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Negotiating with Europeans may be harder than expected

Do not underestimate our continental cousins. As we have already seen several times in the Brexit negotiations - what they may lack in subtle and confusing use of the English language, bluster and blind optimism - they more than make up for in preparation and planning, plain speaking and focus. 

Extended hand

 Divided by a common language?

Many Europeans speak very good European English indeed. This is very similar to native English but typically lacks the nuances and subtleties that many British people routinely use to communicate among themselves.

For example if a native English speaker says that they find a proposal ‘interesting’ it is perhaps possible that they actually find it interesting. More likely they are politely telling their opposite number to go away and think of something better.

The European English speaking colleague may assume that they actually do find it interesting.

Failing to prepare means preparing to fail

If the Brexit negotiations teach us anything useful so far, it is perhaps the importance of being thoroughly prepared…

Meeting room

This includes:

- Not underestimating the negotiating skills of the other side. 

- Knowing your own clear objectives. 

- Being particularly clear on any ‘red lines’.

- Anticipating your opposite number’s key issues.

Understanding German market opportunities in depth - and how these could dovetail with your organisation’s unique products and capabilities - are key to developing a successful approach to negotiating new business.

How could Eureko’s support work for you? 

Access to your own bilingual German trade specialist - our highly experienced German trade specialists have experience of negotiating with Germans at senior level. They can work with you to get to grips with your business needs - and the real opportunities for your business in Germany now.

Tailored support to match your requirements – one of Eureko’s German Trade Specialists can work with you to help you make the very most of export opportunities to Germany.

For hands-on help with negotiating with Germany contact Eureko

Posted: 5th November 2017

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