I have always wondered how the Dutch conduct business. Have heard various myths regarding Dutch business practices as being very stern and strictly professional no ifs, ands or buts about it. So I did some research and found that when it comes to foreign and domestic business practices, the Dutch have some pretty strict rules and guidelines.
For companies that come from foreign countries, the Dutch first and foremost want to know your credentials; they need to see your academic credentials and the amount of time your business has been open, showing experience and integrity.
One of the guidelines for all business transactions with the Dutch is to avoid hyperbole, any showmanship, and exaggeration of any kind including words and body language such as hand gestures when speaking. They are very serious when it comes to business but also expect clarity.
The great thing about conducting business with the Dutch is that they are very open and expect you to do the same with your intentions and expectations. One thing that is also pretty neat is that decisions are made generally on a consensus basis, so everyone who will be affected by the potential business decision is allowed to voice their opinion.
That last bit is pretty awesome considering the fact that many businesses, smaller franchises and the like are usually run by a tyrant at the top who makes all decisions and expects everyone to conform, which is not very effective.
Thus, communication is purely based on context when it comes to the Dutch; they expect you to support all of your claims and observations with quantitative facts and eliminate all emotion from the equation that is why they are perceived as very blunt.
The Dutch expect honesty, modesty and trust. They also draw a thick line between personal and professional that is why they will not work on vacation or extend their hours beyond a traditional workday. They are also very strict with deadlines, so timing is everything.
All in all the Dutch follow very strict but very professional business practices that I definitely respect in coming from a different culture entirely. These business practices have proven time and time again that the Dutch truly mean business.