International business situations can be quite different from each other. In this series of articles, we will focus on what really matters when doing business in the Netherlands.
First business meetings in the Netherlands
First impressions count, and you should aim for a respectable and well-groomed appearance when attending a first business meeting in the Netherlands.
When in doubt about the dress code for a particular business event, it is best to be well-dressed rather than under-dressed. If you have the chance, it is also okay to ask beforehand about the dress code.
In a first business meeting in the Netherlands, welcomes and responses will be warm. However, since the Dutch prefer to keep things low-key, do not expect an exuberant first hello or lengthy small talk, as business matters are more important than a personal relationship.
No matter how many people are present, be sure to greet everybody in the room with a handshake and introduce yourself, at least with your family name, as it is considered rude not to identify yourself.
It is best to address people using Mr. or Mrs./Miss, followed by their last name. In Dutch, it is “Meneer” for men and “Mevrouw” for women. It is always nice to include a little bit of Dutch at a first encounter to show your appreciation for the guest country.
How should you behave when it comes to exchanging business cards? What information should you include and which language should you use?
Click here to find out more in the article about “doing business in the Netherlands” released by our business partner Crossculture2go!