Timeshares and Timeshare Presentations – Dare to Say No

Some owners have purchased multiple timeshares because they just don’t know how to say “No.” In fact, timeshare owners are more likely to purchase another timeshare than a non-buyer. It’s hard to even begin to comprehend how many timeshares a single couple might end up owning because of this apparent fear of the word “No.” So for the timeshare owner or non-owner alike, here is your best tip on how to say “No” at a timeshare presentation:

Request a copy of the timeshare contract for your lawyer.

If you ask for the timeshare contract for your lawyer to read and review, you’ll create an impasse. Timeshare sales people are trained to never let you remove any documentation from the presentation room. It might contradict what may have been said during your visit, and the length of many timeshare contracts is enough to scare off buyers. So more likely than not, you won’t get that copy you respectfully requested.

Regardless whether you get a copy or not, you’ll probably want to leave at this point. Yet the sales process has yet to go through the gauntlet of sales techniques used at these presentations. So be prepared for these timeshare sales people to stall or change the subject away from the requested documentation.

They may ask why you need it since there is a rescission period during which you can cancel your contract. You can respond by saying that you’d be more comfortable taking the contract to your lawyer, or that for large purchases at presentation-style sales meetings, you feel that its necessary to take precautions and get your lawyer involved before committing to a decision.

Don’t worry if you don’t really have a lawyer. If you feel guilty about fibbing to the timeshare sales people, just know that you probably know someone who knows a lawyer, or happens to be one and wouldn’t mind acting as your lawyer.

The beauty of this objection is that you aren’t really saying “No” to buying a timeshare, just that you want to take the time to investigate it properly. Sales people are trained to overcome “No” responses. They may even be able to overcome the “Take the documents out of the room” objection as well, but it’s definitely not as easy a task because it’s not heard as much as “I can’t afford it” or “I don’t take enough vacations.”

So keep this tip in mind the next time you find yourself at a timeshare presentation. Remember, if you REALLY want a buy a timeshare, purchasing a timeshare in the presentation room is the most expensive place to do it. Try your best to walk out of the room as soon as you can, but be prepared to stay a while. Even the most effective objection won’t get you through quickly.

Setting a Festive Table – Tips for a Striking Presentation

You’ll be slaving over a hot stove for hours, preparing a feast fit for kings this Christmas. From the turkey to the desserts, you put love into every recipe, and your family digs in with gusto. Why not add some festive touches to the table as well, and make the presentation as breathtaking as the dishes you’ll be serving? It doesn’t take much time or money to transform your table from humbug to very merry.

Choosing a Theme

The easiest way to coordinate your decor is to choose a theme. Your theme can be as specific as a single Christmas carol, or as broad as a certain style or colors. For example, you could choose “Jingle Bells” as your theme, making the centerpiece a miniature one-horse open sleigh, and attaching bells to everything that doesn’t voluntarily move. Or, choose a “Country Christmas” theme and add lots of country touches to your table, like felt cut-outs and cross-stitched napkins.

If you’re planning on selecting colors for your table, stick with one main color and a maximum of two accent colors. Holiday colors of green, red, and white look very festive, or accent with silver or gold for a more elegant touch. Blue and white work nicely together for a winter theme.

Table Coverings

You may have your great-great-grandmother’s handmade lace tablecloth stowed away, ready to use for your Christmas dinner. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but if spillage and possible staining are a major worry for you, save the lace for accenting your decorative holiday displays instead and pick up some inexpensive cotton or other fabric to cover your table with, or use clean sheets in various colors. You can even use two contrasting colors of fabric, and use the second, smaller piece to hang at an angle over the larger one. Christmas prints are cute and charming, but try to steer clear of anything too busy or bright, as the fabric will overshadow any other accents you add.

For a children’s table, cover the surface with butcher paper or inverted wrapping paper and provide crayons at each setting. Christmas crackers are also great fun for kids, and look cute sitting on each dinner plate.

Centerpieces

Centerpieces can be as simple as a small grouping of different sized candles. You needn’t go overboard and spend hundreds of dollars on fresh flowers and a beautiful decorator’s vase to hold them in. Potted Poinsettias make a pretty centerpiece, as do small baskets filled with pine sprigs and pinecones, or clear glass bowls full of bright Christmas tree balls.

Keeping your chosen theme in mind, choose a centerpiece that will stand out among your dishes of food, and become a conversation piece for guests. If you plan to use lit candles, never leave them unattended, and choose unscented candles wherever possible.

Napkins

You don’t have to limit yourself to simple linen napkins, although these work perfectly well. Use facecloths, small hand towels, or handkerchiefs instead if you prefer. Roll your napkins and fold the roll in half, securing with a pretty bow, or fold them origami style into an interesting shape.

Napkin rings can be made from pipe cleaners, mini wreaths, licorice strings, ribbons, artificial flower stems, or anything else you can think of that will look festive and do the job. Tie bells, small ornaments, pinecones, silk flowers, or even small toys onto each napkin ring for added decoration.

Serving Dishes and Platters

Your serving dishes don’t need to match each other to look pretty. A mixture of different styles and colors add whimsy and a country feel to your presentation. If you don’t have enough trivets for all of your dishes, cover pre-cut pieces of thick cardboard with aluminum foil and use these as shiny mats that will protect your table and still look nice.

Place Cards

If you want to use place cards to prearrange the seating at your table, use your theme to come up with imaginative ways to create or display them. Gift tags are an easy idea, and they can be attached to each napkin or wine glass with ribbon or pipe cleaners. Miniature artificial poinsettia pots are available at many dollar stores, and they make gorgeous place card holders. Simply fashion your cards and attach them to straws or toothpicks, then secure them into the pots.

Pinecones can hold name cards as well, if you maneuver the cards so that the ‘teeth’ of the cones hold them in place. Create shapes out of clay or dough, thread the cards through candy cane sticks, or simply place your cards on the top of each dinner plate. The possibilities here are endless.

Extras and Finishing Touches

Adding candles of varying heights and colors will add warmth to your table setting. Scatter tea lights, votives, pillars, and tapers around the center of the table, making sure that they are secure and not interfering with anything that could be flammable.

You can also decorate the stems on wine glasses with purchased wine charms or pipe cleaners, or tie small bells to each one with ribbon. Tie cutlery together in a similar fashion if you wish, or tuck utensils securely inside rolled napkins.

For an added touch, decorate each chair with bows, bits of garland, or pretty fabric. Anything goes as long as it doesn’t scratch or otherwise interfere with your guests’ enjoyment of your wonderful meal.

With a bit of extra effort, you can take a plain and boring table and create a stunning masterpiece that will impress your guests even before the first course is served.

Negotiating For the Successful Entrepreneur – How Do You Do it and Still Get What You Want?

Going into a negotiation and desperately want to win the contract but still make a profit? Here are some pointers to a successful negotiation.

First of all congratulations of doing a pretty good job in getting so far – let’s see if we can improve that for you. I’ve done some pretty heavy negotiating myself so I know how difficult it can be sometimes. Firstly some golden rules:

1. Both parties should leave the negotiating table feeling that they have been successful and gained something from the proceedings.

2. It is not a contest but a process where mutual agreement is being striven for.

3. Leave egos, prejudice and fixed ideas behind. Bring only your willingness to listen and your manners into the room.

4. Ensure that you know what you can give away, what you can’t and what you must most definitely not give away.

5. Be respectful of the culture of the people that you are negotiating with – this means not just the company culture but the culture of the company – an Asian company negotiates quite differently from an European or an American!

If you remember the above the process is very simple:

1. Prepare yourself, know what you are negotiating about, know what you would like the end result to be and know what your bosses have authorized you to agree to and not agree to. Understand as much about your fellow negotiator as possible.

2. Bring in all the documents that you need to the negotiating table and have someone handy on the phone in case you need more.

3. Make the negotiating room comfortable and friendly and non intimidating with refreshments and regular comfort breaks possible.

4. If you are the receiver of money you start. Start low and leave plenty of space to move to a middle area that is comfortable to both parties.

5. If something is not possible at all – politely explain why. Sometimes it helps to refer to a high level boss who won’t let you – but do not give away the authority that you have to negotiate to completion.

6. The answer you are seeking is Win Win

One last piece of advice: Listen, Listen, Listen to what is being told to you and what is not being said. Sometimes silence will win you the deal.