Business Etiquette Guide

Business Etiquette Guide

Picture showing a cravat | © photocase

Source: Picture showing a cravat | © photocase

Business Negotiations

Germans are proud of ''made in Germany'' as a synonym for quality and reliability. In business meetings, Germans are rather formal, detail-oriented and direct. They tend to say exactly what they want and mean. They are decision making and problem solving oriented, although these processes can take quite some time to complete, especially considering the generally very highly hierarchical structures in German companies. Be aware that the negotiation process can sometimes be very lengthy, since Germans prefer to discuss many details in advance in order to prevent future misunderstandings. Please note that it is generally very impolite to make or accept telephone calls during a business meeting, conference or on any occasion where the call would serve as a distraction or imply disinterest to your business partners.

As Germans prefer to act on the basis of clearly communicated guidelines and fair rules, your German business partners will most likely view signed contracts as the non-negotiable end result of such discussions. Therefore, they will be quite disappointed and may even resort to legal action, if you surprise them with changes to business agreements after contracts have been signed. To sum it up, German business people value high quality, yet affordable, goods and services, which are provided (as agreed) on time and are accompanied by timely and transparent correspondence.