Business etiquette in Germany

I often get asked during German lessons what the proper business etiquette in Germany is. Here is a little synopsis about meeting German business partners for the first time:

When meeting with business partners for the first time, ensure you are on time, dressed appropriately and armed with ample business cards. Your business partner will probably introduce him or herself as Mr. or Ms XYZ (Herr or Frau XYZ), which implies that you should wait to address him or her on a first-name basis until invited to do so. In general, the corporate dress code is formal. Casual wear is occasionally acceptable in some industries (creative/media). Be sure to use a firm grip while shaking hands and maintain appropriate eye contact with the other parties when they are speaking to you. Be aware that it is impolite to put your hands in your pockets while someone is conversing with you. Please note that Germans will greet and say goodbye to their business partners and friends with a handshake each time.

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