This month blog post, we will talk a little more about the does and donts of doing business in Germany and with Germans.
Product and Company
BUSINESS PRIORITIES: Long term commitment and company stability are top priorities. Therefore, Germans will want to know about your company (ownership, company history, product lines, other customers, affiliations and goals). References may be requested. As your company's representative, they are looking for honesty and reliability which must be proven over a long period of time. Trying to rush this process is considered rude or suspicious.
QUALITY: In Germany, quality equals durability. Detailed research documenting quality claims should be available, and printed materials should include product parts and information.
ENVIRONMENT: Environmental issues are of major concern and are highly regulated in Germany. Be prepared to show how your company is addressing the environmental impact of its product and services.
In negotiating, Germans tend to start with something close to what they expect to receive in the end. A supplier who asks for much more than they agree to in the end lacks credibility in the eyes of Germans. Yet, the German buyer is prepared to assist a trusted, long serving supplier if the supplier encounters unexpected costs and difficulties. Caution: be sure to agree to product specifications and supplier flexibility if needed.