Thinking of Doing Business in Germany? Read Our Top Tips

5 Essential Tips for Doing Business in Germany

Extremely organised, punctual, disciplined, bureaucratic, dogmatic…..the list goes on. Clichés on German business culture are widespread. But are they really accurate? What do you really need to know before a business meeting in Germany?

As the largest economic power in Europe, Germany has many export opportunities open to British businesses. But if you want to be successful on the German market, the key is to be fully prepared. We have put together a few tips to help you avoid any faux pas and optimise your chances of success in Germany. Find out more about the best languages for doing business in Europe.

1. Follow the Schedule

It may be a stereotype, but turning up late will leave a very poor impression on your German counterparts. Meetings should be scheduled well in advance, as Germans prefer to stay organised and plan ahead. The agenda will have been decided before the meeting and will aim at reaching a clear result, rather than an open conversation.

2. Stick to Business

Keeping distances is common and expected in the German business world. Don’t bring up your private life and sensitive topics such as politics or religion should be avoided.

3. Be Frank

The Germans are much more direct than their British counterparts. A blunt ‘no’ will not be frowned upon and honest criticism is favoured. Don’t beat around the bush: a German won’t be offended by this and will trust you more than if you don’t get to the point. On the upside, your partners will usually mean what they say and honour their word.

4. Focus on the Facts

German organisations can be very hierarchical. As a result, decisions will be made at the top level, and often follow strict procedures. Similarly, avoid aggressive sales methods and snazzy leaflets. Instead, present the facts clearly and thoroughly, and support your claims with detailed information. Your partners will want to review all the details before committing to something. Stick to what you said, as surprises and unexpected changes are not appreciated and the Germans are usually averse to risk.

5. Keep Humour for Lunches and Drinks

If you are invited to a business lunch, this is a great opportunity to build rapport, as your partners will be more relaxed and less reserved. As a rule, your host will pay the bill and insisting on paying it could be seen as offensive.

How to be Ready: Cross-Cultural Training

Having German language skills will strongly benefit your business in Germany. But being culturally aware will optimise your chances of closing a deal and establishing strong business relationship. Cross-cultural training will help you develop key cultural awareness skills for doing business with German partners. At Cactus Language Training, we offer several options that you can combine together to be fully trained and ready.

Are you looking to develop your language skills or of your team members? Are you looking to determine the number of hours needed to reach proficiency? Cactus Guide to International Success –  Levels and Progress Made Simple gives you the information you need to ensure your language training objectives are met. Download our free Guide to International Success.

Free Guide to International Success

Cactus Language Training Services

If you are interested in discussing your global language training strategy with the UK leading provider in language training, then get in touch to learn more about your language learning options. From face-to-face, online, blended learning and in company tuition Cactus Language Training will help you find the delivery and schedule that meets your needs. Cactus offer any language wherever you are and whenever you chooseDownload our Free Corporate Brochure.

For information on any of our language training services, please call us on +44 (0) 1273 830 960 or contact us. Our multilingual team will be happy to answer any question you may have.

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