Rule for basic German
Things to consider before meeting prospective German clients at a Trade Fair (or anywhere else)
- Greet your German clients with a firm handshake.
- Address them with ‘Herr’ (Mr) or ‘Frau’ (Mrs) plus their surname, never with their first name (unless they tell you to do so).
- Introduce yourself with first and surname to give them the option to address you with your surname.
- If you wear a name badge, ensure it has your first and surname (for the same reason as 3)
- When exhibiting at a trade fair, make sure you have your printed material in German, or at least a summary of your products.
- Have a standard German email/letter prepared for Thank you/ follow up correspondence.
- 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?)
- Add a few basic greetings like ‘guten Morgen’ – good morning ‘guten Tag’ – good day ‘auf Wiedersehen’ – good bye
- Very useful is: Wie bitte? – Pardon? Ich verstehe nicht. – I don’t understand. Sprechen Sie Englisch? – Do you speak English?
- Invest time to learn German