Business Relationships with Germans

Many Germans strictly divide their work and private lives. For example, some people may hesitate to speak about their marital status, political and religious opinions, their personal income or other matters they consider to be private at work. You may, however, be able to get a conversation going by appealing to your business partners’ loyalty to his/her home region and its foods/beverages or sports teams. On the whole, however, Germans tend to be more interested in business-related issues, tasks and problems than getting to know customers, colleagues and vendors – it may thus take time for German business partners to get to know each other on a personal level. On the other hand, as Germans tend to be rather reliable, a well-established business relationship cannot be disrupted too easily. Business partners usually reward another year of good business relations with a Christmas or New Year’s card or a small token of appreciation (a local wine, beer, sausage, or baked goods, for example).

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