Get past the German-No

Question “How can we best get by that initial German-No response?” UC First, never assume that the German-No is hard and fast. Often it is simply their immediate response to a question which has been stated to them requiring yes or no. In other words, they feel that they have … Read more

Germans: Verbal vs. Written

Question “In the German context does a verbal agreement have the same value – binding character – as a written agreement?” UC In the German context there is no higher level of commitment than making a written agreement. The written word in the German culture is extroardinarily binding. It is … Read more

Don’t upset the Germans

Question “How can we follow up on an agreement without upsetting our German colleagues?” UC First, ask yourself when is it truly necessary to do follow-up. Americans do a lot of follow-up, often purely out of nervousness and anxiety.  Second, when entering into an agreement with your German colleagues, discuss … Read more

Constant overview of agreements

Question “Germans prefer to deliver complete results, even if late, over incomplete results, but fast. In addition, their frequency of follow-up is low compared to the U.S. How can American colleagues maintain constant and accurate overview of the agreements made with their German colleagues, including factoring in new agreements the … Read more

Avoid irritating German colleagues

Question “We have established expectations regarding both individual agreements and to how we will handle follow-up on those agreements. How do we then avoid irritating our German colleagues with requests for updates?” UC First, ask yourself when is it truly necessary to do follow-up. Americans do a lot of follow-up … Read more

American customers and follow-up

Question “After entering into an agreement Germans do far less follow-up than do Americans. Customers in the U.S., however, often want to maintain high frequency follow-up with their suppliers. How can we get our German colleagues to acknowledge that and help their American colleagues to keep their U.S. customers up … Read more

Overpromising vs. Underpromising

Question “We Americans overpromise. Much more than do our German colleagues. How do we strike a balance between overpromising to our American team-leads – and/or to our American customers – and underpromising or realistic-promising to our German colleagues?” UC Reduce the overpromising to your American team-lead. Get real. Get realistic. … Read more

Yes, let’s give it a try

Question “Before making a commitment our German colleagues like as much clarity as possible up-front. However, developing opportunities in the U.S. business context is an on-going, interative process together with the customer. The goal is to understand and define their needs.  In other words, the nature of the commitments with … Read more

“No, no, no!”

Question “Our German colleagues in headquarters always say what cannot work, but without a solution or recommendation on how it could work. Their response is simply ‘No, no, no.’ We present business opportunities, create an agenda, do everything the Germans ask of us, then we do the telecon. Our message.: … Read more

Too many meetings!

Question “Why do our American colleagues have so many meetings? It can appear to us Germans that they don’t get any work done.” UC In many cases, it’s true that Americans have more meetings than do their German counterparts. But there are many instances where the case is the other … Read more