Doing business (development) in Israel: 4 tips for the players from overseas
In biblical times, Israel was granted the title "The Promised Land." Many years later, and when it comes to innovation, technology and high-tech, it seems that Israel successfully keeps the promise and it does so - big time. In recent years, Israel has become a superpower in the high-tech and innovation industry, where in combination with the renowned Israeli "Chutzpah", it continuously attracts investors, law firms and anyone looking for business opportunities at various stages.
However, similarly to any other market, the Israeli market has its own rules. Therefore, to assist you with entering the market, starting the process, conduct or cooperation with the local players and to make sure you market like a native, the start-ups and everything else that Israel has to offer, we have consolidated a few useful tips for you. Welcome!
1. Let’s talk dugri (let’s cut to the chase) – not necessarily
Israelis love to talk straight and to the point. But when it comes to the business world, this may not always work. Many companies tend to address the heads of their potential clients and start-ups directly, before even establishing their position in the market and before getting to know the local players and practice. Therefore, the most recommended and effective course of action is what we like to call "The Funnel Method" – to begin with addressing a large audience by organizing conferences and events intended for the target audience, to continue with hosting round tables and smaller meetings, and only then, after having established the basis for exposure and ground for mutual understanding, to move on to more intimate tête-à-tête talks.
Chutzpah may present opportunities; but patience is what will eventually win you a deal.
2. Beware of nonsense - “Harta”
"Harta" is an Israeli slang that stands for nonsense, a kind of "scribbling", implying that someone is playing you, telling you unfounded stories or half-truths. Fake news, if you will. Many times they will try to sell you a database that you could have found by yourself at no cost or at low prices, invite you to attend conferences with sponsors who are probably your competitors, and initiate collaborations that will clearly not benefit you.
The best way to deal with such encounters is to ask questions, to show interest and understand every single detail. At SUITS YOU we give you the answers; accurate, smart and most important - tailored to your needs and objectives.
3. Welcome to the Kibbutz –
Another unique Israeli invention is the Kibbutz movement - a settlement system that is characterized by a cooperative life and more importantly: everyone knows everyone else. With time, the kibbutz’s are becoming more rare but their characteristics are preserved, and even more so in the business community. Therefore, whoever comes from the outside has to work even harder so as not to remain the outsider who is watching everyone else from the side.
This is the reason why sales methods here work a little different. You have to be convincing, to be offering something for free or as a pilot for a limited period of time at a reduced cost. Only then, when the advantage of your service becomes known and clear to the potential client, is when we recommended to start talking business and move on.
4. Don’t sweat (much)
Unlike the Jewish mind, Krav Maga and the pioneering innovation, the Israeli winter is nothing to be proud of. This year, for example, we had only a few rainy days, the temperatures were high and people went to the beach even in December and January. And they were sunbathing(!) Even now, in April, the weather is particularly hot and humid. In such weather, it is not advisable to walk outside wearing suits because you will sweat – a lot.
Don’t get it wrong, we do appreciate tailored style and we do pay attention to dress codes. But at the end of the day, no one wants to sweat his way to a potential client. So, if you are hot and it is humid out there, do not hesitate to pause to breathe and freshen up. It’s absolutely fine.