A bicultural perspective into the German market by Janina Neumann.

This video gives insights into

  • The types of businesses in Germany
  • Interacting with family businesses
  • Sales in Germany

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Hi, I’m Janina Neumann, a bilingual graphic designer, social entrepreneur and business owner of Janina Neumann Design. Today I share my bicultural perspective into the German market.

So what does the German market look like?

91% of all companies in Germany are family controlled. 44% of Germany’s total sales come from owner-managed family businesses, according to Familien Unternehmen in 2017.

So Germany’s made up of the Mittelstand. So these are small to medium-sized enterprises with a revenue up to 50 million euro. What’s important to remember with the Mittelstand is that they are family-owned or have a family-like corporate culture. They focus on generational continuity, independence, and have strong regional ties. So this means that they have a long-term focus, an emotional attachment to the company, and they invest in their workforce, and they also have a sense of social responsibility.

So how does sales differ in Germany compared to the UK?

  • So in Germany, they’re more evidence driven. Specifics matter. This could be because their persuading style in Germany is principles-first, whereas in the UK, it’s more applications-first.
  • Also, it’s important to remember that agreements may take longer to sign. This might be because in Germany, deciding is more consensual, whereas in the UK, it’s more top-down.
  • And in Germany, they have a strong hierarchy, so it might be more difficult to talk to the boss. Their leading style is more hierarchical, as I said, compared to the UK. So you might need to start from an introduction through the receptionist, and work yourself up to the person you want to speak to.
  • The evaluating style in Germany is quite direct, whereas in the UK, it’s more indirect.
  • Trusting in Germany is more task-based, whereas in the UK, it’s more relationship-based. However, it is important to remember that if you’re dealing with family businesses, they do want to get to know you as well.
  • And their time management is more linear time, compared to the UK, which is a bit more flexible time.

So if you’d like to learn more about how to communicate with the German market, please get in touch for a free German website audit, where I can help you gain more sales and be clearer in how you communicate your brand message.

Thank you very much.