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09-SEPTEMBER 03-2023

Cocktail '24Good morning.

September 03, 2022

Yes! I’m still reading “Smart Calling by Art Sobczak” Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection From Cold Calling.  (Not that I do any cold-calling any more, it’s interesting to know what I and other may-have-done-better… much better!)

Using Smart Questions – Questions to Learn about the Decision-Making Hierarchy and Process

It should go without saying that you do not want to ask: “So, are you the decision maker there?”  But what do you say to learn who ultimately makes the decision to buy what you sell?  I like questions like these:

“Who aside from yourself would be involved in this discussion?”
“Who will you consult with as you plan this project?”
“Who else should we include in our next meeting?”

Asking about the decision-making process depersonalizes it, which can make it less threatening to answer for the prospect:

“What route will this decision have to take in the organization to finally get approval?”
“What is the process on your end for moving this forward?”
“What needs to happen on your end to get this done?”

Clarify the Fuzzy Phrases

One of my many pet peeves is when someone says, “We’ll have to talk about that sometime,” “At some point, we’ll need to get together and discuss …,” and “Let’s get together sometime and go over …”
If it’s something that needs to be done or discussed, and if I want to do it, I’ll always say, “Okay, let’s do it now.”  Otherwise – and you know this – it isn’t going to happen.  The fuzzy phrase strikes again.
When you hear a statement that is vague or wishy-washy, ask for clarification.

Fuzzy Phrase: “Let’s stay in touch.”
Response: “Great idea.  So you eventually plan to move forward with this?  When?”
Fuzzy Phrase: “We’ll give it some consideration.”
Response: “Great!  Which aspects will you weight most heavily?”
Fuzzy Phrase: “I’ll look it over, and we’ll go from there.”
Response: “On what criteria will you base your decision?”
Fuzzy Phrase: “I’ll bounce the idea around.”
Responses: “Good.  Does that mean you personally are sold on it?”

Ask About Them

For most people, their favorite subject is them.  When you get them talking about themselves, their jobs, their personal experiences, fears, wants, needs, and desires, you not only acquire valuable sales information, you position yourself as an interesting person.  All because you show interest in them as a person.
My friend and fellow sales trainer, Jim Meisenheimer,, wrote the book, The 12 Best Questions to Ask Customers.  One of those questions asks about them, personally: “What are your responsibilities?”  Ask that question, sit back, and listen to the valuable information they will provide you about how to sell to them.

September 03, 2021

Your Account Maybe OverdrawnGood morning.
There’s two ways to improve your wealth quickly.  The first is to cut down on spending.  The second is to earn more.  In today’s economy, both are the easiest they’ve been in years.
For reducing spending, it’s still a great time to refinance a home.  Doing so can save hundreds of dollars per month, and interest rates have come off the higher levels that persisted earlier in the year, a trend that may not last forever.
For earning more, the job market has more openings than unemployed right now, a level still elevated from the pandemic.  Finding a new job paying 20-30 percent more than the old one is a much faster way of earning more than sticking with an employer doling out small “cost of living” increases.  Both moves seem like the best thing to undertake this Labor Day weekend, with an eye towards having more cash flow to put into stocks ahead of the holiday season that is typically a boom for the markets.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Biden’s Budget Review Ups 2021 Inflation Forecast to 4.8% But Sticks to “Transitory” Definition –Mike Shedlock, MishTalk
This is economic nonsense.  Could a tax on energy imports and demands for 80% clean energy coupled with tax hikes can be anything but stagflationary? [Read Here]

Warning: Fed Stoking Another Real Estate Bubble That Will Wipe Out Home Equity –Stephanie Landsman, CNBC
“I feel bad for the people who bought homes over the past year because they’re the ones that paid the very elevated prices,” Boockvar said.  A 10% correction would… [Read Here]

September 03, 2020

Personal DayGood morning.
Sometimes there can be too much of a good thing.  That’s essentially what Baillie Gifford & Co, Tesla’s largest outside shareholder, said on Wednesday as they reduced their stake in the company from 6.32% to 4.25%.
The company cited the need to take profits as the weight of their tesla holdings had exceeded their guidelines.  Makes sense given the stock is up over 400% this year.
The recognition of the need to take profits is probably hitting a lot of investors right now and if you weren’t thinking it before, you are now.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Lately, the almighty greenback isn’t looking too indomitable.
The U.S. Dollar Index (“DXY”) is down 10% from its recent high in March.  That peak was just before the Federal Reserve drove down interest rates to a record low.  Now, the U.S. dollar is the weakest it has been since April 2018.  And as an investor, you need to take notice…
When the dollar is weak, everything America imports becomes more expensive.  And we all know America loves to buy stuff made by other countries.
It’s not just stuff made by China, either.  When combined, imports from Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Germany are worth twice the value of goods shipped in from China.  In total, the U.S. imported $1.1 trillion worth of goods in the first six months of 2020.  And it only sold $690 billion to other countries.
If the dollar had held its highest value reached in March, America’s import bill would be smaller by tens of billions…  But it didn’t.  Instead, it fell 10%.  Now, everything that Americans buy abroad is that much more expensive in dollar terms.
It’s also why, despite China’s increasing purchases of U.S. goods, the trade deficit between the two countries isn’t going down nearly as fast.
Like the hot weather, most people will complain about the weak dollar.  But instead of complaining, I recommend that you act.  And I don’t recommend you buy gold…  Sure, gold has been an obvious choice when the dollar falls.  It’s obvious because when the dollar falls, commodities – like gold – see their dollar prices rise to compensate.
Since March, gold has gained roughly 34% in dollar terms – much higher than the 10% drop in the U.S. dollar index.  Silver has done even better, soaring by about 140%.  But there’s another asset that does well when the dollar is falling.  Moreover, unlike gold or silver, this investment’s rally is just getting started.
I’m talking about stocks in emerging markets.  These economies tend to do well when the dollar is trending down – as it is today.  That’s because most emerging market economies export commodities and natural resources.  So a falling dollar means they make more money for exporting things like gold, silver, iron ore, and copper… as these assets rise in price.
These countries also tend to have large debts denominated in U.S. dollars.  In times like these, they can pay less of their own currency to service their dollar debts.
Finally, emerging markets typically don’t have an advanced manufacturing industry.  They buy finished goods – like automobiles, televisions, and laptop computers – from overseas.  And these goods are usually priced in U.S. dollars.  A falling dollar is a win-win-win for emerging markets.  And those benefits can boost their stock markets in a big way.
You can see this by looking at the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Fund (EEM), an exchange-traded fund that tracks emerging markets.  When DXY lost 17% from March 2009 to April 2011, this fund rallied 136%.  More recently, when the DXY slid almost 10% from the start of 2016 to the start of 2018, EEM leaped 62%.  But these gains in EEM were both outdone when DXY fell 24% from April 2003 to November 2007.  That time, EEM soared 365% during the same period, while gold managed to only double.  Keep in mind, these powerful rallies in the emerging markets took, on average, about three years to play out.  So, even with the dollar down 10% and emerging market stocks up 45% since March… this predictable trend of profits is just in its infancy.  But it won’t be for long.

September 03, 2019

Entrepreneurs and Intrepreneurs

The dictionary defines an entrepreneur as a person who organizes, operates and assumes the risk for a business venture.

Our New Economy demands an entrepreneurial spirit.


It used to be that employers didn’t want entrepreneurs working for them.  They were afraid the entrepreneurial type would leave after being trained up — perhaps even become a competitor.  Today, progressive employers want entrepreneurs on their staff.  They might not refer to them as entrepreneurs, but that’s what they are.

I call them intrepreneurs — men and women who harbor the entrepreneurial spirit while working in a larger organization.  As more and more good people leave the W-2 world to become free agents, talent, ambition and experience will be that much more in demand.  The wise employer will encourage an independent entrepreneurial spirit.

The employer of the next century will look for ways to attract and nurture their existence.  He or she will set up win-win relationships that allow for independent contracts.  What we really want to do is treat our job like it was our own business.  In doing so, we maximize our value to our employer and at the same time maximize our individual value.

Michael Gerber would remind us of the 5 essential entrepreneurial skills for success, as children head-off to school todayConcentration, Discrimination, Organization, Innovation and Communication.

Learn your lessons well… 😉

September 03, 2018


September 03, 2017

Our first full day as we wake up for our FREE hot breakfast at the Best Western (Chocolate Lake Hotel) Halifax, NS.

We went down to the waterfront to look around as we awaited Dione and Cameron to arrive via the Dartmouth/Halifax ferry.

Later WE ALL enjoyed a fabulous lunch before Dione and Cameron returned home!

That evening we toured the Citadel, Towne Clock, and drove to Dartmouth by bridge to view Halifax by night.

We completed the night out at II Trullo Ristorante for an authentic Italian meal.

Got back to the hotel relatively late, knowing we were checking out to go to Liverpool, NS via Peggy’s Cove, Chester, and Lundenburg.  (but that’s for another day!)


Come From Aways, Do You?

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