutch. This is mainly due to the pre-eminence of Rotterdam as a port and its position as the gateway to the European Union. This fact reflects the Netherland’s history of one of the great trading nations of the world and also accounts for the fact that the Netherlands has more global, world-class companies than you might expect from a country with such a small population and geographic spread.
The Netherlands is international in its outlook – it always has been. Countries with small domestic markets need to look abroad almost as a matter of national survival and the Netherlands is a prime example of this. The Dutch want to trade – why not with you?
Given the Netherlands’ central position in European business life, it probably follows that you should consider doing business there and that doing business in the Netherlands might also help you to springboard into other European Union countries.
A word of caution though – just because the Netherlands has a long history of international business and the Dutch typically speak excellent English doesn’t mean you don’t need to develop a good understanding of local Dutch business culture. The Dutch can’t be all things to all men and when in Amsterdam you should maybe think about adapting to the local way of doing things. Dutch business culture is just as strong, distinct and all pervasive as in any other country and you are well-advised to do some research before you arrive in-country.
This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of Dutch business culture in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on: