If you work as an EMEA Sales or Marketing Director at a B2B tech company and want to boost your sales in The Netherlands, this blog post will be of interest to you.
Cold calling to book a meeting with an IT decision maker in The Netherlands might be tricky if you are not used to the culture. To succeed, you should know a couple of things. I have worked as a BDR for many years, booking meetings with IT decision makers in The Netherlands. By now, I have learned what it takes to book a successful meeting with the right people. Today, I will share my top 5 tips! If you are interested in learning how we helped our client Admincontrol book qualified sales meetings in Holland, check out this case.
Let’s dive straight in.
1. Be Direct and Honest in your Communication
To succeed with your cold calling it is especially important to be direct in your communication. There are a lot of sales companies in The Netherlands, so Dutch people are very used to being approached by sales callers, so they know exactly what they want, and the conversations are usually relatively short.
It’s important to say what you want, and don’t beat about the bush. Be straight to the point and be clear with your agenda. If you don’t, they won’t trust you and they will lose interest before you have even got to the point! And if they say “no” to your solution, it is a no. Don’t try to convince them, just be polite and friendly and accept the answer. In many other European countries, a follow up email could work, but Dutch people are not responding favourably to that due to the high volume of sales emails they get every day.
It is also important to be honest in your communication. Dutch IT decision makers are very technical and like getting into details, if you don’t know the answer don’t try to guess or skip the questions, be honest and say you don’t know the answers and that you will connect them with someone who does. They are extremely passionate about their IT topics, so this is of great importance!
2. Be Yourself
Being yourself might sound a bit obvious, but it really is key. When calling, you should be yourself. Just use an approach of being relaxed and friendly and don’t act like someone else or try too hard. Don’t be afraid of using small talk and jokes. Dutch people love jokes, the joking culture here is authentic! If they tell you a joke that you don’t think is funny, you should still laugh – otherwise they will think you’re rude (this might seem like common sense, but it is still worth mentioning!). In general, keep the conversation light, casual and easy going. If you feel like the timing is right, it could also benefit the outcome to share some personal information.
Even though the Dutch people love an informal environment for conversations, they are very keen to stick to agreed times. ‘Time is money’ is a phrase that works in the Netherlands. At meetings, the Dutch prefer to get right down to business. Dutch people tend to keep appointments and are usually on time. If you are late, they won’t trust you and you won’t be doing any business. And speaking of times, don’t schedule any meetings between 12.30-1.00 PM! It’s lunch time you don’t want to interfere with that!
3. Be on the Right Level
Another thing that is important if you want to succeed with your meeting booking in The Netherlands is to be on the same level as the person you are talking to and have a friendly conversation. Don’t act like you know more and pretend to be on a higher level. The Dutch people are not into hierarchy and they will easily ignore authority when they deem it necessary. Due to the flat organization culture, it’s quite easy to reach decision makers in The Netherlands compared to other European countries.
4. Be Patient
A consequence of the non-existing hierarchy and highly democratic business culture is that everyone gets to have a say. This means that making decisions usually takes a lot of time since it needs to be discussed with everyone, meaning you need to be patient! But a way to speed the decision-making process up, is to offer a live demo. The Dutch love to get demos so they can view the solution in real time. They also love innovation, so showing something new and innovative is always positive. Being up to date with new innovations is particularly important and can be used in your meeting booking strategy.
5. Use a Dutch speaking consultant
Finally, but most importantly; use a Dutch speaking BDR! This is probably the most crucial factor. If you don’t have a Dutch speaking BDR, you won’t have success with your campaigns. Most Dutch people do understand English but prefer to speak Dutch since that makes them feel more comfortable. This is also about showing respect, if you talk to them in their own language – you will show them respect.
If this sounds overwhelming, we are here to help. We have local senior BDRs in most countries in Europe. Contact us here and we would be happy to tell you more! If you want to read about how how we helped our client Admincontrol book qualified sales in The Netherlands, click here.