Smart Circle Reviews

Updated March 26, 2015
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  1. 6 people found this helpful

    You will be working for an MLM company selling their own products.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Representative/Event Coordinator in Sandy Springs, Fulton, GA
    Current Employee - Sales Representative/Event Coordinator in Sandy Springs, Fulton, GA

    I have been working at Smart Circle

    Pros

    You will learn how to sell anything to anyone which is a fantastic skill to have.

    Cons

    I would like to point one lie that managers and the person doing the interview will not tell you... Almost ALL products that you advertise in stores are made by SMART CIRCLE. Ever wondered why all your product shipment boxes say Innovage? Because INNOVAGE is SMART CIRCLE! There are only a couple of actual companies like Direct TV outsource their direct sales through Smart Circle. So much for being a number one marketing firm...

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

    Steer Clear of this Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Training Manager in Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Training Manager in Malvern, PA

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

    Pros

    I did benefit from the constant face-to-face interactions with dozens of people a day by going door to door, and there was a fun aspect to it as well. I built my people skills and my confidence overall improved, however, my money situation did NOT, it worsened immensely.

    Some of the people I worked with were great guys who I had a lot in common with, although the core people (the ones who were the most brainwashed and relocated from a previous office with the owner to the new office I was interviewed at) were twisted in their logic as well as morals by the false dream this company sells.

    Cons

    I worked for Smart Circle under the guise of a company called Results Consulting Group, and the "owner" there was Mike DeFazio. We sold Verizon Fios door to door in the West Chester area.

    First of all, they lie to you from the start to get you in there for an interview. I was under the belief I had an interview with Verizon Fios for a job position that was salary pay (40,000-60,000 per year), I even emailed the recruiter to confirm this was true and she said it was. When I got there I knew right away it was another shady marketing company, but I was in such a desperate need of a job at the time I decided to give it a chance. The fact that they felt they had to mislead me to get me to go door to door on 100% commission to sell a product didn't bother me as much as the fact that the "owner" had complete control over my time and money and illegally threatened to steal from my earnings in the form of fines for not adhering to his demands motivated solely by greed. He made the same threats to my coworkers as well and one of them was so pathetically brainwashed by this man that he actually welcomed the fines so he could be a better sales slave...BE WARNED: You will make dirt money and be expected to work 6 12-15 hour days a week and 7 days if you do not hit your sales goal. You will be expected to use your own vehicle to drive to peoples' homes and cold knock. You will be taught lies about your product so that people will be more likely to sign up. You will be expected to solicit their products township to township without proper licensing or permitting so you could potentially be at risk of spending the night in jail or at the very least a big fat fine that in all probability you will have to pay out of your own pocket. You will be subject to abuse in ways you never thought possible.

     I have to say after walking away from this scam It did open my eyes to the importance of a steady income and job security. These people (in Smart Circle) would sacrifice their credit, relationships, time with family all to chase the dream that one day they would be regional consultants racking in millions a year and laughing at hard working employees in the process, even though every single one of them were broke. The "owners" in my building did their best to convince us that they were rich and justified the fact that they both drove piece of crap cars with that they wanted to achieve multi-millionaire status before "changing their lifestyles." First they reel you in with out right lies and proceed to build your confidence by praising you as a sales prodigy, brain wash you, and keep you around under the pretext that they are the living, breathing examples of success in Smart Circle and that once you get to ownership its all smooth sailing from there financially. I was with the company long enough to realize that once you get to ownership the real problems begin. First off, they lead you to believe that once you become an owner you can open up in whatever city you want and be your own boss there. In all actuality you have to go exactly where Smart Circle decides, which will be dependent on what areas are newly lit up for Verizon Fios (I'm just using the Verizon campaign as an example), which could very well be in the middle of Nowheresville, Nebraska. Smart Circle will also be able to shut you down and have access to your "company's" funds whenever they please if certain problems arise. (Mike DeFazio was recently shut down and I hear he is now selling coloring books on the streets of New Jersey with his team of brainwashed sales slaves, continuing to ruin their futures and hurting them physically, emotionally and psychologically). Turns out a regular salary or hourly paying job isn't nearly as fragile as a career with this company, despite what they would like you to believe and preach to you on a daily basis. No matter how hard you work, as enthusiastic or charismatic you are, if you are not well liked by the corrupt "higher ups" and aren't 100% in on the scam and have zero remorse about ruining numerous peoples' lives by lying to them and manipulating them on a daily basis you will not make it far at all.

    So you will be expected to uproot your entire existence and sacrifice whatever financial security, friendships, relationships and credit fitness you have if you decide to pursue a career with this company. Then you have to succeed at getting others to sacrifice whatever financial security, friendships, relationships and credit fitness they have just so you in turn can make a buck. It's a vicious cycle. And take note that only the weak-willed will allow themselves to be permanently suckered into Scam Circle and their affiliated companies all while sacrificing their morals and their conscience for a cult-like and greed-driven mentality.
    I was only it in 6 months, I can't even begin to imagine how corrupt, illegal and downright evil this company really is from the top. If I ever make it to public office or find myself in some position of more widespread influence, I will highly publicize and expose the inner workings of this corporate abomination.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make amends for all the lives you have ruined with your lies. This is no way to earn a living.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 4 people found this helpful

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

    Pros

    Learn soft business skills (dressing professionally, getting on conference calls, running meetings, etc.), Access to an expansive network of others in "the business," lots of team enthusiasm (varies by office), immense opportunity for personal growth, the incredible feeling of relief you get when you finally walk out of the office for the last time.

    Cons

    Where to start? Essentially you're standing in a grocery store (Kroger, Winn Dixie, Costco, etc.) selling random products to passersby. There is nothing that requires much thought here; simply memorize the marketing systems (anyone can memorize a few words and pithy acronyms) and voila — you're now a Smart Circle rep! They keep emphasizing the business structure and how you need to climb the ladder to get to the "good life," but you will work like a slave trying to get there. I'm talking 8-hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week. You get one full day off per 12-day campaign rotation; all other "days off" aren't completely free because even if you're not in the field you're still going to have to report to the office for the morning meeting or for setting up the next campaign.

    Even your free time isn't really free because that needs to be filled with networking calls (who are we networking with? Why are we networking? I don't know, just do it because it's important for some reason!) or creating goals to send in to your manager. It's about jumping through hoops, and whoever can jump through the most of them consistently without falling over will be promoted. Are you a force in the field, but haven't done the requisite 5 networking calls per week? Then tough, you don't get jack.

    Again, there's nothing intellectual about working for this company. This isn't data-managed marketing, it's old-fashioned, side-of-the-road "hey check this thing out and buy it" marketing. Compensation is also abysmal. The higher-ups keep emphasizing that entry-level people are sacrificing more now so they can prosper later, but how much of a sacrifice? The successful people I've spoken to said they essentially devoted their entire lives to the job before getting promoted. If this type of work is exciting for you then you will love it and have no problem rising through the ranks. However, if you don't end up being 100% to the gig then it will steamroll you and you will be miserable until you quit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do a better job of outlining what success in the field looks like, not just painting generic images of money and free time and doing whatever you want, because it's probably not all true all the time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
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  5. 6 people 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. 2 people 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
  7. 8 people 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. 6 people 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
  9. 2 people 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
  10. 4 people 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
  11. 6 people found this helpful

    Wouldn't recommend.

    • 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 (less than a year)

    Pros

    Some of the people were nice to work with.

    Cons

    Well... you're not told during the entry interview that you'll basically be selling products in grocery stores and Sam's Clubs. They're masters of words - they'll find a way to make it seem like a much better opportunity. You can make it to manager, but even then, my manager was still stuck in grocery stores selling. Manager consists of getting your own office, but it's not your own company in the least. You're working 6 days a week, and you don't even get minimum wage most of the time, even if you're on the higher end of the sales totum pole. They adopt an "us vs. them" mentality, constantly talking down corporate jobs or other careers, and telling you that your friends and family won't understand your goals. The turnover rate is enormous, and there's lots of driving. You get reimbursed for gas, but it's not nearly enough, and only if you leave from the office. If you have a later shift, that gas is on you. It may be good for some people, but it's hard to sell a product that you don't believe in to people who have no interest in talking to you or buying it, no matter how many sales techniques you're taught. I also found that people who leave the organization or are struggling get smeared pretty badly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please be more transparent about who you are and what you actually do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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