Doing business in the Netherlands, done right

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barack obama mark rutte nachtwacht

I’m not really a big fan of Quora. Well, I wasn’t. Until I discovered the secret superpowers it holds for my business, scouring for background information on various topics. As an expert in Dutch (startup) culture, I decided to take the plunge and share my knowledge on whatever pops up. One answer seems particular popular: how to do business with Dutch people? Let me share it with you for future reference.

1) How to schedule

In general, a business meeting with Dutch people goes like this after getting acquainted: Brief phone or email exchange to schedule a meeting. The meeting is always a coffee date for one hour.

2) On-time

Make sure you finish in time and be exactly on time. Not early, not late, although being stuck in traffic (moan and groan about it in great length and discuss the busy roads nowadays for at least two minutes) or having a train delay (discuss the quirks of the NS for approx. 5 minutes) are very valid excuses. Make sure to text, call and email (all three appreciated) if you are tardy.

3) Location, location

Then, location. If you want to sell, visit him or her. If you want to buy, invite them. If it’s a mutual business affair, meet halfway. Usually, this is taken literally. There’s actually a web service called Roudle make sure it is in fact halfway.

Or otherwise pick a convenient location, people from…

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Image credit: Tom Jutte/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

President Barack Obama of the United States and Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands stand in front of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch (Dutch: De Nachtwacht) during a flying visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, before attending a two-day security summit in The Hague, the Netherlands.