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Succesful Business development on the Dutch market

some tips for sales and marketing

The Dutch market has several characteristics that may be of influence on how to develop business there.

First of all Holland is a relatively small market compared to large neighbours the UK, Germany and France. If Holland is 100, then France is 350, uk 380 and Germany 450, in terms of national income. This may mean that the market is too small to justify a complete office structure, but sales should be outsourced to a business partner/ distributor/ agent so costs are flexible. Of course this is not the case for all companies.

Second, the Dutch are very good at different languages and open to foreign influence. In France you need to have everything localized, the Dutch may be satisfied with an English language website and brochure. This also means that it is easier to test the market with English language sales people and material before investing more.

Third, the Netherlands is a very densely populated country. About half live in the Randstad area (which include Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague). This means there is not too much transportation needed to cover a large chunck of the market and one physical location (or a one day business fllight) can often serve the whole country.

Fourth, The Dutch are very direct. This directness is sometimes confronting for foreigners, but negative directness is not targeting the individual but only the subject. "I don't like your shoes" does not imply that I don't like you, it is just the colour of the shoe. The directness can be used in your advantage to have a precise insight into what people think about your product and services.


If you want to learn more about doing succesful business in Holland, please contact us.