Germany offers wide market opportunities
Contracts are fundamental to all business activities and relationships are fundamental to all contracts - but different in Germany.
In Germany as a major product and/or services market competition is stiff and a professional presentation of the business plays a major role when negotiating and contracting with German company teams. Social behaviours and contractual knowledge become vital for the success of a business mission. A company has to differentiate with their whole offering to be persistent in this challenging marketing arena.
Bevhaviour of German business partnes is different
But Germany has different approaches which are different to what you might know and are familiar with. Apart from the choppy rhythm of its language, the obsession with "ordnung" and a demonstrated seriousness, the essential question for your negotiation team is: what kind of business behaviors are expected by German negotiation partners?
Knowledge and adaptation to German attitudes
Appropriate business conduct in the German company environment and legal professionalism with an understanding of the German legal contractual system are therefore the key to business co-operation and negotiation success.
You can ensure the final business success of your team by understanding the cultural differences and expectations in Germany embedded into your specific negotiation environment. Based on this knowledge you are in a position to act appropriately and improve your business chances for closing the deal as well as to establish solid working relationships and thus differentiate your company from the competition.
Appearance of Germans in business negotiations
Germans are considered to be tough negotiation partners
Foreign business partners think Germans are reserved and sceptical, and the atmosphere of communication during negotiations is considered to be rather stiff.
Germans show little emotions and expect strict punctuality from their business partners, but have good manners.
The German language is characterised by a monotone tonality, and the conversation is conducted without any gestures and facial expressions. Due to grammatical necessities Germans tend towards broad explanations.
Germans negotiate content-oriented and usually are well prepared for any negotiation. They often avoid to disclose information to maintain a high level of negotiation power.
Germans will negotiate in a very direct, logical and analytic way. Do not expect significant moves during the negotiation. They are very consistent and determined and will react to any weakness of their negotiation partners.
Germans keep their business and private life clearly separate
It is very important for international partners to know that usually business relationships in Germany are not based on solid social relationships but merely on facts. Germans keep business and private life strictly separate. They will therefore not reveal their personal backgrund and will not introduce personal aspects into the negotiations.
Recommandations what to avoid negotiating with Germans
It is a matter of fact the due to the behavior described above German business partners often are felt to be unfriendly and unapproachable. An experienced negotiator familiar with these attitudes will assess this behaviour as not decisive. Therefore it is recommended:
- to remain strictly fact-oriented and
- not to be emotional,
- not to blame Germans for facts without proof,
- to substantiate explanations with facts and/or examples,
- not to overemphasize personal aspects in negotiations.