The German business culture is always described as bureaucratic, organized, dogmatic and disciplined, among many other cliches. However, they might not be as accurate as described. You might be wondering what you actually need to know before doing any type of business in Germany.
Note that it is the largest economic power in Europe. Therefore, Germany has numerous export opportunities available to various British Businesses. If you want to be successful in Germany, you need to be fully prepared. Here are some useful tips to optimize your chances of success in Germany.
- Follow The Schedule
Always follow the schedule because showing up late will leave a poor impression for your German counterparts. Make sure you schedule meetings in advance since Germans love staying organized and planning ahead. The agenda should be decided on before the meeting and should aim at coming up with a clear-cut result rather than being an open conversation.
- Stick To Business
It’s common to keep your distance in the German world of business. Always stick to business and avoid bringing up your private life or sensitive topics such as religion or politics.
- Be Frank
German business people are more direct compared to British people. Honest criticism is always favored compared to blunt ‘no’ answers. Avoid beating around the bush and your German counterparts will not be offended. Actually, they will trust your more if you get to the point. Even better, they will mean what they say and honor their word every chance they get.
- Focus On The Facts
German organizations are very hierarchical. Therefore, all decisions are usually made at the top level and follow strict procedures throughout. Avoid using snazzy leaflets and aggressive sales. Rather, you should present the facts clearly and thoroughly. You should support your claims with detailed information. You should always stick to what you said since they don’t appreciate unexpected changes or surprises. Remember, the Germans are usually averse to risks. This provides quote a good guide around what to expect and how to establish a business in Germany.
- Leave Out The Humor
If German business people invite you for a business lunch, you can use this chance to build a great rapport. That’s because they will be more relaxed as well as less reserved. They will insist on paying the bill so you should avoid insisting on it.
Well, that’s what you need to know about doing business with German people and how you can become successful at it for the best results.