Entering a new market with your services or products means first of all understanding another culture and its values. Each market and each country has its specialities – but what about Austrians? What is important for them? And what do you need to consider when you wish to find some Austrian clients? Are they all dressed in Lederhosen and value traditions? Or are they innovative and early adopters?
City or countryside market?
Primarily it needs to be said that Austria is a very small country with only about 8,7 million inhabitants. About 2 million of them live in the capital city Vienna with another couple of hundred thousand people living in the surrounding of Vienna. So, the market divides more or less in greater Vienna, smaller other cities like Salzburg or Graz and the big, big countryside.
Therefore, it’s important to acknowledge the differences in selling to the capital, a smaller city or the countryside. People are different in those areas and they do have different values.
Especially in Vienna you will find a big start-up scene and therefore more chances to meet for early adopters and younger clients. In general, an Austrian can’t be considered as an early adopter and innovative client. More the opposite – people value traditions and like to buy from people and stores they know.
No networking – no business
This brings me to the most important point when selling to Austrian people – networking! As I said before people like to buy from people and companies they know. A lot of business is done by referral or contacts. People tend to exchange about products and services they bought or consumed. So, to be successful in the market you need gain a lot of trust and give people some time to get to know you. The Austrian culture is rated as quite security focused. This means in general people try to avoid change and are therefore most of the time not really early adopters. But they are good customers for products and services already adopted in the market and mindset of people. They value quality and reasonable prices.
So, what is important when selling to Austrians?
Start with a product or service Austrians do already know are at least grown out of the phase of early adopters. Give people time to get to know you and your company. Network as much as you can. Work with a referral systems if possible. Be aware of the differences between countryside, smaller cities and capital city. The more countryside the more tradition and the more trust counts – price sensibility also increases in the more rural areas.
Marina Ofner – Coaching, Training, Consulting
Marina was born and raised in Austria and is working as intercultural trainer and career coach online and in Europe. She is training for major big international companies and regularly coaching for projects run be the University of Cambridge. She is a Master’s Graduate in Business Consultancy, professional trainer and coach with a Certificate in Coaching from the University of Cambridge. Besides working for international companies, she supports individuals in creating a meaningful and balanced work-life. Visit her website to read more and book yourself a complementary discovery session: www.marinaofner.com