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RIA Novosti Much has changed over the last two plus decades that foreigners have been coming to Russia to do business. Clients are rarely expected to conduct numerous vodka toasts to prove that they are a trustworthy partner, and business deals are no longer signed in the banya Russian sauna.
That said, there are still a number of things that a potential investor or entrepreneur should keep in mind before entering a boardroom or making business contacts in Russia. Below are the top cultural factors you should take into account to successfully engage in business in Russia.
It is important to get formal language and titles right. They are not suggested and often status and titles are proud accomplishments. One expat stated that they were berated by telephone by a Russian Ministry official after correspondence was sent out with the wrong title.
It almost torpedoed the deal. Be formal in meetings and refrain from self-deprecating humor as this will most likely be misunderstood. Russian business culture is not homogenous.
There is a mix of old bureaucracy and Western thinking in Moscow and people who understand both of these systems are extremely valuable. The perestroika generation that grew up during the transition often are particularly adept at navigating the space between these two worlds.
Remember to pay attention to the age of your colleagues and which system they grew up in: This will help you understand their approach. This can tie into not wanting to joke around at work. As Russians try not to work all of the time, they tend to be serious at meetings, so that they can have time for joking with family and friends later.
Expats generally agree that as compared to the West, people invest more time getting to know people before they do business with them. This can make the business process seem a bit slow, but Russian partners just see it as being cautious.
One long-time expat in Moscow stated that it is necessary to invest your time in people. When you can develop good personal relationships with your Russian staff you may be amazed by their flexibility, appreciation and dedication.
Remember holidays and birthdays. Many more occasions than you may be used to at home require gifts or would be enhanced with presents.
It can be quite tricky to schedule a meeting in the morning. Russians tend to start work a little later and work a little later in the evenings than they do in the west.
This varies from industry to industry, but in general it is better to schedule discussions for after lunch, and leave a little window of time between appointments: Connections are very important.
Even if you feel extremely qualified as a foreigner trying to land a job in a Russian company, your ability to get that job is often contingent on connections. This applies to business deals as well: Personality and relationships are paramount.
Mobile phones for relationships. It would seem that a nation that values their family and free time would be very hard to reach. Instead, people will answer their phones in a meeting, while teaching a class, at the cinema, nearly anywhere.
Remember that relationships are important and only privileged people are given cell phone numbers and they want to keep these relationships going. They will answer their phones and they will expect you to do the same.
Evaluate and train your employees. You can be quite direct with Russians and give your feedback. Create an open atmosphere where giving feedback to each other is able to flourish.
Do not hint at something and assume that others understood what you meant. If you need to engage officialdom, be prepared for the bureaucracy.
Most of what you heard is true, although understanding the system and being prepared will help you. You will often have to track the right contact person down and send faxes and wait. This takes patience and persistence.
However, explain very clearly to all involved if there is a strict deadline that it is not flexible.To ensure professional relationship with professors and college personnel it is extremely important to pay attention to email etiquette. Tips from this article will help you compose specific, professional, and polite emails fit for college setting.
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Business writing today means communicating through email; it is fast and convenient however there are rules and etiquette that should need to be followed otherwise it may give a bad impression about the sender to the recipient. Emails have befallen the back bone of business affairs in our time.
Whether it brings new relationships or new business contacts; quality emails always gains quality output. Business phone etiquette influences relationships with your customers and associates.
Here's how to conduct business over the phone professionally.