Montesquieu Reviews

Updated April 7, 2015
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  1. Helpful (2)

    We sell wine to dead people!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Montesquieu

    Pros

    The best thing or perk to working there was
    That you could drink at work the job more tolerable.
    The next best thing was being able to get out quickly.

    Cons

    This company brags they have a state of the art way of teaching you the wine business. So after a 2 day course on how to read a script that was, once you had it down, (a failsafe way of being a success in the wine industry)
    After the 2 day process you are thrown into the lions pit. This is set up like like a Roman colluseum. You have thrs on

    on the inside of a circle of phones with the veterans on the outside watching. Im surprised they don't bet on the onud these cards that are so outdated that it's not uncommon to calling some that has been dead for 9 years. With an average of 300 calls a day, with a break for lunch, but no other breaks, you are expected to be a cheerleader. Even after the chance you might fall into a sale. You are pursecuted daily that If you don't sell a case of wine, then your just not a good match for the company.
    In my opinion, the veteran people are the ones that make or break you. They can train or help when they want. But I think They are getting information to report back to the owner.
    There is something very wrong and sinister about this company. I am surprised they gave been around so long. Not surprised they only have less than a hand full of brokers in each location.

    Advice to Management

    Why hire people if you don't want employees. You are training people to fail. This company will fail!

  2. Helpful (1)

    Misleading.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Wine Broker in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Wine Broker in New York, NY

    I worked at Montesquieu full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The staff is VERY welcoming and willing to help you grow as a salesperson. They love what they do and wish the same for you.

    Cons

    Here's the BIG issue....like most jobs, you must start at the bottom, that's a given. However, what isn't necessarily conveyed beforehand, is this really is a wine telemarketing position. They provide you with a list of leads (very successful business men and women from across the country) in hopes one will bite. It's extremely difficult to get past these CEO's, doctors, etc administrative assistants or most of them screen their calls even if you do get through.

    Yes, the thought of sales and commission is more than attractive, but not having a client list either from previous positions or within the company is more than exhausting and defeating.

    I love constructive criticism and enthusiasm, BUT having people use a silenced phone to "coach" you and have you spit out word for word what they are saying in your face 1) draws all attention to you on the floor 2) throws you off since you have a script and you're trying to keep said client on the phone while blocking out blasting music and conversations; it sounds too robotic. 3) is way too in your face and makes you feel like you're in the movie, "Boiler Room", only with wine.

    Side note: I was offered another position better for my career goals and area of expertise which I interviewed for at the same time I interviewed for Montesquieu. The timing was unfortunate as it took a couple weeks for them to get back to me and I had accepted the wine broker position (which I truly was excited over after the phone call). I needed to really think about which one was best and I opted for the other offer. For respect of the company's and manager's time, I told them after my third day (as again, the timing was bad and the offer had just come in that day). I met a wonderful person I connected with during training (another wine broker in training) and we were headed to lunch. My manager then pulled me aside and asked me kindly to use my best judgement and not go to lunch with them as I found a better opportunity for myself, so this could mean I would be discouraging them. Never had I changed my view on someone SO quickly. Now, I felt bad for taking this other offer as they went out of their way to give me a job and saw something in me, but I need to do what's best for myself and my daughter along with our happiness. To ask someone something so absurd over nothing more than an assumption between GROWN people with their own thoughts was laughable. My only care in my life is exactly that, my life. I have no intention of influencing another human being besides my baby. Wow. Very juvenile and I realized I wouldn't want to work for someone who could think in such an elementary mindset. I was wondering if I was going to be told I couldn't be friends with anyone there next. Absolutely immature.

    Advice to Management

    Call it what it is; Wine Telemarketing.

  3. Helpful (7)

    FALSE ADVERTISING

    Former Employee - Wine Broker-montesquieu in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Wine Broker-montesquieu in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Montesquieu full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Good wine. Hiring manager (male) very funny and an exceptional salesman.

    Cons

    I worked for Montesquieu in San Diego for a whopping 3 weeks before I was fired. I am not writing this review as a disgruntled ex-employee trying to get even. I just hate the thought of them doing this to other people and wish I would have read a review PRIOR to taking this job. I had been job-hunting for months, and had several promising interviews lined up that I had to cancel after I was offered the position with Montesquieu. I missed out on some potentially great opportunities by accepting this position, and wish they would have been honest from the beginning.

    The job posting was very attractive: $60k inside sales with ongoing training. Wine experience preferred but not necessary. During the interview, I admitted that I knew nothing about wine but was reassured by the hiring manager that their training is world class and I'll be an expert in no time at all. I was offered the job the next day, a Friday, and was asked to start on Monday.

    The "training" that they had promised consisted of sitting in a conference room with the 5 other new hires for 2 days going through different varietals, etc. and practicing the sales script. I was surprised when our manager advised that tomorrow would be our first day on the phones. Not that I was nervous, but because in my last sales position, we were trained for 2 full weeks; 10-hour days before even touching a phone.

    The sales floor was truly bazaar. It's a big room with desks (not cubicles) in a big circle, with 6 desks in the middle. Those 6 desks were for us newbies. So not only were we being asked to cold-call people at work, we had to do it with virtually no training while awkwardly sitting in the middle of the room. There were a total of 20 desks in the room, yet there are only 4 sales reps that work there- with tenures ranging from 6 to 12 years. The company's #1 sales rep sat 20 feet away from me, and I was excited to hear him sell and learn from him. However, in the 3 weeks that I sat at that desk for over 8 hours/day, I never once heard this guy on the phone. He would periodically (~5 times per day) grab his cell phone, walk into a corner office, and close the door. Minutes later, he'd emerge from the office with an order form in hand, having just sold a case or 2. The weirdest part was that no one addressed WHY he had to conduct business behind closed doors...it made no sense to any of us. The 3 other "tenured" reps had equally bizarre work days- making only a handful of calls to repeat clients throughout the day. As a new hire making an average of 250 COLD CALLS per day, this was extremely aggravating. Not only were they just sitting there all day listening to us get repeatedly hung up on, we were never given the opportunity to listen & learn from them.

    Even though I felt manipulated and deceived by their hiring practices, and even though the job was grueling and repetitive, I decided that I would stick with it for at least 6 months. Having ~10 years of inside sales experience, I know how long it takes to master a new product/service and was fully committed to this position.

    Needless to say I was shocked when, during my exit interview 3 weeks later, I was told I "wasn't going to be a good fit", and that I was "overthinking the sale". I simply could not believe I was getting FIRED from a job that most people wouldn't wish on their worst enemy. I could not make sense of it- I'd been successful at phone sales throughout my career, who were they to claim I was not a good fit after such a short period of time?

    It wasn't until I went home that evening and found countless online reports from ex-employees that it all started making sense. Apparently hiring a bunch of kids to come in and make a couple thousand calls before mass-firing them is standard practice.

    This was definitely an experience I would love to forget. The only thing I learned was to do my homework before accepting any future jobs, in order to avoid such a colossal waste of time.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest

    Montesquieu Response

    Dec 19, 2013The Montesquieu Team

    Thanks for taking the time to provide us with some feedback. We agree with you that our wines are good and many of our salespeople are fun to work with and exceptionally talented. Both of those ... More

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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Hot" leads to deceased people?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Montesquieu full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    None, unless you enjoy loud music, drinking on the job, and pursuing recycled leads.

    Cons

    Terrible leads. Very misleading hiring practices. Over priced wines of questionable origin. This is wine telemarketing of the worst kind. I was the most experienced and knowledgeable person in the room, and have managed a telesales office in the past, but I left after 2 days of being told to remain on script (all were too long and immaturely produced), and that I COULD sell an entire case of overpriced Riesling to a little old lady in Minnesota that does not even drink wine. Many leads were for deceased persons or relocated persons who had not been at the number for over a decade. A colossal waste of time for any wine professional.

    Advice to Management

    Do not pretend that you want wine professionals. Do not even mention wine in your ads. Just go after the silver tongued sharks that used to work for collection agencies or used car lots, and you will experience less turnover.

  6. Helpful (2)

    I'd rather panhandle on the street than ever work for them again.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Telemarketer
    Former Employee - Telemarketer

    I worked at Montesquieu full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Zero, unless you like working in a preschool atmosphere. Drinking at work. Don't like wine? Drink beer no one cares.

    Cons

    There is nothing here, its a telemarketing job. They might as well tear a page out of the phone book and tell you to call these people. Get past the receptionist on the phone? You now have "senior management" yelling in your face what to say to the "customer" I have searched for some of the wines I tasted while there, couldn't find one of them, or even a review of them (except on the Montesquieu website). The hours are awful. 8:30-5:30. Everyone takes lunch at the same time. I almost expected a nap time hour, which by 1:30, after 8 glasses of wine, would have been appreciated. If you see this ad for employment, don't waste your time like they did mine.

    Advice to Management

    Thanks for the booze

  7. Helpful (3)

    A career that has surpassed my expectations and taken me on wonderful adventures with the finest wines and companions

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Executive Wine Broker in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Executive Wine Broker in Alexandria, VA

    I have been working at Montesquieu full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Unlimited income potential based on self motivation, expereince with the top level wines and winemakers, travel, spontaneity, fun, freedom to be me!

    Cons

    Like any company you must start from the bottom and work your way up, you can do this rapidly here, but it's a true test of faith and focus. You must stay disciplined in your level of alcohol consumption.

    Advice to Management

    Consistency is key! We are ever evolving so sometimes infomation that would be helpful to brokers can be overlooked, a greater level of transparent communication would be appreciated.

  8. Helpful (4)

    Over 12 Years with Montesquieu and looking forward to many more!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Sales Manager in New York, NY

    I have been working at Montesquieu full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I have worked for Montesquieu for over 12 years and am looking forward to continued growth! I was promoted into a management position within my first year of employment and helped the company open offices on the east coast as well as in California. Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to travel to wine country, meet top wine makers from all around the world that we work with, help with harvest, participate in wine auctions and develop lasting relationships with clients from all across the U.S.

    As a manager for the New York City office now, I am looking forward to helping the company to continue growing and hiring and training individuals with a passion for wine, that are confident in sales and enjoy working in a positive upbeat office environment.

    Over the years I have had the opportunity to experience the most amazing wines that are coming from true artists and the hidden gems that are not available anywhere else in the world. My passion for these winemaker, the wines that they naturally create and the freedom to express my personality has allowed me to develop relationships with over 200 clients, many of whom I still do business with on a consistent basis and have been working with for my entire career.

    I enjoy the finer things in life and for me to be able to represent something I am so passionate about and get compensated directly for my efforts is reassuring and affords me the lifestyle that I desire and deserve! I'm looking forward to a long career and continued success at Montesquieu!

    Cons

    When a young broker that I think will be great at the position doesn't have the dedication to make this their Career, they just "dip their toes in the waters" It's sad to see talented people fail for a lack of belief and commitment in themselves.

    Advice to Management

    Continue sourcing the most amazing wines and I will continue finding individuals that share in the passion and vision of the company!

  9. Helpful (3)

    You reap what you sow

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Wine Broker in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Wine Broker in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Montesquieu full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I've worked at Montesquieu the past five years and it is a great place to start a career, gain invaluable business skills, learn a lifetime about wine and make a healthy living along the way. First starting at Montesquieu I was certainly intimidated by the fast paced environment and collection of outspoken sales people, but I stuck in there and knew it would take determination and focusing on the bigger picture of a client file. This was achieved through becoming comfortable in my environment and allowing my personality to be free while management shaped me into a professional wine broker aimed at success..

    Like any sales job, turnover is high, but those who stick with it can make an incredible mark within the company and their client's lives. It's a wonderful feeling when you are making great money by providing people the opportunity to drink and enjoy unique wines from around the world. I'm still loving it till this day.

    Allow yourself to be open to the possibility of success, ride the high's, get through the low's and you will surprise yourself.

    Cons

    Work hard play hard, but that's not really a con just what it takes to push through and become successful.

  10. Helpful (3)

    Thanks for nothing!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Montesquieu full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are none. Don't let them fool you.

    Cons

    This is a telemarketing job! The "wine lovers" you call during work hours are purchased leads, and most of the time not from "events and fundraisers."

    They bring in as many people as they can during interviews, hire a large amount to make it worthwhile so we can all weed through the "leads" and after being let go for not selling enough, the older wine brokers take the ones who actually bought.

    Advice to Management

    Most people can smell a phone script from a mile away.

  11. Helpful (4)

    I love what I do

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newport Beach, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newport Beach, CA

    I have been working at Montesquieu full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    I've been with the company for over 10 years and have worked in San Diego, LA, Orange County and in our Washington DC office. The people I work with are some of the most genuine and enthusiastic people I've ever met-on a professional and personal level. I get to wear my passion for wine on my sleeve everyday and share it with current clients and new clients. I have a loyal client base of wine collectors and connoisseurs that trust me to get them great wines that aren't available on the general market. I LOVE the wines! The different wines from different regions around the world have opened my eyes to new favorites that I'm able to share with others. Everyday is an adventure!

    Cons

    We sell out of most of our wines quite quickly, so sometimes I can't reach the clients or prospects before the wine is gone. Also my clients will request more of a wine that they've had previously and unfortunately we don't always carry another vintage.

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