Business communication

Romania flagFace-to-face communication

Negotiation is perhaps the most important part of doing business in Romania, so it is very important to know how to negotiate and how to behave in order to seal the deal. Romanian business executives value a serious approach and you should be well prepared with all the relevant information and documentation to substantiate your interest in doing business.

You should also pay attention to body language and maintain a professional attitude that is not overly rigid or relaxed.

Here are some tips you should keep in mind:

Romanians have an appreciation for a healthy mind and body, such that if you look tired, your partner may think that you will not be able to fulfil your commitments.

Businesses have different rules regarding service providers and generally accepted codes of conduct; try to get as much information about the business as possible.

There is nothing worse than your partner not understanding your ideas. Some deals fail even though the ideas behind them are great, simply because the message could not get through. Avoid technical terms and use clear, simple phrases.

Set clear objectives in advance with a solid understanding of what is required to achieve those objectives. Being well prepared allows you to project confidence and show that you know what you’re doing.

As first impressions are crucial to success, you should pay attention to facial expressions, comments and attitudes.

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Language matters

The official language of Romania is Romanian, with over 91% of the population speaking Romanian as their first language. Romanian is a Latin language, so it presents many similarities with French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

The Romanian language is also spoken in variation by thousands of people in other countries like the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Canada, Israel, Italy, Germany, Russia, Spain, and the United States.

Minority languages in Romania include Hungarian, spoken by 6.5% of the population, Romani, spoken by 1.1% of population and a variety of other languages comprise the remaining 1.7% of minority languages spoken by Germans, Turks, Russians-Lipovans, Ukrainians, and Tatars.

The Romanian people are familiar with English, French, Italian, Spanish and German languages. You can easily find a person on the street speaking one of these languages who is willing to help you.

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Business relationship

In business, success depends not only on the ability to distinguish occasions and opportunities, but also to leave a good impression and basis on which to strengthen long-term cooperation.

Business rules are based on polite and appropriate behaviour. In Romania, communism had a profound effect, prolonging poverty and encouraging corruption. With the collapse of the communist regime, the economy has shown marked improvement and Romanian businessmen have realised that they can conclude long-term contracts if partners treat each other with respect and politeness.

It should be remembered that the way you talk and present yourself is as vital to the success of a meeting as the content of your proposals.

Another important aspect in the smooth running of business meetings refers to the ability to stay calm and polite throughout tense discussions; working together to find resolve differences and find a mutually beneficial compromise.

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Making contact

In Romania, when business partners meet for the first time the custom is for them to shake hands as they greet each other with a simple ‘hello and how are you’ form of greeting.

The first meeting is formal, so it is advisable to avoid jokes and maintain a professional appearance. At future meetings, after the relationship is cemented, the formality tends to soften and conversations are more cordial. It is important to know your partner very well and observe their attitude before you try to lighten the conversation.

Refusing to shake hands will easily offend your Romanian partner, so it is important to let your partner know if you are under any restrictions that prevent you from shaking their hand.

Keep in mind that first meetings are very important. Romanians are very welcoming and therefore any small, misplaced or seemingly insignificant gesture could offend. Also, your attitude must inspire confidence, in order for your partner to believe that you are the one they should make a deal with.

At the first meeting, you must address your partner and their assistants with “Mr.” or “Miss”.

Where conversing on the telephone, it is important to always be polite, no matter whom you are speaking with. Always answer a call if you’re available and if you are unable to provide the information that is requested, you should promise to return the call when the information is available. If you promise to follow-up, it is also extremely important that you do so within the expected timeframe.

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Personal titles

Presentation is very important in Romania and if you do not respect certain rules it may lead to embarrassing situations.

At the first meeting it very important to address your Romanian partner with Mr. or Mrs. followed by their last name or title, such as ‘Mr. Doctor’, ‘Mrs. Professor’, ‘Mr. President’, ‘Madam Director’, etc.

-It is customary for the younger person to take the initiative when greeting and for men to greet women first.

Students will normally address teaching staff by their professional titles, such as ‘Professor’, rather than ‘Mr. Popescu’.

In Romanian, the polite form of address uses the second person plural ‘dumneavoastra’ and the more familiar ‘tu’ form is usually only used between friends. You should wait until you are invited to address your partner by the more friendly ‘tu’ form of address, although it is expected that a man should wait for the lady to make this suggestion first.

Kissing a woman’s hand is a very polite way of greeting used generally by older men.

  • Mr. = Domnule
  • Mrs. = Doamna
  • Ms. = Domnisoara

In Romania, the use of titles is considered a sign of respect and even if the relationship becomes more informal, you should continue using titles during formal meetings.

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