Doing business and negotiations with clients and customers always follow one simple rule: be professional. As a representative of your company, you need to act and talk professionally. Most businesses in the world share similar customs and practices. But of course, there are some unique and distinct rules and standards that everyone should abide in every company.
If it’s your first time being in Germany’s business world, it will be helpful for you to read these basic things to remember:
Like any other business, time is precious. More than yours, respect others’ time. It is considered a cardinal sin if you are late in Germany. Coming up five to ten minutes after the arranged time is considered insulting. It will also create you a bad impression, especially at your first meeting.
Address them with titles
Especially in a first meeting, it is a custom to address your business associates and colleagues with their title and surname. Also, it is a must to introduce the highest ranking guest or your boss first to everyone. Wait until they give you the permission to use their first names instead.
A handshake is the safest
A handshake is a common practice among Germans. It can be used when greeting another person or even saying goodbye. Basically, people in the business shake hand with each other before and after the meeting or conference. Make sure that your handshake is firm and brief, symbolizing confidence and reliability. A weak handshake means hesitant or not trusted.
Invest in business attire
Dressing professionally provides a good impression on your colleagues and clients. Typically, German business attire is conservative. So, men are advised to avoid flashy or colorful ties. On the other hand, women should wear light makeup and simple jewelry.
Distance is normal
In business, you shall not expect your colleagues to share everything with you. If they maintain an ample distance from you, then it is normal. Teamwork is good, but most of the times, people in the business want to work independently with others.
Privacy is very important, not just in Germany but in everywhere. Before entering a private office, it is a standard to knock first. It is a polite way of showing respect in the business world.