More than Manners: The Business Professionals Guide to Success in Germany

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Should you use titles, first names or last names when addressing them? What approach is better: casual and personal or strictly professional?

The following guidelines will help you and your company make the best impression south of the border. With a genuine interest to assimilate the Mexican business culture, American companies can develop successful business relationships in Mexico. Do your research.

Focus on building strong relationships , and pave the way for profitable business opportunities in the future. Be sure to learn about how to identify and avoid fraud, as well as reducing the risk of nonpayment in your export ventures. Your email address will not be published. Please select a merchant. Do you need to cite this page for school or university research? Please see below examples. Send a copy to your email. Send Reset. Connect your expatriate and international business staff with customised country information at the touch of a button. Click here for more information.

Search for something Search Search. Wining and dining Business entertainment is mostly done in restaurants. Lunch meetings are more common than breakfast.

More than manners

Try to finish everything on your plate; it is rude to leave leftovers. Use utensils at all times. Do not use your hands except for breaking bread. Cut potatoes, soft foods including dessert, salads with a fork and not a knife. Keep your hands on the table during the meal and not on your lap.

Try to keep your elbows off the table. Try to leave a party no later than midnight.


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Gift-giving protocol in Switzerland Gifts are exchanged after the successful conclusion of negotiations and not before. Never give an expensive gift, this can be seen as a bribe or flattery. Give a good bottle of wine, whisky or bourbon, books on your home region. Do not give a gift unless given one.

You could give something with your company logo on it.

Business negotiations & business meals

Avoid giving sharp items such as cutlery, knives, scissors, since this indicates the severing of a relationship. Interpreters or guides prefer a small gift rather than a tip. Making a deal Generally speaking, the German and French Swiss are conceptual, analytical thinkers; the Italian Swiss tend to think associatively. Be prepared Ensure that you bring a plentiful supply of business cards since the Swiss are usually keen to exchange them.

It is no longer necessary, or even desirable, to include any academic or professional qualifications on your business card. Your rank within the corporate hierarchy is much more important and, when designing your card, you might consider having your professional title printed in a different font. You might also include the founding date of your company since the Swiss will be curious to know how long your organization has been in existence and will be impressed if your company is an older, venerable institution.

Inquire about the English-language proficiency of the Swiss businessmen you will be encountering. If French, German, or Italian is what your Swiss contacts speak and understand the best, you will want to have an interpreter. If you use an interpreter, speak slowly and clearly. Avoid using idioms and frequently confirm that what you have said has been understood.

Generally, the Swiss take a very long time to establish personal relationships. Yet if you are willing to put in the time and effort, the rapport and bond you establish with them may prove to be very worthwhile.

More Than Manners: The Business Professionals Guide To Success In Germany

You do not have to have a magnetic personality to win favour with the Swiss; it is usually sufficient to be a responsible, sound, honest businessperson. Maintaining control over your emotions and leading a disciplined personal life are also esteemed qualities. In Swiss business culture, few women hold high-level positions and they must work much harder than their male colleagues to achieve a comparable level of success.

Female business travellers will, however, be accepted in their own right but they must remain highly professional at all times, both in their behaviour and dress. German-Swiss will usually get right down to business. In Swiss business culture, there is a reluctance to take risks. The Swiss will require substantial information and persuasive argument before agreeing to a new plan or procedure.

Doing Business in Mexico: Understanding Mexican Business Culture & Etiquette

Presentations of any kind should be clear and concise and it may be advisable to have a summary available in the local language. Summarize the presentation first before launching into your pitch. What to look out for The Swiss have a reputation for getting the best possible deal from opponents without ever appearing aggressive or demanding.

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How to Follow Proper Business Etiquette in Germany

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