Germans are proud of ”made in Germany” as a synonym for quality and reliability. In business meetings, Germans are relatively 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 some German companies’ generally very highly hierarchical structures. Be aware that the negotiation process can sometimes be lengthy since Germans prefer to discuss many details in advance to prevent future misunderstandings. It is generally seen as very impolite to make or accept telephone calls during a business meeting, conference, or any occasion where the call would serve as a distraction or imply disinterest to your business partners.
As Germans prefer to act based on clearly communicated guidelines and fair rules, your German business partners will most likely view signed contracts as the non-negotiable result of such discussions. Therefore, they will be disappointed 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.
For more details about conducting business meetings in German, please get in touch to book a German course.