Relationships & Communication
. Russians are transactional and do not need to establish long-standing personal relationships before they do business with people.
. It is still a good idea to develop a network of people who you know and trust. The Russian word "svyasi" means connections and refers to having friends in high places, which is oftenrequired to cut through red tape.
. Patience is essential.
. It is best to err on the side of formality when you first make contact.
. Sincerity is crucial as it is required to build trust, and trust is needed to build a relationship.
. Most Russians do not trust people who are 'all business'.
. An indication that you have successfully developed a personal relationship is being asked for afavour by that person.
Business Meeting Etiquette
. Appointments are necessary and should be made as far in advance as possible.
. It often takes roughly 6 weeks to arrange a meeting with a government official.
. Confirm the meeting when you arrive in the country and again a day or two in advance.
. The first week of May has several public holidays so it is best avoided.
. You should arrivepunctually for meetings.
. Typical Russian schedules are constantly changing and everything takes longer than expected, so be prepared to be kept waiting.
. Meetings can be cancelled on short notice.
. The first meeting is often a vehicle to determine if you and the company you represent are credible and worthy of consideration for future business dealings.
. Use the time effectively todemonstrate what differentiates your company from the competition.
. Expect a long period of socializing and getting-to-know-you conversation before business is discussed.
. Have all printed material available in both English and Russian.
. Russians expect long and detailed presentations that include a history of the subject and a review of existing precedents.
. Meetings are frequentlyinterrupted. It is common for several side conversations that have nothing to do with the topic of the meeting to be carried on during the meeting.
. At the end of the meeting, expect to sign a 'protokol', which is a summary of what was discussed.
. Meetings and negotiations are slow. Russians do not like being rushed.
. It is a good idea to include technical experts on yournegotiating team.
. Hierarchy is important to Russians. They respect age, rank and position. The most senior person reaches decisions.
. Russian executives prefer to meet with people of similar rank and position.
. Russians see negotiations as win-lose. They do not believe in win-win scenarios.
. Have written materials available in both English and Russian.
. Russians view compromise asweakness. They will continue negotiating until you offer concessions.
. Russians may lose their temper, walk out of the meeting, or threaten to terminate the relationship in an attempt to coerce you to change your position.
. Russians often use time as a tactic, especially if they know that you have a deadline. Be cautious about letting your business colleagues know that you are under timepressure or they will delay even more.
. Nothing is final until the contract is signed. Even then, Russians will modify a contract to suit their purposes.
. Do not use high-pressure sales tactics as they will work against you.
. Business dress is formal and conservative.
. Men should wear business suits.
. Women should wear subdued coloured business suits with skirts thatcover the knees.
. Shoes should be highly polished.
. Business cards are exchanged after the initial introductions without formal ritual.
. Have one side of your business card translated into Russian using Cyrillic text.
. Include advanced university degrees on your business card.
. Hand your business card so the Russian side is readable to the recipient.
. If someone...