East Qwimby Holler

Firmly Irresolute

Fun and Games at the Buy & Sell

Evelyn Champagne King – http://bit.ly/1SUHV3L

At our weekly roundtable, a staff member spoke about an interesting exchange that they unwittingly happened to observe/hear.

The staffer was wandering around a local mall and at one point had entered a well-known furniture store to check out their offerings.

Our staffer was sitting in a floor model chair in one section of the store when she happened to overhear a discussion occurring between a store salesperson and a male client.

The client had apparently been, like our staffer, trying out various pieces of furniture for fit and comfort prior to the approach of this salesperson. The two parties greeted each other and spoke about several offerings within the store including one chair in particular that interested this customer.

This certain chair was a clearance item, the last of its kind in the store. There was some discussion of this chair and how it compared to other models in the store. The salesperson spoke of the superior quality of this item and how, if the customer was a serious buyer, the salesperson would approach the store manager and attempt to procure the best price possible. The only stipulation was that the customer had to guarantee to purchase the chair if the salesperson approached the store manager and obtained a “good” price. The explanation given was that the store manager was a busy person. If this salesperson were to interrupt her with this issue and the manager took the time to listen, weigh the factors and establish a final price, then it was only fair that the customer should unquestioningly accept and be bound to purchase the chair at that price.

This proviso got our staffer’s attention as she had never heard of this type of negotiation before. Apparently neither had this potential customer who also balked at this arrangement and eventually left the store. One has to wonder how many sales are generated or lost using this technique whereby the customer is supposed to accede full control to the salesperson and agrees to accept whatever final price the salesperson states. To think that all of this is based purely on the pretext that the salesperson will be negotiating on client’s behalf with the store manager is absurd.

This story elicited much conversation and questions around our table. Is this store policy? Is the store aware and approving of such sales techniques? Is the obtaining of a price a binding contract? The fact that the salesperson would even suggest this pushes the limits of credibility.

The scenario was raised that if the customer, in turn, had said that he would phone his wife, explain the chair’s characteristics and obtain an offer from his wife only if the salesperson would unconditionally accept such offer set by the wife, would the salesperson agree to such a proposition?

Overall, this was an eye-opener for our staffer and the other occupants of our round table. It was seen as wrong on so many levels….and a true “Fail” as a sales concept.

Slip Slidin’ Along

Mary Chapin Carpenter – http://bit.ly/1WuA4b5

Oil. That slippery, shiny stuff with so many uses; That black, gooey liquid that comes out of the ground and makes men rich…or crazy.

Oil. It has been the headliner in the news for some time now as Middle Eastern interests over-produce, upsetting the global supply equilibrium, driving down the price and forcing other oil producers to re-evaluate their business plans.

Oil, and its contrived overabundance, is affecting the economies of the world including those Middle Eastern producers.

Recently rumours appeared, and were later verified by news reports, that a pact had been realized between four oil producing countries. They had secretly met and agreed to a new production limit. http://bloom.bg/1QFfb95

There are many pieces to this announcement. First off, not all these pact countries are enamoured with each other and their respective foreign policies. Second, the limitation is itself laughable as it permits the continued over-production and subsequent over-supply of this resource. If the amount of oil being produced remains larger than the amount of oil being consumed, then what has changed? http://reut.rs/1oqQlmp

Yet the stock markets reacted strongly, first to the rumour and then to the actual news. Confetti and glitter abounded. Yes indeed, heady days are here again. http://bit.ly/1Tpgvl7

The rational investor though, has to ask “What caused this stock market joy?” The answer, as we see it, would actually be very little. Just a whole lotta industry wishin’ and hoping.

If the four pact countries had said that they were cutting production, then there is a physical shift but to say that we are overproducing and will keep overproducing but not more than we did in January, is not a cause for elation. So the sizzle was sold and markets jumped.  http://on.mktw.net/1POZTyI

We feel there are many facets yet to this developing story. Though, there may be a resounding push for investors to “get in now”, we suggest prudence.

Presently the experts themselves are strongly divided on oil’s direction. Everyone is seeking the price bottom. According to some, we may be at that bottom; or we may be near it; or we may have a ways to go. Choose one. http://huff.to/211KENl

We are no expert. We have a guess, an opinion, a viewpoint, call it what you will. We think that this global economic game of chicken is far from over and its effects will be both long-lasting and diverse. As such we feel that there will be continued instability and from that instability, there will be further buying opportunities. http://bit.ly/1PUwSBO

But that’s just us.

Heads or Tails?

Norah Jones – http://bit.ly/1CEWU6p

Again we have been surprised by a random Internet search. Staff came across a most engaging video, a 2005 TED talk by Dan Gilbert entitled “Why we make bad decisions”. The actual talk is about 25 minutes in length and is followed by a Q & A with the audience. The true essence is in the lecture itself. Though the recording is 10 years old, it is still entertaining, provocative and applicable. Watch it and when the speaker presents the choices in each situation, see which one you would choose.

We hope you find it as intriguing as we did. http://bit.ly/1ovIr8T

Too many problem-solving sessions become battlegrounds where decisions are made based on power rather than intelligence.”  – Margaret J. Wheatley

Quotes

“Privacy is the right to be alone – the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized man.” – Louis D.Brandeis

Ridin’ the Rails

Roger Miller – http://bit.ly/1KxlziN

Let’s face it. We in North America are behind the times. We may not realize this fact until we travel to another continent. When we do, then the realization will hit us full on. Our passenger train system is lacking. Read more…

Quotes

“It’s not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It’s the customer who pays the wages.” – Henry Ford

Just Click, “I agree”

AC/DC – http://youtu.be/gEPmA3USJdI

Well there you are. You have this hot new piece of software that you wish to start enjoying. You are anxious to install it and start putting it to use. At some point in the typical installation process you always are stopped by a large wordy piece of legalese, the archetypal user contract. It is the one remaining obstacle that stands in your way of becoming the proud owner/user of this latest addition to your hardware. When you encounter this “agreement”, you find that the document goes on and on and on in length. You scroll through it as quickly as you can. It’s all words. No pictures. All uniform type. Finally, yes, there it is, the magic button. You click on “I agree” and the world opens up. At last. Yes, you can now access, enjoy, and perhaps profit from this new piece of software. Read more…

Quotes

“Honesty is the rarest wealth anyone can possess, and yet all the honesty in the world ain’t lawful tender for a loaf of bread.” – Josh Billings 

Come fly with me

BB King – http://bit.ly/10Lpfek

Canada has two major airlines. One has a long history of flying while the other is quite junior in age. The junior airline originally appeared as a brash upstart, thumbing its nose at conventional practices, employing its own type of marketing and business concepts. People appreciated that freshness, the fun and the low-cost flights that it offered. The junior has since matured. Now it is a trend setter in that it has joined the foray into finding new fees. http://bit.ly/1wIYv8e   Read more…

I want to be a ……

Doug & the Slugs – http://bit.ly/1ASzJ8n

We are fortunate to have a very diverse and curious staff. At our weekly meeting, one member presented this unique find for appraisal and inclusion.

We have all encountered “the question”. It starts at a very early age. People are asking us about our future career choices. It is one of the quintessential decisions we will confront while growing up. “What do you want to be?” For some it is an obvious and clear road while for others it is a murky, unmarked path. This 78 minute presentation shows the approach one person took to determining their future and achieving happiness.

May we present “One Week Job” – http://bit.ly/1q3cHbo

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