May 27, 2017

Business German

Rule for basic German


                     Things to consider before meeting prospective German clients at a Trade Fair (or anywhere else)


  1. Greet your German clients with a firm handshake.
  2. Address them with ‘Herr’ (Mr) or ‘Frau’ (Mrs) plus their surname, never with their first name (unless they tell you to do so).
  3. Introduce yourself with first and surname to give them the option to address you with your surname.
  4. If you wear a name badge, ensure it has your first and surname (for the same reason as 3)
  5. When exhibiting at a trade fair, make sure you have your printed material in German, or at least a summary of your products.
  6. Have a standard German email/letter prepared for Thank you/ follow up correspondence.
  7. Although most Germans speak English, they do appreciate any effort you may make. The difference between a deal or no deal could be the simple sentence ‘Darf ich Englisch sprechen?’ (May I speak English?)
  8. Add a few basic greetings like ‘guten Morgen’ – good morning ‘guten Tag’ – good day ‘auf Wiedersehen’ – good bye
  9. Very useful is: Wie bitte? – Pardon? Ich verstehe nicht. – I don’t understand. Sprechen Sie Englisch? – Do you speak English?
  10. Invest time to learn German