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Teavana Sales Associate

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Sales Associate
Current Employee - Sales Associate

I have been working at Teavana part-time for less than a year

Pros

Great work environment, fun staff, great product that is worth selling. You learn a lot about the culture of tea drinking, which can be interesting if you are intrigued by learning new things.

Cons

Starting wages as a sales associate aren't great- minimum wage. Bonus system is hardly incentive to work exceedingly hard to make personal sales goals. It's sometimes very difficult, depending on your store, to convince Americans that switching from coffee and soda to tea is a good idea, especially when the product is so much more expensive. You need a lot of dedication and belief in your product.

Recommends
Positive Outlook

292 Other Employee Reviews for Teavana (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Insane Sales Tactics and Overall Manipulation!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate/Teaologist
    Current Employee - Sales Associate/Teaologist

    I have been working at Teavana part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    40% Discount
    Free tea while on the clock.

    Cons

    I just started working at a Teavana and have yet to complete the training process. This company has got to have one of the most insane sales tactics that I have ever encountered. As a shopper I do not like to be pressured while shopping and this is exactly what Teavana is all about. Employees are trained that they must sell by starting with the most expensive item and work their way down. This is common sales practice in most organizations but Teavana employees are conditioned to confuse their customers with overwhelming amounts of scripted information so that they do not have a chance to object. The company focuses on asking "Mirror Questions" during a sale... For example an employee might say something like this... "This green tea is full of antioxidants that may boost your metabolism. Staying healthy is something you want to do right?" If you answer yes to that question then you are essentially saying yes to anything they put in front of you from that point on.

     Employees are also taught that they must fill the tea tin up to the top of the tin even if you do not want that much tea. If a customer objects you are supposed to pour out a little of the tea and say, "You would have gotten this much tea free if you purchase a whole pound." Again you are ignoring what the customer wants. If a customer says they want two ounces of tea which costs $3.80 for every 2 ounces then you are expected to try to push them into an entire pound which can cost upwards of $200.00 even if they object.

    Then their are the health benefits. Oops I mean Tea Benefits. The company has recently told their employees that they can no longer say health benefits because they are not licensed as doctors and their is no statistical proof to show that the tea does anything to better your health. If employees ask about how to answer questions about how a tea will benefit your health then they are told to tell the customer to research it on their own.

    This is the most ridiculous and dishonest place that I have ever seen. Its very unfortunate that people work for this company because they need a job but they are expected to try to bankrupt individuals by swindling them with their dishonest mantras about tea benefits. Many people are in dire straights because of the economy and most cannot afford to drop hundreds of dollars on loose leaf teas. My advice to anyone looking for a job with this company would be to stay as far from it as humanly possible. I for one will be quitting very shortly because I cannot stand to push aside my morals and push people into sales I know that they do not want nor can they most likely afford.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to management would be to take a hard look at your company's values and stop lying to your customers and stop making your employees sully their morals by becoming horrible manipulative swindlers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Sales Job - Performance Required For Zero Commission

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Member
    Current Employee - Team Member

    I have been working at Teavana part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    -- free drinks at your store, any time
    -- work with many quirky and fun people
    -- management usually grants requests for time off
    -- tea and merchandise are both actually pretty decent quality, so it's easy to be enthusiastic
    -- great employee discount (40%)
    -- great way to see and interact in depth with a variety of people

    Cons

    GENERAL CONS

    -- employees are "punished" for taking weekends off by being scheduled for ridiculously long hours the following weekend
    -- employees are asked to clock out 30 minutes after closing and then remain (off the clock) to finish closing duties
    -- on-the-clock break times are not implemented (company policy is a 15 minute break on the clock for every four hours worked, but I've been there four months and have never had a 15)

    -- pay is incredibly low for the amount of effort it takes to get the results the company wants
    -- standing at the door and shouting for people to come try some tea is degrading
    -- store gets in trouble if a certain amount of the sample teas are not sold for each pitcher of sample tea made

    -- all performance review is based on the bottom line (how much an employee sells per hour) and has nothing to do with how well an employee works with other employees or maintains the environment or anything else
    -- employees are rewarded for stealing sales from other employees, as it increases their bottom line

    THE (RIDICULOUSLY SPECIFIC) SALES GOALS

    -- employees get in trouble for selling only a drink
    -- employees get written up for having too low of an average dollar amount per sales ticket
    -- employees get written up for not having enough tickets per hour

    -- employees get written up for selling too much tea (as a percentage of total sales)
    -- employees get written up for selling too little tea (as a percentage of total sales)

    -- employees get written up for not selling enough of the sample teas (as a percentage of total tea sales)
    -- employees get written up for selling too much of the sample teas (as a percentage of total tea sales)

    -- employees get written up for not selling enough of the KIB (key indicator board) teas (as a percentage of total tea sales)
    -- employees get written up for selling too much of the KIB teas (as a percentage of total tea sales)

    -- employees get written up for not selling enough X-Large tins
    -- employees get written up for selling too low of a percentage of tea in tins (not selling enough tins; i.e., selling tea in paper bags is bad)
    -- employees get written up for selling too high of a percentage of tea in tins (too many tins sold with empty space left over in them; i.e., selling only 2 ounces of tea in an 8 ounce tin is bad)

    -- employees get written up for not selling enough cast iron (as a percentage of total merchandise sales)
    -- employees get written up for selling too much cast iron (as a percentage of total merchandise sales)

    THE (RATHER SHADY) SALES PROCESS
    -- the sales process is incredibly aggressive and pushy, and basically harasses and overwhelms the customers into buying things
    -- the five-times-no rule (a customer has to say "no" to something five times before the employee is allowed to stop trying to sell it)

    -- the emphasis on top-down-selling (if a customer comes in for a cold drink, try to sell them a $650 cast iron set; if they don't want that, try to sell them a $250 Brevel tea maker; if they don't want that, try to sell them a $200 Judith Weber set; if they don't want that, try to sell them a $100 porcelain set, and so on, until they have said no to all the merchandise (five times per item, remember), and then take them to the counter and try to sell them loose tea by the pound (five times no, remember), and if they STILL refuse, allow them to buy only a drink)

    -- employees are taught to throw just enough information at a customer to overwhelm them into saying yes while not giving them time to think
    -- employees are taught to take a vague yes to a "transition question" as a yes to a sale (for example, when trying to sell tins, say, "That's great, isn't it?" and when they say yes, start filling their tin with tea; don't ask if they want the next tin, or the next, just assume)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    --Treat your people as people, not as a bottom line.

    --In order to protect the bottom line, motivate employees by offering them actual commission instead of just a measly 2% bonus if a ridiculously high sales/hour goal is reached. This is otherwise known as paying people the proper wage for a sales job, instead of paying them minimum wage for maximum aggravation.

    --When setting store goals, keep in mind that we're in an economic recession and that this is a luxury item; doubling growth is not realistic. A 10% increase over last year is not realistic. The store goals are absurdly high, particularly when taking into consideration the fact that most mall patrons aren't looking to drop hundreds of dollars on tea.

    -- Stores should not be penalized for not selling enough of the sample tea per pitcher made and sampled out; keep in mind that most mall patrons are just looking for a free drink and will shamelessly take advantage of the sample carts. In other words, if you HAVE free samples, expect that people will TAKE the free samples and then just leave, and this cannot be controlled by the employees.

    -- Employees should also not be penalized for selling drinks - a dollar is a dollar, after all, and more money for less tea goes to the store for each drink served. If you don't want the employees selling drinks? Don't offer drinks to the customers!

    tl;dr - try to reduce the cognitive dissonance between what's expected of employees, what they're paid, and what can actually happen in the store.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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