Tip 11
Formal meetings are serious occasions and should not be treated lightly. Any overly informal behaviour could be construed as lack of respect for senior management, the company or even the country.
Tip 12
Once teams have been established and the internal relationships seem to be working well, it is important to keep the team together if possible. Russians can be wary of strangers and the relationship-building process can be long.
Tip 13
Do not assume a good level of fluency in foreign languages in any cities other than possibly Moscow and St Petersburg. Always try to ascertain language levels before a meeting.
Tip 14
People have a tendency to believe what they have heard over what they have read - so say it as well as putting it in writing.
Tip 15
Body language is minimal in meetings (unless being overly theatrical during an impasse in a negotiation situation) which can lead to mistaken impressions of disinterest.
Tip 16
Russians like to think in silence before answering a question. Do not be embarrassed by the silence. Allow sufficient time for the response to be formulated before breaking the pause.
Tip 17
Women play little part in business at the senior levels and on the whole Russian businessmen are more comfortable dealing with other men.
Tip 18
It is important to dress smartly and to try to look important. If you do not appear to be a decision-maker people will quickly lose interest.
Tip 19
Many senior Russian businessmen have backgrounds in academia and have only entered the world of commerce since the collapse of the Soviet system.
Tip 20
Do not underestimate the importance of entertaining in the business world. A good meal will help cement relationships and, although, reports of the amount of drinking involved in a trip to Russia may be exaggerated, a few vodkas will also help things along.