Russia – a Formal Approach

Russia – a Formal Approach

As a superpower with one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Russia is a mecca for international business relations. Business people looking to break into a new market or attempting to grow their European presence enjoy the most success by developing new Russian clients and partners.

Some Russian business etiquette tips to help you appropriately interact with your foreign colleagues:

Avoid high-pressure talk. Russians value patience and appreciate time to debate, consider and digest negotiations. Trying to force a decision through high-pressure talk will only make you appear impatient, rude and incapable of professional business interactions.
Be on time to all meetings. While it’s acceptable for your Russian colleagues to be late to business meetings, as a foreigner, you are expected to arrive on time (if not early). Also, don’t expect your late Russian colleagues to apologize for their tardiness, as their behaviour is considered to be a test of your patience.
Bring technical experts, if necessary. If your business meeting will focus on technical topics, be sure to bring technical experts and a Russian interpreter. Your Russian colleagues will expect a thorough presentation of the history and/or precedents associated with your topic. By bringing experts you will establish your credibility, foresight and general expertise.
Include a Russian translation on your business cards. Although most Russians speak English, be sure to have a Russian translation of your business card on its flipside, as this indicates your enthusiasm for doing business with your Russian colleagues.
Expect a hard negotiation. Your Russian colleagues may get angry, walk out of a meeting and/or talk about ending their relationship with you in their effort to make you give more concessions during a negotiation.
Dress conservatively. Women should wear longer, knee-length skirts, rather than pants-suits.

Share your Russian business experiences.

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