There is no action without a decision. And no decision without considering options. Options are presented. Present. Decide. Act. Germans and Americans persuade differently.
The Germans separate message from messenger. The presenter consciously and purposely moves into the background. In the German business context the message takes center stage. Germans believe that arguments should speak for themselves.
Americans link message and messenger. The message, its form, and most importantly its presenter create a unity. In the U.S. business context the presenter takes center stage. Americans believe that „you sell yourself first, then your product or service.“
For Germans a core competence is the ability to identify, analyze and solve complex problems. For them the key to success is problem-solving. In the German business context to be competent is to focus primarily on problems.
Americans strive to see problems as opportunities. And opportunities are to be exploited. Competent in the U.S. business context is that person able to recognize opportunities in difficult situations and to maximize on the gains they offer.
Germans are systematic in their thinking. Complexity is understood only by grasping how its component parts interrelate and interact. For a component part can only be understood via its role within the whole. Germans use theories and models to explain complexity.
Americans are particularistic in their thinking. They prefer to break down complexity into its component parts, in order to focus on the essential parts. Americans are skeptical of theory. Unless it is based on empirical evidence. Facts and experience are more persuasive.
Germans define realistic as understanding reality. To understand the present, is to understand how it became so. Germans expect a clear explanation of the path from the past to the present. A realist understands the history of a given situation.
For Americans to be realistic includes understanding what is possible. The possible is determined not only by present circumstances, but also by the ability to shape a new future. Forward movement often demands moving away from the past.
Inform vs. Sell
In the German business world to persuade means to inform persuasively. Persuasive argumentation guides an audience to its logical conclusion. Selling the conclusion is not necessary. Germans do not ask the so-called closing question in a direct and frontal way.
In the U.S. business world to persuade means to sell persuasively. Persuasive argumentation leads the audience to a choice. The audience is then asked to make a choice. The American presenter is expected to state the so-called closing question, to ask for the sale, directly and with self-confidence.