Why Germany?

With over 80 Million inhabitants Germany is the biggest and most stable market in the European Union.
It is also one of the most developed countries in the world.



According to EZLA research, Germany is the most attractive European market for SMEs thinking of foreign expansion.


How to get ready for the first meeting with a German prospect?

1. Understand the market

Despite geographical and cultural proximity of European countries there are a lot of differences in business culture. To make a good first impression on your potential customers, it is critical to get to know German business etiquette and rules of communication in direct business relations.

2. Get to know the industry

Germans pay huge attention to differences between industries and to the understanding of their specific needs by potential suppliers. It is worth investing the time to learn what are the main requirements and challenges, main topics and expected changes in the economic environment that can influence a company in a certain industry sector.

3. Send agenda in advance

It is critical to create and send the meeting agenda in advance. More than anyone else, Germans like to be deeply prepared for the meeting and they also expect the same from their partners. Set the meeting schedule with times, topics and presenters. One day in advance is the latest to send it to all meeting participants. This will be the first proof you are treating the meeting and people seriously and it is worth it to meet with you.

4. Mind the formalities

In Germany, these are not just formalities. It’s a basic for a business relationship. Come well in advance to the meeting and get to know your partners. Mind the hierarchy and academic titles. Never address people with their first name. That’s not impolite it’s purely rude unless you know each other for long and you clearly agreed to do so.

5. Stir up the trust

Germans do not prefer big, global corporates, but an important factor for business partner selection is the credibility. The trust can be gained in a few ways. Important reliability factors are certificates and references as well as membership in industry organisations. Include that information in your company presentation.

6. Speak the customer's language

Despite the fact that most upper managers in Germany speak English, support in local language can have a significant influence on the final buying decision. Because of the size of the market, Germans are used to meetings and materials in German, as well as to interfaces in their local language. A necessary element is also a local website – it’s lack is often perceived as not having a serious attitude toward the German market or as a lack of local support that can be crucial in deciding on a purchase.

7. Sum-up the meeting

Minutes of the meeting with next steps, deadlines and person responsible assigned to those are a critical element of every meeting. Write down what was discussed, what was left open, as well as agree upon further steps. There is no place for delays or improvisation if you want to be treated seriously.

14 years