It is a question I often sense at the back of the minds of British business people considering trade with Romania, and the problem lies obviously in the fact that they do not know very much about this country. Trading with Romania is something new for most of them, and the question what to expect is a legitimate one. So here are a few tips that might help you understand more about the business practices in Romania.
Use a market entry specialist for Romania to undertake the selection and screening of potential business partners and do the introductions. Just sending an e-mail to your Romanian potential business partner will not do the trick. In most of the cases the mailing system might send the email straight to the junk or the Romanian counterpart might dread to reply. You might want to use an intermediary for negotiations too. To put it frankly there is less danger that you will meet unrealistic expectations over price.
Research your potential business partner carefully before doing any attempt to get in touch with them. As on any other market, all that glitters is not gold.
For an initial approach, you might want to involve a native Romanian speaker. Lots of younger Romanians speak good English and are very open to the outside world. This will make doing business easier as you go forward. But remember what the next one says:
Romanian business people value personal relationships and trust is the main ingredient. This is why you will need someone they would trust to introduce you.
Romanian business people like formal approaches. For example: Mr/Mrs Surname. It is a way of showing them respect, and only after your relationship has developed a little more you could call them by their first names, and only if they allow you to do this. This is equally, if not even more important, when you address a representative of the public administration.
Doing business in Romania is about relationships. You have a better chance to develop a successful business in Romania with a Romanian, if your Romanian counterpart likes you and trusts you.
One of the things very much appreciated by the British businesses already in Romania when asked is the fact that Romanians and Brits have a similar sense of humour. It is a strong bridge that could help in developing a strong relationship.
Romanians are innovative, they have a broad imagination and are not fussy.Once you get to know them, you will realize you have found a good partner of dialog as well as someone very enterprising.
Be clear and concise as Romanians doing business like a straight approach. You are going to figure it out soon and in a very polite way if they like the direction the discussion is heading.
Try to find out more about their country, culture and history. Although they like to talk about what is bad in Romania instead of focusing on the good, Romanians are very proud of their country and history.