Smart Circle

  www.smartcircle.com
  www.smartcircle.com

Smart Circle Reviews

Updated October 22, 2014
Updated October 22, 2014
101 Reviews
2.2
101 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
CEO
0 Ratings

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
  • Long hours for little pay unless you hit senior management (in 25 reviews)

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

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    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 (less than an 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
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 (more than an 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
  3. 3 people 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
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review
  5. 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!

  6.  

    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 (less than an 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
  7. 2 people 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
  8. 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"

  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Brainwashing

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

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

    Pros

    Some of the reps were decent. Atmosphere was fantastic provided that you have a sense of humor. Loved watching the indoctrinated preach the Smart Circle Gospel.

    Cons

    Have you ever been involved in a cult? I don’t mean a maniacal satanic cult that perpetrates murder on the streets but a cult nonetheless? I have.

    Like most naive subscribers to cults, I wasn’t aware as I walked through the door of the world that I was entering although in retrospect, the signs were always there. The cult in question was something I joined with the best of intentions. A new "respectable" job in marketing which would be pertinent to my business and journalism degree. Of course, the city center location and enthusiastic suited workforce created a favorable impression and a promise of great things to come.

    Happiness and positivity were rewarded in kind with smiles and pats on the back. Shyness and negativity were rewarded with dirty looks and complete elimination from any future conversations as if that person had never existed. Morning meetings consisted of clapping and chanting as each cultist became more wrapped up and devoted to the system while brainwashing was taking place via so-called Impact lectures. Each and every morning we were told how lucky and privileged we were to be with a company where major things were happening and sports cars being bought daily. We were regularly reminded that there was recession outside but inside the office we had made the right choice as we were on the path to riches.

    I’m guessing you may have realised that these riches never came our way. It turns out that the position was simply a 10hrs a day 100% commission sales job build up to appear as important as being the President of the United Sates.

    There is nothing more demoralising than approaching irritated customers only to have them berate you with the occasional expletive. Then having to stretch the truth and guilt vulnerable people into handing over their card details and signing up for the product you are immorally pedaling in order to save your job and avoid ending each day in the red.

    There is no question in my mind that the techniques used by Smart Circle constitute brainwashing, yet there are many other examples of companies that use other tactics to control their staff. Uniforms, jargon, meetings, incentives, harassment etc are all forms of brainwashing. The insidious side of Smart Circle is the manner in which they take over the lives of their people. The amount of time for laborious meetings, going out with your crew to the movies or for dinner, calling them at night. Gimme a break! Why? Why do they do these things? Why do they want you to "get with" only positive people? Answer: To keep you cocooned in a shell of their own making. Just think, if you were a steadfast capitalist and were kept in a communist village in China without news from the west for ten years while constantly being bombarded with Chairman Mao's propaganda, you would probably end up being a communist as well. They don't want you to spend any time away from their business because you might remember who you are and realize that you are being scammed.

    Understand that "owners" have been figuring out how to get people to stick with their business since 1980. They have been through countless teams quitting on them. They have plenty of ammunition to give reps or their family members when they rail at them. They practice rebuttals to get them to calm down and stick it out. Advice is given at rallies and phone calls are made all the time just on these topics. They have years of trial and error on their side. On the other hand, an anguished girl friend or worried parent is dealing with something they have never heard of. Something that someone they love has embraced. Such a person wants to be open minded but when they see that their loved one is working 70 hours a week and not making money with a changed personality; they worry that he might be in a cult. Their loved one is not worshipping a strange God. They have been enslaved by the Smart Circle psychology of financial independence through retail sales.

    Think about it people, if all that talk about money were true, wouldn't you have seen some?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay back the stolen money.

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

    Scam on every level

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

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

    Pros

    I believe that I was truly blessed with the opportunity to have worked for Smart Circle because it opened my eyes to the evil that can be done all in the name of chasing that almighty dollar.

    Cons

    If you are reading this you have probably done some research and are aware of the Smart Circle scam. This scam has many faces and is perpetrated on many levels. There's the recruiting scam where they outright lie to perspective employees and the sales scam where they lie to their customers. The real scam however, is having their managers become incorporated therefore removing any liability for their actions from Smart Circle.

    Smart Circle trained managers who then opened offices using the methods that they learned. These managers trained new managers in the same methods who went on to open their own offices and so on and so forth, like a virus. Their tactics are also enforced at Smart Circle rallies and conventions. Sure, the whole individual office system is very clever and creates plausible deniability, but it's main purpose is to avoid legal entanglement.

    What is truly amazing and a testament to cleverness of Smart Circle is that they have convinced most of their managers that they are in fact entrepreneurs. This is not entirely untrue because these managers are business owners when it comes time to paying the bills or taking the fall but if Smart Circle calls and tells them to jump, they don't ask how high, they jump as high as they can. These "businesses" are created by Smart Circle for Smart Circle and all that's required is to find managers smart enough to get the job done but dumb enough not to ask any questions.

    As above so below. This system is also used in their street level offices. Sales reps are made to sign documents absolving the subsidiary of any future wrongdoing. When a problem occurs, the subsidiary will fire the rep and claim that he was a bad seed. When a problem occurs in a specific market, Smart Circle will fire the owner and claim that they were a bad seed even though they trained that owner to behave in that way. Meanwhile, Smart Circle gets away with everything and is laughing all the way to the bank. You have to admire the genius of the system that they have created.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay back the money that you stole.

    Doesn't Recommend
  11.  

    It Gave me the experience to grow

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Owner in Madison, WI
    Former Employee - Owner in Madison, WI

    I worked at Smart Circle full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Hard work, paid off. I'm glad that I was able to start learning at this company. I had no experience and they helped me now secure a career at a different organization.

    Cons

    Huge pay fluctuation. Commission only...Interview practices we're a little misleading and that's why I left. VP's were always leveraging their campaigns over others so ownership was always changing campaigns and sharing "opportunity."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Thanks for the fun times!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

Work at Smart Circle? Share Your Experiences

Smart Circle

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.