Alexander Abramson September 2018

Your Business Matters • (407) 649-7777 Septembe 2018 Baltic

Wall, and Checkpoint Charlie — one of the most infamous symbols of Cold War-era Berlin. Cruise After the tour ended, Faith and I walked back to the Berlin Wall and the “Topography of Terror” display before heading to the Reichstag. We took some pictures and stopped at a nearby food cart for pretzels, bratwurst, and, of course, German beer! After waking up at 5:30 a.m. and walking around Berlin all day (not to mention, having beer and brats!), we were worn out. So we took a Velomobile back to our bus! Velos are these aerodynamic motor- assisted bikes. The ride cost us 12 euros and was totally worth it! We spent three full days in Russia! Our first day was spent in St. Petersburg, where we saw the Peter and Paul Fortress before touring the Peterhof Palace and its beautiful gardens. The architecture in St. Petersburg is quite opulent. The Romanovs really knew how to deck out a building! The next day, we took a high-speed train to Moscow. Our first stop was a subway station, which was highly decorated and had marble floors. We were all somewhat surprised at the cleanliness and ornamentation, but it seemed like that may have been the point. We also saw Red Square, with its excessively wide streets, and got to tour the Kremlin. It was interesting to see the place in person. RUSSIA

As you know, Faith and I recently took a two-week vacation in Europe. Last month, I shared a glimpse into our stay in Copenhagen,

but we were only there for four days. The bulk of our trip was spent aboard the Serenade of the Seas traveling around the Baltic Sea.


We docked in Germany on the second day of the cruise and rode a bus into Berlin for a guided tour. Berlin is full of history and sights, both pre- and post-WWII. We saw the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin

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the various exhibits before Courtney finally told us that she had no idea who ABBA was!

Our cruise ended in Stockholm. Since our daughter, Courtney, was volunteering over the summer in Greece at an NGO supporting refugee women and children, she decided to spend the weekend with us before we flew home. We took a ferry to an adjoining island, Djurgarden, to visit the Vasa Museum. The Vasa is a warship that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628 but was salvaged. It was really neat to see such an old ship in such good shape. After that we went for a vodka tasting at the Museum of Spirits, which has on display the Absolut Art Collection. The Swedish really enjoy their spirits. Finally, we went to the ABBA museum, which is more of an interactive showcase of ABBA than a museum. Faith and I were having a blast. We spent around 45 minutes looking at

Faith and I feel very lucky that we were able to take this vacation. Now that our vacation is over, it’s back to work.

One of our last stops in Russia was the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg: a large, ornate art museum made up of six separate buildings connected by indoor bridges. The art collection was much larger than either of us thought it would be. The World Cup was going on while we were there, so St. Petersburg and Moscow were abuzz with fans from all over the world! It really made our experience in Russia quite remarkable.

The Secret to Lead Conversion It’s All About the Relationship


In the business classic“How toWin Friends and Influence People,”Dale Carnegie showed us that the secret to sales success builds on showing a genuine interest in other people and rests in the relationship that develops from there. The concept may not be much of a secret anymore, but it’s as important as ever in the sales cycle—and toomany people aren’t following through on it. It turns out that Carnegie was onto something. Did you know that just 2 percent of sales happen during the first touch? Two percent . Let that sink in. That means 98 percent of sales happen sometime after that first touch. In fact, ample research supports that 80 percent of sales happen after the fifth follow-up. If your sales team isn’t following up past that first touch with a prospect, there’s a slim chance they’ll convert. With the direct correlation between touches and conversion, it’s clear how important it is to follow up and nurture relationships with leads. We can look back to our good friend Dale Carnegie and thank him for sharing his wisdom about relationships. If you want to nurture and convert your leads, you’ll want to instill Carnegie’s principles into your sales team. Considering howmany quality leads get away, there’s always room for improvement in developing relationships. How can you start building that lead relationship today?

It’s all about the follow-up—or lack of follow-up, if you’re wondering why your leads aren’t converting. You’ve probably experienced it yourself: You have a great interaction with a company and express interest in their product, but then you never hear from them again. That company just lost you, a hot lead. You can’t buy if you’re not presented with the opportunity to do so. Make it easy on your consumer base by implementing a follow-up system. The habit of nurturing leads stems partly from company culture and partly from systems and processes— it’s something of a chicken-egg situation. If you don’t have systems in place tomake follow-up part of your sales process, it’s not going to be a priority for your team. And if you don’t have a culture of determination and relationship-building in place, the systems and processes don’t matter. Entrepreneur and business transformer Robert Clay recommends a five-no strategy— follow up with a lead until you’ve heard no at least five times. IMPLEMENT A SYSTEM

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JURY DUTY MYTHS Summoned to Court

There are so many rumors about jury duty that it can be difficult to know which ones are true. Here are three of the most popular speculations, debunked.


buying a home, paying taxes, and getting a driver’s license. Even if you aren’t registered to vote, you’re still liable to be summoned.

If you admit that you are biased when you serve jury duty, it does not guarantee your dismissal. In fact, a judge cannot dismiss you for being biased — but an attorney can. In addition, attempting to portray yourself as a biased person can put you in a troubling situation. Attorneys and judges have been selecting jurors for a long time and know when someone is lying to them. Your best bet will be to be give honest answers to the questions they ask.


If you’re worried about getting fired by serving jury duty, you can take a breather. Your employer cannot fire you once you’ve been selected for jury service. In fact, if your boss threatens to fire you for it, they will face the penalties, which include fines and even jail time. Many employers know and understand this, but if yours doesn’t, you can submit a file of complaint to the trial court administrator, and they will take care of the rest for you. The system to select jurors has been around for a while, and those involved know what they’re doing. It’s best to go in with an open mind and be completely honest. After all, it is your civic duty to do so.


According to another circulating myth, if you aren’t registered to vote, you don’t have to serve jury duty. Many people believe this myth because voting enters you into the jury duty pool, but there are other means by which citizens are chosen. Other ways you’re entered into the pool include

Take a Break!




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8 ounces ham, thinly sliced 1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

8 slices of bread (Pullman works best)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)

1/4 cup apricot preserves


1. Butter each slice of bread on the outsides and sprinkle with Parmesan. 2. Layer ham and cheese evenly on top of 4 slices of bread. 3. Spread apricot preserves and mustard across the other 4 slices. Press sandwiches together. 4. In a cast iron skillet or large sauté pan over medium heat, grill sandwiches until golden, about 3 minutes per side. 5. Cut in half and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine magazine

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Alexander Abramson



220 N. Rosalind Ave. Orlando, FL 32801 (407) 649-7777

Inside This Issue

From the Desk of Ed Alexander PAGE 1 The Secret to Lead Conversion PAGE 2 Falsities You’ve Been Told About Jury Duty PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Inside-Out Grilled Ham and Cheese PAGE 3 Why Labor Day Is Indebted to the Pullman Strike PAGE 4

THE PULLMAN STRIKE AND THE ORIGIN OF LABOR DAY How a Railroad Protest Laid the Foundation for a National Holiday

Eventually, President Grover Cleveland sent in soldiers to break up the strike. Violence ensued, with soldiers making a great effort to quell the strike at its core. By the time the violence ended, 30 people had lost their lives and an estimated $80 million in damages had been caused throughout the town. A few months later, President Grover Cleveland declared Labor Day a federal holiday. Many experts believe that this act was an effort to build rapport among his pro- labor constituents after handling the incident so poorly. This month, as you fire up the barbecue and enjoy your day off, take a moment to remember the workers who fought for labor rights in our country.

but he neglected to adjust the rent on the company-owned buildings in turn. As a result, life became untenable in the town, with workers struggling to maintain the barest standards of living for themselves and their families. In response, the workers began a strike on May 11, 1894. As the event ramped up, it gained the support of the powerful American Railway Union (ARU). But Pullman, stubborn as he was, barely acknowledged the strike was happening, and he refused to meet with the organizers. The tension increased when Eugene Debs, the president of the American Railway Union, organized a boycott of all trains that included Pullman cars. The strike continued to escalate until workers and Pullman community members managed to stop the trains from running.

Today, Labor Day mostly means a day off and the closure of public pools. But when it was first created, it was a president’s desperate attempt to curb the tension after one of the most violent strike breakups in American history. In the late 19th century, the workers of the Pullman Company, which manufactured luxury train cars, all lived in a company- owned town. George Pullman, the owner, lived in a mansion overlooking houses, apartments, and crammed-together barracks, all of which were rented by the thousands of workers needed for the operation. For some time, the town operated without a hitch, providing decent wages for the workers while netting the higher-ups millions of dollars. But after the economic depression of the 1890s brought the country to its knees, everything changed. George Pullman slashed his workers’ wages by nearly 30 percent,

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