|Tips for Doing Business in Germany|
I. Management Tips
1. Currently, the most important business issues for managers (natives and expats) in Germany are:
2. Effective leadership in Germany includes for following behaviors?
- Knowing when to use task or relationship orientation
3. Business is not conducted during the following times and or occasions:
Public holidays all over Germany are: New Years Day, Easter Monday, first of May, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Christmas. Some federal states have more public holidays.
II. Expats in Germany
1. What are the most important issues for expat managers in Germany to get right?
- Working self reliance, being able to deal with relatively flat hierarchies and a democratic way of decision-making.
2. How are expat managers typically perceived?
As a representative of headquarters in a non-German based corporation, thus representing not always the ideas of local staff. Therefore they need to convince the local staff about their mission not just by vision or statements, but have adapted strategies at hand and discuss these with detailed knowledge of local procedures.
3. If an expat doesn’t clearly back up ideas and strategies with facts and data , he or she can be perceived by Germany nationals as not reliable?
III. Clients and Business Development Tips
1. How can vendors be effective at building rapport with potential clients in Germany?
- By communicating in a direct way, focusing more on facts and targets than personal relationship
2. What should vendors do when visiting a prospect or a client?
- Being informed about the company
3. What should vendors avoid doing?
- Be too entertaining
4. What are the most important things to keep in mind when negotiating with prospects or clients from Germany?
Germans communicate directly and expect their partners to be direct as well. Germans usually need complete information on a subject (low context communication) as well as a clear structure. Germans are used to discuss and decide subjects democratically with all people involved, regardless of their hierarchical position. They stick to contracts and decisions made and get very irritated if the other party does not.
5. What is considered a conflict and how are conflicts handled?
A conflict can be a result of diverging interests and ideas about something as well as an interpersonal matter. Conflicts are seen as normal and are usually openly discussed. Usually everybody who is involved is expected to express their personal opinion (it is also expected to have an individual opinion) directly and openly so that, through open discussion, a solution can be found.
6. After the end of the contract, the most effective thing one can do to maintain a relationship (for the purpose of getting follow-on business) is:
- Follow up the points of the agenda
For additional information, please contact ITAP Germany (Twist Consulting).