Smart Circle

www.smartcircle.com

Smart Circle Reviews

Updated January 28, 2015
Updated January 28, 2015
124 Reviews
1.9
124 Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros
  • Employees learn a lot throughout the course of the program (in 5 reviews)

  • Met many great people I still keep in touch with today (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Long hours for little pay unless you hit senior management (in 27 reviews)

  • Keep in mind the base pay is only minimum wage of which is impossible to live (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Smart Circle Review: Great Company

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

    I have been working at Smart Circle full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Big telco clients & retail stores
    Lots to learn, and fast; good opportunity to move up
    Team work atmosphere & Friendly group
    Office hours flexibility

    Cons

    Hard to understand what happens in the sales field when you are in corporate office

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invite corporate office staff to sales meetings so they can see the big picture

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Loving working at Smart Circle

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

    I have been working at Smart Circle full-time

    Pros

    Great people, and learned a lot. Challenging work and great place to learn about different sales methods.

    Cons

    Corporate offices are small, not a lot of space for everyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Moving to new building, do it soon!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good learning experience, time consuming, obsessive atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager/"Leader"
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager/"Leader"

    I worked at Smart Circle

    Pros

    I worked for Smart Circle's Road Show division for around 7-8 months. I moved fairly far up, had a crew of people built including multiple "leaders," and ended up leaving shortly before my promotion into management. The people are great to be around because positivity is the number one requirement for employment. Most offices supply one on one training in the field, and a network of people to talk to who are good at the business. You will also develop an extremely marketable skill set as a Smart Circle employee, learning how to sell products, and once out of the entry level, the basics of recruiting and then how to develop and manage people. These are skills that look amazing on a resume.

    Cons

    Now the bad side. Yes, they will teach you all these things, but getting to the point where you're doing more than selling something inside Sam's Club requires extremely long hours, variable pay, and sacrificing your work-life balance. ,Once you are a "leader" you will constantly be training people as well as conducting interviews all while keeping your sales numbers up. Pay is commission, and it is split between everyone at the event on a given day. So if you have yourself who knows how to sell, along with 2 newbies who have no clue what they're doing, you need to sell more to make up for their slack while training them effectively. It's challenging for sure, and your paychecks will suffer. Additionally, once you recruit some people and develop a team, you are also coaching them over the phone daily. I got to the point where I was working from 7:00 am to 11pm. Some time was in the office, some was in the field, and then at least 2-3 hours were spent returning calls and breaking down people's days. I worked from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed, and eventually I broke. They say anyone can become an owner and that's true, but they drastically downplay the sacrifices you have to make to get to that point.

    Ultimately I do not regret working for Smart Circle. My resume is better now. Quitting was stressful, and my owner tried desperately to manipulate me into staying, but I am out now with a solid skill set and looking forward to the next chapter. If you're willing to temporarily sacrifice good pay, benefits, work/life balance, etc. for a positive atmosphere, personalized training, and a new experience, you may have something to gain from Smart Circle. Will you be an owner? Probably not. But you may end up with a way better resume from it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No chance in hell Larry Tenenbaum ever actually reads this, but you have got to get your employees a work/life balance.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Pinocchio's Nose At Its Longest.

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

    I worked at Smart Circle full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    The overwhelming sense of relief I felt going home every night was the only positive experience I had with Smart Circle.

    Cons

    This company's goal is to keep you in the field for as long as possible. They know that it's a terrible job and that if you knew the truth, you would run like the wind. The only way to keep you selling is to fill your head with lies. It's not as if they can tell you you're being exploited. Here are some of my favorite Smart Circle lies.

    1. All promotions are from within and everyone starts in the field.

    What a crock. Do you think that Michael Meryash (CEO) or George Graffy (President) started in the field? They tell you this lie to make you believe that going out and harassing shoppers is normal because everyone in the company has done it. Truth is, most people making big money wouldn't even know what the field looks like. Money in Smart Circle is for the Tanenbaums and their friends. The field is for you.

    2. Business ownership.

    Seriously? If it were your business, you would be able to sell it. Right? You could place and ad for a Directv franchise and sell it for the right price. If it were your business, you wouldn't have to pick up the phone every time your up-line called. If it were your business, you wouldn't have to participate in Smart Circle conference calls all the time. Yes, your name is on the paperwork but that's just so you pay the bills and take responsibility for any screw-ups.

    3. Trust the system.

    Would you believe that 'the system' has failed 99.9% of anyone who has come in contact with it? Just look at your office. The faces you see today are different from the ones you saw two weeks ago and will be different from the ones you'll see in two weeks. They tell you this lie to keep your mind off the crazy work environment and low pay hoping to get a few extra weeks or months out of you.

    4. Money.

    The stories they tell you about how much money they're making are just lies. Managers are trained to stretch the truth to get you to believe that being a Directv owner is the best thing in the world. It's not. Most of the time it's worse than being a rep. Take a good look at your owner and see what he really has. Better yet, look at your paycheck and determine if it's worth your while. Money is only real when it's in your hands. Stories and promises of money are just lies.

    Think about it guys. Where's all the money they promised? It's all one big lie designed to keep you doing a menial job for as long as possible. Shame on them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get on your knees and pray your company never becomes a household name. If the average Joe knew what you were doing to his children.......... You people are liars.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Smart Circle should be called Talk Circles

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in Grand Rapids, MI
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager in Grand Rapids, MI

    I have been working at Smart Circle full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    I worked with really nice people who I will stay in touch with. Big box store environment is a good working environment.

    Cons

    Smart Circle should be called "Talk Circles." You will find they double talk you and manipulate you - and they are masters at it!

    You'll find yourself constantly jumping through hoops of paradox for a promise of pay that never "really" comes through "for this reason or that reason." They purposely keep things vague to keep employees in the dark (just ask your co-workers to clarify a question you have). At some point, you start to question yourself and your boss, because the promised pay still never shows up in your paychecks - even though you have performed very well in delivering consistent sales each week. It is no surprise the turnover is extremely high and no one you work with has worked there very long (and they are confused as well).

    Look around you...they hire marginalized people they can easily manipulate into believing just long enough to make them money. In the end, you'll learn its just another pyramid scheme - and those have their reputation for a reason.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No advise to management...it is what it is and they have to do what they do to get people to stay a few weeks or months so they make money. Not an honest existence for them or for you as an employee.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    IGNORE PREVIOUS REVIEW

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager in Miami, FL
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager in Miami, FL

    I worked at Smart Circle full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    So a few review down (2, I believe) I wrote a glowing review explaining the cons of the company Smart Circle. I had just been promoted and now see the trap I entered.

    Pros:
    Great way to learn new tasks for your resume.
    You get a few really cool products for wholesale.
    The sense of overwhelming ecstatic relief when you quit.

    Cons

    Everything Else.
    My boss on several occasions forgot to pay me until I had nagged him for weeks. He wouldn't text us or let us know our schedules until the morning meeting at 8:45, meaning that even on your DAY OFF you had to wake up early and go to the office. And when I say "day off" I mean, that's really only if you're lucky. I worked seven straight days on a few occasions.

    The "promotion" to leadership is really a demotion. All it means is that you can be trusted to be by yourself more, and you will be. I worked weeks in the field without anyone. You're expected to do WAY MORE things around the office and interview during your field shifts while maintaining sales.

    When you start to crack and wonder if this is for you, everyone comes at you with these robotic, rehearsed replies. They tell you it's your fault that you aren't selling, and if that makes you sad and you "lose your attitude" that is also on you. At every step, if you have a doubt, you are silenced and discouraged by others. What I said about my college friend making it is true-but she can't even afford cable or internet as an owner! If you are in this company, save yourself your time and sanity and quit now before you get attached to the people. They will make you feel bad when you quit and tell you that you are preventing them from making it to the next step.

    If you think you can handle working 9 hours a day, 6 days a week on your feet, being rejected to your face with a completely positive attitude for minimum wage, then I encourage you to try this. It's much like a call center, except instead of being hung up on, you're being laughed at, mocked, and ran away from.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to hire enough people at each office to give your employees a few days off. My biggest problem was management. If my manager communicated clearly and gave us a clear vision of what we were working toward, I might have stayed. Management also needs to accept that some clubs/markets simply are not profitable for every product, and strategically plan shows so it is possible for employees to make a liveable wage. They need to stop blaming their sales staff and making them feel horrible for low sales. If you put them in the projects, they aren't going to make a sale.

    They also need to relieve employees from working too many "solo days" at one time. It creates a "solitary confinement" mindset that eats away at those there. They should better compensate for gas, and offer more in-office incentives to motivate team members so they stay with the program longer. Pay leaders a base rate of 10 per hour. Give them a reason other than a hazy future to be in the office.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Learning experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Smart Circle full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    informative meetings, good training, occasionally decent commission checks

    Cons

    long hours, no real growth opportunity, shady business practices

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find honest employment

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Horrible!! I do not recommend!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Pensacola, FL
    Former Employee - Account Manager in Pensacola, FL

    I worked at Smart Circle full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    There are some people who made it to owner and are successful, so it is possible to make it long term in the business.

    Cons

    In the end it's a huge scam. You start out working 45+ hours a week selling DirecTV and Cox Cable in stores like Best Buy or Sam's Club. The amount of your sales and your leadership determine if your boss/owner will eventually move you up to owner status. Then you will get your own office and 9 times out of 10 you will fail and go back to your owner's office to retrain. This company talks a lot about management, leadership and entrepreneurship, but doesn't really teach any of it. Most of the people who make it to owner are not really prepared to run an office correctly.

    The only type of person that I would recommend for this job is someone that is a great salesman with nothing going on in their life. The job is very time consuming and stressful. You are expected to put your job before any and every issue outside of work, even family.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Filter better when hiring (too many people got hired that would come in one day and never return); Be more honest on the job description, you may actually get more people who are good at this type of job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's something to fill in an empty resume.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Event Coordinator in Opelika, AL
    Former Employee - Event Coordinator in Opelika, AL

    I worked at Smart Circle full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    It's easy to get as a first job and does give you experience to reference back to in future job interviews. They do try to apply a lot of old psychological ideas about "perception is reality" that could be helpful for people with a bad mindset, but one of the qualifications for being hired is a relentlessly positive attitude, so its wasted.

    Cons

    Pay is terrible for the hours. I was discouraged from logging the hours when we did mandatory prep or tear down for events because it was "paying your dues to get ahead". Employees are discouraged from talking to friends or family about work and are even discouraged from talking to each other unless it's Super Positive work-talk. Cutting people off from one another, working them ragged and the chanting, repetitive, positivity preaching "morning atmosphere" sessions all created a very "culty" atmosphere but when anyone brings it up they're shunned as "Negging everyone out". Which doesn't really help with the whole cult thing..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiring people with college degrees. The people that did best at the office I was involved with were the younger, less educated individuals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11.  

    Growth potential, low ethics

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

    I worked at Smart Circle full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Growth opportunities are there. Lots of travel.

    Cons

    Very little pay, no work/life balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a business ethics course or two.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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