Thursday, August 02, 2012
Steve Potts, director accountable for Growth at Transmentum Ltd., based in Nottingham, U.K., assured me the Dutch have a sense of humor. But he still doesn’t advise tech vendors to use jokes when trying to break into the Dutch market.
“You see, we salespeople paint word pictures. And while many Dutch business people speak excellent English, they just don’t have the same frame of reference,” Potts explained.
I ran into Potts in the hallway after he served on a panel discussion during the “Business Opportunities for Emerging Vendors in the European Market” session Wednesday afternoon at CompTIA’s Breakaway conference.
Potts’ advice is just one recommendation session attendees received. Susanne Dansey, managing director, Purple Cow Ideas Management, had five pointers for tech sellers approaching the European market:
- Don’t treat Europe as one market, because it isn’t. Develop at least eight strategies for different European countries. The plans should be separate but work in concert.
- Target the “Tech12” markets in Europe for next-generation technologies.
- Focus on Germany, France and Central Europe for software applications.
- Look to continental Europe for IT outsourcing opportunities. Recession has made the region fertile ground.
- Offer different IT consulting services based on underlying software adoption.
Jon Clarke, managing director at Cyance Ltd. (U.K.), offered this tip: “The U.S. approach to sales is more aggressive than in Europe. U.S. vendors need the long-game approach in Europe.”
Potts also shared some counsel on dealing with his countrymen: “Don’t throw webinars at people in the U.K. It’ll turn them off. They prefer face-to-face business.”