This is a warning to anyone who is considering applying for a job with International Profit Associates (IPA), International Business Analysis (IBA), or any of its affiliates.
I know this post is very long, but believe me if you read it, you'll be thankful that you learned all this information before actually taking a job with that company.
DO NOT accept employment from these scammers. This company perpetrates large scale fraud on its customers. IPA-IBA is also abusive to its employees, and incompetent (at the very least) to accurately process the commissions for its employees' sales. They will promise you stellar sales rates, income in the six figures, huge bonuses, company cars and much much more, but these are all lies. You'll most likely never make more than minimum wage working for them as a "business coordinator" (fancy name for a telemarketer). As an IPA-IBA "senior area manager" (local sales rep) you'll spend hours on the road traveling to meetings with business owners under false pretenses and have to employ bullying, high-pressure tactics to obtain a close. As an IPA-IBA analyst or consultant, you'll be using your knowledge of business to swindle innocent small business owners, compromising your morals and ethics on a daily basis just to make a living.
I was a BC (telemarketer) for IPA-IBA and I can tell you from first-hand experience that this is not a place where you want to work. This company is nothing more than a highly sophisticated, nationwide fraud scheme which operates on a "churn-and-burn" philosophy with regards to the territory they prospect in and the people they employ. They chew up their employees (and their clients) and spit them out afterward. Very few people can tolerate working in an environment like IPA-IBA for very long, so the turnover rate is extremely high. Most employees stick around no longer than a week or two before quitting.
To clarify things a bit, let me describe my employment with this company, from the start. The interview process at IPA-IBA is conducted in a fairly nice looking office in a low-rise building in the Chicago suburbs. The interviewers have a soft touch, and act very professional and respectful. They listen patiently and dispense information about the company in a very judicious manner. During the interview, they may cultivate the impression that your employment is not guaranteed, but believe me, this company will hire anybody. Poor employment history, bogus references, extensive criminal record, IPA-IBA doesn't care, as long as they can exploit you to make some money. For a BC (telemarketer) position, many of the applicants are actually drug addicts living in halfway-houses or prisoners on work release programs, under immediate pressure to find a job, in exchange for a measure of personal freedom and the promise of quick, easy cash.
So after the interview, the in-house paid training program begins. Training pays $8 an hour, as long as you show up for both days and then work at the company for at least a full week. Your actual on-the-job pay is even less, starting at $7 per hour. After 4 weeks, you'll be taking a .50 per hour pay cut, dropping your hourly wage down to the $6.50 national minimum.
During training, you'll spend 2 6-hour days in a room that resembles a junior college classroom, listening to a lot of fanciful talk about the fabulously wealthy John Burgess and his wonderful $250,000,000.00 business creation, IPA-IBA. You'll be told that you can easily make thousands of dollars per week as long as you work hard on the phones and aren't afraid to put in a little overtime (unpaid, of course). After all, you're not working for $7 an hour, you're working to earn commission! Hell yeah, that's where the real money is... The top BC's at IPA make well over $100,000 a year, and you can, too!
You'll see videos of former presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton giving glowing speeches about the company. However, you won't be told about the millions of dollars that were paid to their campaign funds in exchange for their glowing praise. You'll be told that the average small business owner is doomed by his own incompetence and egotism, and that IPA-IBA is there to rescue him and show him the way to run his business at a huge profit.
In training, they reveal roughly how the system works, right up to the point where you supposedly get paid, but you're never given any details about what happens after the business owner actually becomes a "client" of IPA-IBA. I have found that even after working there for several months, I still had no clue what happens after a business owner was contracted by the sales rep and "sold." The trainers and managers at IPA-IBA are highly dismissive of skeptical questions. Many important details about my employment there were never revealed in training, for instance we were never told about our our .50 pay cut, that the odds of actually making money were heavily inflated, or that telemarketing to these business owners is a hell of a lot harder than they say it is.
One thing they do tell in training that should immediately raise a red flag to anyone who's ever worked in sales: You are not actually selling anything, yet the lion's share of your money is supposed to come from "commissions." How then, you may ask, do you make commissions?
Well, the IPA-IBA business coordinator (telemarketer) cold-calls small businesses throughout the US and Canada, trying to set appointments for local sales reps. The sales reps in turn enter the place of business selling the services of a "business survey analyst," another salesman whose job it is to come in at the business owner's expense, find problems with their operation and soften them up for the big kill. Until the survey analyst arrives at the place of business to do his job, you don't get paid. In other words, your commission is dependent not only on you doing your job, but on the sales rep making a sale, and also on the survey analyst talking his way in the door. If the business owner gets cold feet and decides not to go ahead with the survey analysis, you don't get paid and neither does the sales rep. It works much like a classic MLM pyramid scheme. Look at the IPA-IBA corporate logo. It's a pyramid! Pretty obvious, eh? Actually, I feel like an idiot for ignoring all the signs, but I needed a job badly at the time, so I worked there temporarily.
Looking back, I realize that training at IPA-IBA is just like everything else at IPA-IBA, a carefully worded sales pitch with no real value and very little useful information at all.
I'll post again soon, and describe for you the working conditions at IPA-IBA.
Buffalo Grove, Illinois