Smart Circle

  www.smartcircle.com
  www.smartcircle.com
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Smart Circle Reviews

Updated September 14, 2014
Updated September 14, 2014
94 Reviews
2.3
94 Reviews
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Review Highlights

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

  • What I hear is a lot of people griping about long hours, being on your feet, and a cult mentality (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • It's very long hours for very little pay (in 24 reviews)

  • No benefits (no vacation, health insurance, dental insurance, vision, 401k) (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Not for everyone, also not a "scam"!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Owner  in  DFW, TX
    Current Employee - Owner in DFW, TX

    I have been working at Smart Circle full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great entry level training! I was a bartender with a useless Psychology Degree and was taught successful basic marketing skills. Then I moved on to leadership and management training. I have now been a manager over a year. Of course it's hard, owning a business is not a walk in the park! What do people expect?!? It's an awesome opportunity in the Roadshow division, and I have seen success first hand in the other divisions as well. I started at entry level and was promoted to Management in 8 months.

    Cons

    If you buy a bad coke from the gas station, are you going to blame the gas station that sold it to you knowing it was expired..or do you go straight to the source (Coke)? That's what happens with reviews on here for Smart Circle.
    It is not a pyramid scheme, scam, or any type of multilevel direct marketing. They are simply the parent company to individual corporations. They get blamed for every bad owner!
    There are owners who have not paid reps, or just didn't show up to their office. That was a certain individual's bad choice, not Smart Circle's.. The training is definitely not for everyone! So if you're not excited to be married to your career for just a few years to retire earlier than the average Joe, don't apply.There are great managers and owners out there that can provide the same success and opportunity they have.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People are WAY more likely to write a bad review, than a good review. I read some of these reviews while I was going through training and I remember getting freaked out some, but I decided I wanted to give it a shot and find out if it was true or false myself. I am thankful for the opportunity to own my business and have them there as a back up incase I need help or advice. But if I go down, I'm not blaming Smart Circle.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Learned the art of selling

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

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

    Pros

    Learned sales techniques still used today, terrific "entry-level" sales experience. Conditioned mindset to hunt for sales and hump it to earn money. Makes other sales opportunities appear easy. Would recommend it to anyone starting out to gain valuable experience.
    Great energy amongst team and management. Met many great people I still keep in touch with today. Leadership was invested in my success and I was promoted rapidly through company.

    Cons

    Company values sales, at almost all costs-depending on your belief, this could be viewed as a strength or weakness.
    Compensation can be challenging at times as it's commission only, which although it forces you to work harder, can be very stressful, especially with greater obligations.
    Work-life balance is difficult as hours can be long and/or grueling.

    Doesn't Recommend
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Pyramid scheme! Stay away!

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

    I worked at Smart Circle full-time

    Pros

    You learn a tremendous amount during your time there in terms of sales and marketing systems and techniques that significantly help your pitches when you're out in the field. Generally, you work with a lot of great people who are always interested in helping you grow within the business. No seniority is also a plus.

    Cons

    Smart Circle is extremely misleading to perspective employees, especially those perspective employees who are right out of school. First of all, they say they are hiring for positions such as "Market Researcher" and "Event Coordinator" which do not even exist. Everyone starts off at the same entry-level position as a "Brand Ambassador" which is just a salesperson making minimum wage with commission. While you are given the opportunity to quickly advance within the business, it is not very rewarding. After "Brand Ambassador" comes "Campaign Manager" which means you're still out in the field, but have way more responsibilities, way longer days, with no pay raise. After that is Assistant Manager, and then Manager. Managers think of themselves as entrepreneurs because they pay for their own office space, but they're still underlings of the head honchos of Smart Circle. They believe they're going to be making 6 figures, travel all over the world, make their own schedule, etc., but my manager seemed to be barely keeping his head afloat driving around his old car and attempting to maintain a horrible office space. They wouldn't even turn on the A/C on certain days in order to save money. Only the top people in the pyramid scheme were making any real money (and they were apparently making millions each year). This trend of deception extends even further when you find yourself lying to customers about products because those in upper management have taught you a specific pitch that you can't really stray from. For example, you're telling customers a specific product lasts an x amount of time when the packaging specifically states it doesn't.

    Management will do anything and everything to cheat you out of your deserved wage and keep you working for as long as possible. Don't expect to have weekends off or to have any sort of set schedule at all. They'll keep you in the field longer than you were scheduled, and when you try and record it on your time sheet (which is so stupidly archaic), they'll tell you to write down only what you were scheduled for. I often found myself not getting days off that I was promised as they had "such a great opportunity for me". Honestly, this translated to "hey, we're seriously desperate because everyone is quitting and/or is losing their minds out in the field and we need you to cover".

    Another huge drawback of Smart Circle is the Smart Circle cult mentality. Every morning, you have to go into the office (and if you're a Campaign Manager or higher up, Saturdays are included) and they brainwash you into thinking the business is better than anything else you could be doing, and that without them you might not even have a job since direct marketing is "recession-proof". Also, you have to go in and immediately recite things you learned and if you don't recite them verbatim, you are made to look like an absolute fool. Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, you have mandatory conference calls that are an utter waste of time. It's mostly upper management talking about the pitch or how to set goals. Furthermore, if you have a genuine question about a specific aspect of the pitch, they will often tell you you're "overwhelming" the rest of the people on the call and that you have to call them later. The most annoying part of this cult mentality were the strict rules about "resourcing" and "networking" with higher-ups in the business every single day. Even if you were having a great day in the field and had no questions or needed no help, you were expected to call these complete strangers (and keep calling if they didn't answer) and talk about your day because "they care so much". All in all, you were denied a healthy work/leisure balance. They would demand you go to team nights or to hang out with them on your days off to relax and have fun, but the topics of conversation always came back to how you can grow within the company. When you told them you couldn't, they would often say that you were making them look bad and that it was necessary you do these things with your team members so that you could advance. It was absolutely exhausting not having any time for friends or family.

    All in all, I recommend you stay as far away from Smart Circle as possible. These people are leeches preying on their employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    Change my life gave me the opportunity to grow with no experience.

    • 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

    Pros

    Advancement, Growth, finances, no discrimination, motivated individuals

    Cons

    Hard work, long days, time consuming, relocation

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work

  6.  

    Big Ponzi Scheme, you will loose money and waste a lot of time with people that do not care about you.

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

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

    Pros

    I am an optimistic, positive person, but literally nothing! STAY AWAY!!

    Cons

    I worked for a company out of Atlanta, GA that was affiliated with Smart Circle. Door to door sales, right out of college in the 2009 recession. Do not let the managers sway you! They are not making what they say they are and most do not have cars and live in sub-standard living conditions. They will pressure you to use your car and not provide gas reimbursement. Also, they sell you on pipe dreams that will never happen. This business model is skewed such that the people doing the sales do not even get the majority chunk. The breakdown at my company: $30-$50 me, $70 manager, $20 Smart Circle per sale. Plus the services most provide are utterly USELESS. And when you phone their call center, you get rude, arrogant, half-wits trying to make it hard for you to set up appointments with the customer right next to you. I usually hung up twice, or asked for someone by name that I knew did a good job with scheduling. (The managers are the most brainwashed since they were the only ones who stuck with it so long.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you do not go out on "the field" you are not a true manager and do not believe in the business model. Instead of hiring college grads, you should hire high school students. Then your turnover rate will not be so close to 100%. Ohh, my manager printed out his social security on all our sales certificates, so managers... do not do that!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Horrific

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Representative  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Austin, TX

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

    Pros

    I really can't think of anything positive to say about this business. I suppose that my experience with Smart Circle has slightly improved my written communication skills. Thanks guys.

    Cons

    Do you need a job? Are you a recent college graduate? Would you like to throw your degree in the toilet and pursue a career of financial ruin all in the name of quenching the greedy thirst of the Tanenbaum family? If so, Smart Circle might be for you. They have been abusing first time job seekers for decades. The company is set up in such a way that it squeezes every drop of blood from eager young talent without giving them anything in return. It's perfect for anyone who would like to be taken advantage of.

    The first thing you have to know is that to the Tanenbaums, you are nothing more than cannon fodder who's sole purpose in life is to make them money. They have broken from humanity and have created a malevolent system designed to turn you into a zombie who is loyal to the company and that shouts Smart Circle mantras all day long. They have such a low opinion of you and will not even show the respect of allowing you to use your native tongue. Instead, you will be forced to learn a language that they have created and will be expected to teach this language to others. Below is a list of some of the words and phrases that you will learn while at Smart Circle.

    •Juice = Join us in creating excitement. This is the be all and end all of Smart Circle lingo. If someone says "juice?" you should say "juice!" back.
    • Juice by you = Congratulations
    •Juice by that = Well done
    •Write an app = You write an app when you convince a customer to purchase Directv. Feel free to tell any and all lies that will help you make the sale. Lies will be provided for you if you are unable to construct your own.
    •Ring the Bell = Writing two apps
    • Set the pace = To consistently outperform all others.
    •9 to 5 schmuck = Someone that has a 9 to 5 job. They want you to believe that this person is lazy, has a life controlled by a boss, has no goals or direction and is too secure in their poor existence to try and get a head in life.
    • Beast = A Smart Circle poster child. Someone that has a great attitude, can sell, build a crew, overcome any negative, is looking for long term success in the business and can follow the marketing system to a tee.
    •Impact = A mini meeting where they will stain your mind with lies.
    • Atmosphere = A 60 minute gathering that happens every morning. This is where they will try to brainwash you on their "opportunity".
    • "Hey Guys?!" = If some one shouts this.
    •"Hey What?!" = The appropriate response. It's a Pavlovian response designed to quiet a room so that the owner can be heard.
    • Leader = A rep who constantly trains new people while trying to build a crew. Someone who does all the work and hardly makes any money.
    •Owner = A leader who runs their own branch and believes that they are a business owner.
    •Cheaters Prosper = Self explanatory. A phrase used regularly by the higher ups in the company.

    Besides learning your new language, Smart Circle will teach you draconian sales systems that will forever tarnish your soul. Below is a brief explanation of their F.U.G.I. factors technique.

    FEAR OF LOSS. This is a fear based company and believes that it's the best way go get the better of people. They believe that their customers will be more likely to buy if they are afraid that they will miss out.

    URGENCY. They don't want their customers to think about their offer because they will usually decide against it.

    GREED. They believe that all people are greedy and will always choose the option that puts the most money into their pockets.

    INDIFFERENCE. They want you to pretend like you don't care about getting the sale. They want the customer to think that they are losing by not buying Smart Circle products.

    Fear, greed and the notion that cheaters prosper. Can you guess what kind of a company this is? It's a business model written by the Devil himself and is guaranteed to take the moral low ground each and every time. Behold, a pale horse carrying a Tanenbaum who is in possession of a bow and a crown. Don't do yourself the disservice of not applying to this company. It will open your eyes to the evil that can be done all in the name of the almighty dollar.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hard to say really. I think that they should pay back the money they stole but that would defeat the purpose of stealing in the first place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Weak need not apply

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Smart Circle full-time

    Pros

    So much growth. So much opportunity for money even at entry level...my highest paycheck at the bottom was 2100 for 2 weeks which is much higher than any other paycheck I had received from other typical jobs I had previously worked.

    Cons

    Very challenging but worth the struggle

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep on goin!

  9.  

    The ability to generate commission was there, however, the selection process was extremely vague. Leadership was lacking

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Representative  in  Orlando, FL
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Orlando, FL

    I worked at Smart Circle part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    It was direct sales
    They placed you where the clients were going to be
    There was no cold calling involved
    You were selling something desirable (DirecTV)

    Cons

    Lack of Leadership
    Employee morale was weak
    The organization structure seemed rushed
    The leadership structure seemed rushed

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A group structure
    Company values need to be vocalized more
    Time-off didn't seem like a problem, but proper education did

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Avoid at all costs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Junior Marketing Representative  in  Lexington, KY
    Former Employee - Junior Marketing Representative in Lexington, KY

    I worked at Smart Circle full-time

    Pros

    There was a highly energetic workplace culture with people that were always nice and loved talking to you. Management and leaders would teach you all the skills needed to perform your job well and make an effort to make you feel part of the team.

    Cons

    The interview process was lengthy and highly misleading. Smart Circle was the parent company of this particular business and that information was not divulged until a leader was specifically asked. The individual company claimed to have over 20 clients, all Fortune 500 companies. After research it became evident that none of the companies on their list were on the Fortune 500 list. They hire on people as full time, but the hours were highly competitive. A full time employee was not guaranteed the 35 hours that most companies will give.

    Outside of the interview process several of the practices seemed unethical. Hired on as a marketing representative your main job was to sell items to customers in stores on event marketing. However during your "pitch" the script specifically stated that you were not a salesmen and not there not sell the products. You were there purely as a promoter. Other strategies included asking you to basically lie to customers about how many items were purchased by other people and the number of products that were available.

    The pay is essentially straight commission. A base pay is given, but only on a versus basis which means that you receive which number is higher, the commission or the base pay. Keep in mind the base pay is only minimum wage of which is impossible to live. There are no benefits at entry level, because of the number of employees at each office even healthcare is not offered through the employer despite the Affordable Care Act.

    Doing research before accepting an offer with this company at a marketing firm is highly difficult since each time a new manager is selected they set up their own company and their own business name. There is virtually nothing to tie it to the parent company Smart Circle which makes it difficult to go into the job well informed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Use a policy of transparency with both customers and employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Pyramid scheme

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Smart Circle

    Pros

    You learn to appreciate the warmth

    Cons

    You have to use a lot of your own resources in order to "make it"

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