Meetings in Germany

Meetings in Deutschland

A lot of Germans tend to plan far ahead into the future, which is why meetings should be booked a few weeks in advance. Germans are quite time oriented, so once a meeting is booked, a change of date or time is quite uncommon. If the plan does however change, and it changes on your behalf, you will be expected to notify your German business partners as soon as possible and be honest about the matter that came up.

It’s all about organization

Meetings in Germany are all about organization, both before and after the appointment. The aim is a decisive outcome, not just a simple discussion. Meetings are functional and usually stick to a strict agenda, which includes start and finish time. Germans want structure and organization in everything, this includes their meetings. Some Germans won’t even bother to show up to a meeting if there is no agenda provided.

Written information is important

Proposals in Meetings are analyzed thoroughly, so it should be ensured that the information provided is also available in written format. Nevertheless, someone will always be writing a protocol, so the employees can refer to the meeting afterwards. This is also due to the fact that the written word has a heavier weight than the spoken. What is in the protocol, counts.

Decisions are based on facts

Decisions will not be made in regards to the charm or presentation techniques of the speaker, but much rather on concrete facts that present the matter in a convenient light with minimum risk. Thus, hard-sell tactics or surprises of any sort should be avoided. It’s better to focus on specific numbers, on factual trends and on technical and realistic matter. Germans like to know what’s going on, down to every last detail. Hence, decisions are made methodically and can often take their time, but once a decision has been reached, minds are rarely changed, Germans don’t like change.

Finally, it’s a good idea to write a follow up letter to the German business partner. This quick action reinforces the importance of the meeting with the German counterparts and also reduces any memory errors. Once the contract is made, it most likely will not be changed.

Felicia Greiner, editor

+49 (0)711 722 468 44
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