Negotiations in Romania can be tough. Romanian negotiators tend to vehemently defend their position. At least that is the first impression.
But Romanians also negotiate with the personal relationship in mind, which means the negotiation partner is more important than the matter that is negotiated. Romanian negotiation strategies aim primarily at achieving a result that is satisfactory for both sides. Romanians are prepared to compromise and meet you halfway to achieve a win-win situation.
Since Romanians like to remain flexible in business life, and local companies have to constantly prove themselves in a dynamic market environment, long-term contracts and fixed prices are not necessarily the aim of negotiations. Instead, the focus is on establishing stable and beneficial business relationships with foreign business partners, which can withstand and adapt to possible changes in the business environment.
Who Negotiates What?
In Romanian business culture, hierarchies and responsibilities are clearly defined. That means that specialists from different departments will contribute their know-how during negotiations. However, they will not always succeed in presenting their different views in a constructive way. Long and unstructured monologues are not rare. In addition, they will use a lot of data, figures and facts that are meant to support their own statement.
Thus, negotiations in Romania can be very detailed, slow and lengthy. It is recommended to use an interpreter for complex topics and to brief him thoroughly in advance.
Whilst there is a lot of talking, not everything that is relevant is actually verbally expressed. Many of the reactions made by your Romanian negotiation partners are only visible on a non-verbal level. It is, thus, extremely important that you pay attention to facial expressions and body language and demonstrate understanding.
The aim of negotiations is a consensus that both sides can live happily with. What counts in the end is, above all, a good business relationship. It is, thus, advisable that negotiations, should they come to a halt, are terminated at the right time and both sides return their focus on the interpersonal relationship. A joint meal calms the nerves and strengthens mutual trust. In the end, an agreement can still be reached.
With a stable business relationship in mind, Romanians deem it important that, when it comes to closing a business deal, the terms and conditions are favourable to both sides. Nevertheless, price negotiations can sometimes also set a stage for some theatrical interludes. Romanians show their emotions expressively even, and especially, in business. They will, for example, reject price concessions vehemently on one hand and demand them loudly on the other. However, usually, such emotional outbursts come to a quick end.
To achieve a win-win situation, you should make concessions to your Romanian negotiation partners and have different alternatives, with regards to pricing and additional benefits, at hand.
In Romanian companies, decisions are made at the senior level. Specialists and teams of employees, however, often lay the foundations for the decision by providing management with all the necessary facts and expertise.
A lot of time often passes by the time all the information has been analysed, during or after negotiations, and a decision is made. Once an agreement has been reached, the decision is binding and reflects a certain obligation, even before anything has been enshrined in a written contract. The decision is seen as the foundation for long-term cooperation that is based on mutual trust.
Verbal And Written Agreements
Partial results of negotiations are usually not put in writing. However, given the expected length of the talks, this can be advisable to avoid loss of information. If you thus would like to take minutes, you are generally welcome to do so.
For Romanian business people verbal agreements and a handshake are binding. The active part of negotiations comes at the end. The next step is to put the agreement down in writing. The Romanian side is expecting little or no alterations at this stage. Should, however, external circumstances change, Romanians act on the assumption that the contract terms can be adjusted accordingly.