Five important things to keep in mind when doing business with Finns
NJORD partner Karolina Ullman lists 5 most important things to know when doing business with Finns.
- Use English for contract negotiations
Using Finnish language will always give the Finns an advantage when they can negotiate in their mother tongue.
- If possible, arrange meetings in Estonia
To be sure that your counterparties are up to date with current Estonia, you have to make sure they spend more time on this side of the Gulf of Finland.
- Dress more formal, act more formal
Be slightly more formal than usual both in action and in dress-code. You might have to prove your case if your counterparty is more than double your age.
- Be aware of the devil in the details!
To have a similar culture and language as Finns and Estonians do should in theory lead to better understanding but it could also be a false friend. Be attentive and address issues before they grow out of hands.
- Use common history as ice-breaker
If your counterparty is a Swedish-speaking Finn (today only some 5% of all Finns have Swedish as their mother tongue but in business life, the percentage is higher) you have a great possibility to connect through our countries Swedish connections, and if you happen to be one of the 14.000 Estonians that speak Swedish, you will be elevated to a new level of relationship. If your counterparty has Finnish as mother tongue, jokes about stupid Swedes are always welcome!
Need more good tips on how to do business with Finns? Contact NJORD partner Karolina Ullman.