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Report: #401900

Complaint Review: CV Marketing - Atlanta Georgia

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Atlanta Georgia
  • CV Marketing 1775 The Exchange Suite 100 Atlanta, Georgia U.S.A.

CV Marketing Scam company Interviews over-qualified candidates for door-to-door coupon sales Atlanta Georgia

*Consumer Comment: A day of my life I want back

*Consumer Comment: A day of my life I want back

*Consumer Comment: A day of my life I want back

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CV Marketing floods job websites like careerbuilder, jobster, monster, or ajcjobs - they claim to have an exciting entry-level job, promising new college graduates a fantastic career in Marketing or Advertising- they will schedule an interview with you, no matter how qualified you are.

In reality, it is a scam company that forces employees to sell door-to-door coupons.

When you arrive for the interview, the receptionist is playing pop music on XM radio and it's REALLY LOUD. Every single person who has interviewed here has described this creepy scenario. I guess they want to seem like a "hip" or "young" company- the kind that expresses their youthful angst by blaring Pink songs on full volume at 9 o'clock in the morning.

The woman who interviews you is Christina Versoza. She is a pretty hispanic woman- and she was very up-front and honest that the job is SALES. I think it was the first thing she said, before we sat down.

They tell you to come back for a second interview in which you'll shadow a CV employee for a day to see what it's like. I went out with the CV employee (who was actually, in all honesty, a really nice guy named John. I felt bad for him.)

Do you want to know what CV Marketing does? Listen closely- and believe me- because I'm not kidding or exaggerating at all: They go to businesses, like a shopping center, and just go from door-to-door, bothering every employee they see and trying to sell crap- in this case- a gift card to a Salon and Spa that costs 50 dollars.

The first business was a veterinarian clinic- where real employees were hard-at-work, doing a REAL JOB- helping sick animals. The CV employee walks up to the receptionist and says, "Hi. I'm John, I'm here on behalf of Impressions Day Spa. We're really excited about our 1st year anniversary and we're offering 90% off on salon services? Surely you know someone who likes to be pampered?"

at which point the receptionist, understandably a little peeved, looking like your average person answering a telemarketing call during dinner, says, "umm.. no thank you."

So at this point, I'm thinking- this was a little embarrassing. It didn't work. Let's move on. But the CV Marketing guy actually has the nerve to say, "Is there anyone else back there that might be interested?"

I can't believe it. The receptionist can't either. She says, "No. And we don't allow soliciting here, either, so..."

so at this point, I can't wait to get out of there. We're bothering her, it's not working- she doesn't want anything from us. The CV Marketing guy says, "Well let me ask you this then. Do you ever eat pizza?"

I couldn't believe it. He was trying to sell her Papa John's pizza coupons after being rejected on the spa. She basically tells us to get out- we leave- and the CV guy, totally unfazed, is marching right next door, where this repeats. Over and over again.

99% of the people he encounters are bothered, pissed off, and want nothing to do with the products. It is an unreal way to make a living. The sales tactics are so obviously unethical that both Christina and John asked me repeatedly, "Is there anything you've seen today that you're not willing to do?" I'll bet this same question appears on the application for adult film stars wanting to do a freaky porno.

CV Marketing promises you a promotion to "manager" quickly- but I doubt it ever comes. At one point in the day, John told me that he once SOLD OUT all of his coupons- and went home for the day. One of his managers called him and scolded him- asking him "do you want to be a salesman or a manager?" and forced him to stay home for a day to "think about it"

- this is the FEAR OF LOSS aspect of any scam. They will try to manipulate you into making money for them by threatening you with a LOSS OF MONEY. It's very unethical.

Obviously I declined this "job"- the only enjoyable part is when the employee will buy you lunch, usually fast food. If you're willing to spend an entire day, on-foot, bothering people- then you get a free meal. Anything else, and you're knee-deep in scam bullshit. It's really less of a JOB and more of an Amway/Mary-Kay-style company recruiting you.

Thanks for reading. Stay away from CV Marketing! You went to college for a real job!

Anonymous
Atlanta, Georgia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/16/2008 10:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/cv-marketing/atlanta-georgia-30339/cv-marketing-scam-company-interviews-over-qualified-candidates-for-door-to-door-coupon-sal-401900. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#3 Consumer Comment

A day of my life I want back

AUTHOR: G - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I have been unemployed since September of 2008. I was laid off from my job as an agency recruiter when the company I was working for lost income and could therefore not continue to pay my base salary. There is more to this story that I do not wish to delve into because I am not ranting about that particular company.

During my time being unemployed, I have searched and researched many job postings on the internet boards, and I have been networking as well. My background is in both software business analysis and in sales. For 8 years, I worked in the information technology field as a software business analyst. For 5 years, I worked as a mortgage loan officer and as an agency recruiter. I hold a BSBA and an MBA from pretty well known and respected schools. I am currently seeking employment as a business software analyst again, which is pretty difficult in the current economy, so I am also looking at other opportunities as well, including sales positions. I have found some open positions in both areas locally, but have yet to qualify for those positions due to career changes or lack of desired experience. Regardless, I still apply for those positions in case someone sees something that they like and decide to bring me in for an interview. Currently, I am also seeking part-time employment to bring in some money while I am seeking full-time employment. Possibly, too, part-time work could lead to full-time work and advancement opportunities.

On Friday, January 16th, 2009, I received a phone call from a company that I had applied to, CV Marketing. The call came from a secretary and she wanted me to come in on Monday for a preliminary interview, which I set up and took. On Monday, January 19th, 2009, I went in for the preliminary interview with an Account Manager at CV Marketing. This interview lasted all of 15 minutes, and I was never really asked any in-depth interview questions that you might expect from a company looking for experienced sales and marketing professionals. I was a bit skeptical, but I decided to play along for the heck of it. At the very least, if this opportunity did turn out to be a fruitful experience, I would be able to take advantage of this at the beginning of a new year. So I agreed to come back for a day-long interview with another one of their account managers.

I arrived at the office at 9:30 on Tuesday morning, January 20th, 2009. When I got there, the sales staff was in a meeting, and I could hear through closed doors some of the rah-rah of your typical sales meeting. I sat in the lobby with 3 other candidates waiting to go on their day-long interviews as well. Meanwhile, one of the receptionists was busily on the phone contacting others to come in for a preliminary interview, which kind of shot down an earlier claim by the prior day's interviewer that this was an exclusive' offer and only the best candidates would be hired. If this offer were so exclusive and only the best would be hired, how come the secretary was calling a list of candidates whose resumes were found on a job board? As a former recruiter, I knew that your top-notch sales people typically aren't hired by a secretary calling you in for an interview. Rather, a recruiter (whether it is internal or an agent) would contact you, explain in detail the product to be sold, and also go into pretty good detail about compensation, expectations, and company information. On my phone call, and the others I heard in the office, none of this was explained. Regardless, I was in the office, and I wanted to see what kind of opportunity existed with this marketing company. Hey, if I could get my foot in the door there, maybe I could actually move up in the company and do some real market research and add that to my resume. Was I in for a surprise!

I met the account manager which was going to be interviewing' me before our journey into the world of sales, and I was somewhat impressed with this guy, regardless of his cheap suit! He did have a high level of energy, and spoke well of the company, both of which I expected. Anyway, we go out to his vehicle, and he has a trainee with him as well. Oh good, I got to see the training process too! We leave the office to go to our sales territory, which is about 20 miles away, and we have an opportunity to talk. Of course, the account manager is talking up CV and how he has benefited from working with them. In fact, he relocated because of this job, and felt that he was going to be quite successful at his position. Also while in the vehicle, we go over the products that CV sells, and the target audience for the sales. The product discounts on green fees at a local golf course (at least this was today's product; they do sell discounts on many other businesses' services and on sports teams' tickets). The target audience anyone who has an ear!

Our first stop was at the city hall of the city where we were going to go sell. I knew that this sales opportunity wasn't for me after the account manager approached the secretary of the city manager and would not give up on the sale until she had asked him 3 times to leave and mentioned a no solicitation policy for city owned buildings. Additionally, as he was hocking his wares to this particular secretary, the city manager was in his office holding a meeting with his door open. This account manager, even after seeing and hearing from the secretary that this guy was in a meeting talked loudly (trying to get the attention of the city manager), which led to her asking him to lower his voice and move away from the door as not to disturb the city manager. Oh, and his name dropping didn't get her past no', and he continued to try and sell to a non-buyer, and came close to being escorted from the building. And later, while we were in the library (yes, we made a sales call on a public library), he once again spoke in a loud voice. This guy was lacking not only in sales sense, but also in common sense!

Now, as an experienced sales person, I know when to cut my losses. This guy wasn't belligerent, but was persistent to the point of annoying. Not only was he annoying the secretary at the city hall, but also to several other people at several of the other businesses in which we went door-to-door and encountered gate-keepers or decision makers. Now, I'm not saying that each pitch was an annoyance, because we did find some friendly ears and he even made some sales, but when he never rightly read the definitive no', and in some cases even asked if there were others with whom he could speak when he got the definitive no'. At one point, while we were in an office with someone who had stated that they were there by themselves, he even asked if there was someone else that he might be able to speak to in the office, all while looking around to see if others might be in the office. Obviously, this guy was into his pitch and not listening to his audience. Additionally, he did use some hard-sell tactics after getting a soft no' to try and encourage the person to commit to this impulse buy. I never like the hard-sell. If you are going to hard-sell me, I will walk away and never buy from that sales-person/business ever again. I believe that there is a vast majority of people who will do the same, and I never present a hard-sell nor use hard-sell tactics unless of course there is truth behind the hard-sell. An example, when I was working as a mortgage officer, there would be times when a special deal for buyers or owners of investment properties might be offered for a limited time, or if we could see that rates were rising and we would mention that to our clients. Of course, we could and would always back that tactic up with truth.

Throughout the day, the account manager would pitch the product with the same name dropping and half-truths trying to sell this (non-tangible) product to people who weren't interested. At the end of the day, we probably spoke to 100 150 people and made 7 sales, a conversion rate of 4.6% 7%. Actually, not a bad conversion rate for outside sales. However, each item sold grossed $40, with the account manager taking a 30% commission, or $12/item. Multiply that by 7 and he made $84 that day before taxes and expenses. For the 12 hours he put in that day (he came in at 7:30 AM, and was going to leave at 7:30 PM), that's $7/hr. Surely he has better days, and certainly he has worse days, but if all you are getting from working that hard to sell is $7/hr, go get a couple of part-time fast food jobs paying better, put in similar hours, and have a guaranteed paycheck each week.

Another interesting aspect about the day was the trainee - A scientist making a career transition. This guy was horrible at the sales pitch; obviously nervous he messed up the pitch and process constantly. Regardless, the account manager never gave him good criticism, but jumped in to save' the deal (none were actually saved) only after the guy floundered to the point that the audience was totally disinterested. It was kind of fun watching this guy, knowing that in 6 weeks he will be either looking for different work or be canned by the business owners. I wanted so desperately to give this guy some constructive criticism, but instead I discretely and casually mentioned to him in the car that I had contacts that might be able to help him find a job in his field (I made sure that I didn't come right out and say this, but I dropped some heavy hints his way).

So, we walked and walked and walked. We went into 40 50 businesses, including a couple were the employees spoke little to no English. Those were fun sales calls! And when a buyer' didn't want to buy the golf discount package, we had some Papa John's pizza coupons to sell as well! Oh joy, crappy pizza coupons if you don't play golf! By the way, there just happened to be a Papa John's in our territory, so we got a free pizza for lunch, and since the store was a delivery only store, we had to find somewhere else to eat. We ended up in the lobby area of a Wal Mart tire store to eat, and where we also had to wait for a buyer to come back since his card was rejected. One thing I can say, most of the sales were to Wal Mart employees, which made the trip to that store very fruitful for the account manager.

After we made all of our sales calls, we went back to the office for a quiz' and I was to meet with the office VP to review my day. Of course, when we got there, it was time for the end of the day rah-rah sales meeting. I could hear cheers and bells and whistles coming from the meeting room. Now, I get excited about closing sales deals like every other sales person out there. But the rah-rah bull-s**t is for amateurs. Recognizing top sales people is certainly a good thing, and doing it in front of other sales people certainly motivates others to achieve. But at the end of the day, when you have walked 2 3 miles in a suit and dress shoes, I doubt that their little cheering session truly motivates anyone for very long. It about drove me nuts just hearing it! My motivation for closing sales is the paycheck at the end of the day. I wasn't getting one for my interview process, and I was subjected to sub-par pizza for lunch. It was time for me to go!

I had a little interview with the VP after my interview with the account manager, and I could see the high-pressure sales tactics kicking in to see if I would want to work for this company. Of course I wanted some time to think it over and discuss with my girlfriend. The VP said that I should discuss this with my wife before making a decision, showing me that he hadn't heard anything from me but no' and was trying to save the deal. If you check out my left hand, you will notice no ring. If you heard me say girlfriend, you wouldn't mention wife. Anyway, he wants me to call back on Thursday the 22nd of January, and we went to get one of his business cards from the receptionist. Now, when I was in sales, I always had several business cards on me at all times. When I was in my office, I had business cards in a holder on my desk. This guy had to go get one from the receptionist. Now my secretary did have some of my business cards, but I guarantee you that I always had my business cards on me as well. Anyway, he got a business card for the office's Director of Operations, someone completely different, and he wants me to call him back. Right.

Some observations about this business:
1) The business model obviously works for someone higher up in CV, because this company is hired by professional sports teams and major companies to do this type of marketing
2) The business model makes sense in many ways, since CV is getting some kind of incentive to produce and sell collateral; the businesses that hire CV get customer awareness with minimal advertising budget impact; there is valuable raw data returned to market analysts who can then tweak marketing efforts for the company who is hiring CV
3) There has to be a very high employee turnover rate at CV simply because this is a mundane, unchallenging (mentally) sales job all you have to be able to do is carry on a conversation about the product and pitch the memorized dialogue to potential buyers (I equated it to my girlfriend that it would be like repetitive assembly-line work, which is not mentally challenging to me; well it is but not in a good way!)
4) This is door-to-door sales; all day I felt like I should be carrying a bunch of Girl Scout cookies or copies of the Watchtower
5) This type of sales business takes a certain type of person, and I am not that type of person I would be better suited selling customer driven software solutions that require insightful analysis, not hocking wares door-to-door
6) You read all the time about very successful sales people who get their start (and in some cases their finish) in sales of this type; what you don't read about is the millions of people who waste a lot of time and effort doing this only to find out that they hate doing this type of work
7) Everyone should do this type of work, as well as wait tables, for at least 3 6 weeks of their lives; it will make them better customers and better tippers!
8) This is a good way for inexperienced people to get sales experience and to learn principles of work and sales that will help them in their careers

In the end, I can see that CV Marketing isn't for me. The saddest part of today is that I missed a pretty kick-a*s inauguration party with some friends and acquaintances. Oh well, I can't have today back, but maybe someone will read this and not lose a day of their life.
Respond to this report!

#2 Consumer Comment

A day of my life I want back

AUTHOR: G - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I have been unemployed since September of 2008. I was laid off from my job as an agency recruiter when the company I was working for lost income and could therefore not continue to pay my base salary. There is more to this story that I do not wish to delve into because I am not ranting about that particular company.

During my time being unemployed, I have searched and researched many job postings on the internet boards, and I have been networking as well. My background is in both software business analysis and in sales. For 8 years, I worked in the information technology field as a software business analyst. For 5 years, I worked as a mortgage loan officer and as an agency recruiter. I hold a BSBA and an MBA from pretty well known and respected schools. I am currently seeking employment as a business software analyst again, which is pretty difficult in the current economy, so I am also looking at other opportunities as well, including sales positions. I have found some open positions in both areas locally, but have yet to qualify for those positions due to career changes or lack of desired experience. Regardless, I still apply for those positions in case someone sees something that they like and decide to bring me in for an interview. Currently, I am also seeking part-time employment to bring in some money while I am seeking full-time employment. Possibly, too, part-time work could lead to full-time work and advancement opportunities.

On Friday, January 16th, 2009, I received a phone call from a company that I had applied to, CV Marketing. The call came from a secretary and she wanted me to come in on Monday for a preliminary interview, which I set up and took. On Monday, January 19th, 2009, I went in for the preliminary interview with an Account Manager at CV Marketing. This interview lasted all of 15 minutes, and I was never really asked any in-depth interview questions that you might expect from a company looking for experienced sales and marketing professionals. I was a bit skeptical, but I decided to play along for the heck of it. At the very least, if this opportunity did turn out to be a fruitful experience, I would be able to take advantage of this at the beginning of a new year. So I agreed to come back for a day-long interview with another one of their account managers.

I arrived at the office at 9:30 on Tuesday morning, January 20th, 2009. When I got there, the sales staff was in a meeting, and I could hear through closed doors some of the rah-rah of your typical sales meeting. I sat in the lobby with 3 other candidates waiting to go on their day-long interviews as well. Meanwhile, one of the receptionists was busily on the phone contacting others to come in for a preliminary interview, which kind of shot down an earlier claim by the prior day's interviewer that this was an exclusive' offer and only the best candidates would be hired. If this offer were so exclusive and only the best would be hired, how come the secretary was calling a list of candidates whose resumes were found on a job board? As a former recruiter, I knew that your top-notch sales people typically aren't hired by a secretary calling you in for an interview. Rather, a recruiter (whether it is internal or an agent) would contact you, explain in detail the product to be sold, and also go into pretty good detail about compensation, expectations, and company information. On my phone call, and the others I heard in the office, none of this was explained. Regardless, I was in the office, and I wanted to see what kind of opportunity existed with this marketing company. Hey, if I could get my foot in the door there, maybe I could actually move up in the company and do some real market research and add that to my resume. Was I in for a surprise!

I met the account manager which was going to be interviewing' me before our journey into the world of sales, and I was somewhat impressed with this guy, regardless of his cheap suit! He did have a high level of energy, and spoke well of the company, both of which I expected. Anyway, we go out to his vehicle, and he has a trainee with him as well. Oh good, I got to see the training process too! We leave the office to go to our sales territory, which is about 20 miles away, and we have an opportunity to talk. Of course, the account manager is talking up CV and how he has benefited from working with them. In fact, he relocated because of this job, and felt that he was going to be quite successful at his position. Also while in the vehicle, we go over the products that CV sells, and the target audience for the sales. The product discounts on green fees at a local golf course (at least this was today's product; they do sell discounts on many other businesses' services and on sports teams' tickets). The target audience anyone who has an ear!

Our first stop was at the city hall of the city where we were going to go sell. I knew that this sales opportunity wasn't for me after the account manager approached the secretary of the city manager and would not give up on the sale until she had asked him 3 times to leave and mentioned a no solicitation policy for city owned buildings. Additionally, as he was hocking his wares to this particular secretary, the city manager was in his office holding a meeting with his door open. This account manager, even after seeing and hearing from the secretary that this guy was in a meeting talked loudly (trying to get the attention of the city manager), which led to her asking him to lower his voice and move away from the door as not to disturb the city manager. Oh, and his name dropping didn't get her past no', and he continued to try and sell to a non-buyer, and came close to being escorted from the building. And later, while we were in the library (yes, we made a sales call on a public library), he once again spoke in a loud voice. This guy was lacking not only in sales sense, but also in common sense!

Now, as an experienced sales person, I know when to cut my losses. This guy wasn't belligerent, but was persistent to the point of annoying. Not only was he annoying the secretary at the city hall, but also to several other people at several of the other businesses in which we went door-to-door and encountered gate-keepers or decision makers. Now, I'm not saying that each pitch was an annoyance, because we did find some friendly ears and he even made some sales, but when he never rightly read the definitive no', and in some cases even asked if there were others with whom he could speak when he got the definitive no'. At one point, while we were in an office with someone who had stated that they were there by themselves, he even asked if there was someone else that he might be able to speak to in the office, all while looking around to see if others might be in the office. Obviously, this guy was into his pitch and not listening to his audience. Additionally, he did use some hard-sell tactics after getting a soft no' to try and encourage the person to commit to this impulse buy. I never like the hard-sell. If you are going to hard-sell me, I will walk away and never buy from that sales-person/business ever again. I believe that there is a vast majority of people who will do the same, and I never present a hard-sell nor use hard-sell tactics unless of course there is truth behind the hard-sell. An example, when I was working as a mortgage officer, there would be times when a special deal for buyers or owners of investment properties might be offered for a limited time, or if we could see that rates were rising and we would mention that to our clients. Of course, we could and would always back that tactic up with truth.

Throughout the day, the account manager would pitch the product with the same name dropping and half-truths trying to sell this (non-tangible) product to people who weren't interested. At the end of the day, we probably spoke to 100 150 people and made 7 sales, a conversion rate of 4.6% 7%. Actually, not a bad conversion rate for outside sales. However, each item sold grossed $40, with the account manager taking a 30% commission, or $12/item. Multiply that by 7 and he made $84 that day before taxes and expenses. For the 12 hours he put in that day (he came in at 7:30 AM, and was going to leave at 7:30 PM), that's $7/hr. Surely he has better days, and certainly he has worse days, but if all you are getting from working that hard to sell is $7/hr, go get a couple of part-time fast food jobs paying better, put in similar hours, and have a guaranteed paycheck each week.

Another interesting aspect about the day was the trainee - A scientist making a career transition. This guy was horrible at the sales pitch; obviously nervous he messed up the pitch and process constantly. Regardless, the account manager never gave him good criticism, but jumped in to save' the deal (none were actually saved) only after the guy floundered to the point that the audience was totally disinterested. It was kind of fun watching this guy, knowing that in 6 weeks he will be either looking for different work or be canned by the business owners. I wanted so desperately to give this guy some constructive criticism, but instead I discretely and casually mentioned to him in the car that I had contacts that might be able to help him find a job in his field (I made sure that I didn't come right out and say this, but I dropped some heavy hints his way).

So, we walked and walked and walked. We went into 40 50 businesses, including a couple were the employees spoke little to no English. Those were fun sales calls! And when a buyer' didn't want to buy the golf discount package, we had some Papa John's pizza coupons to sell as well! Oh joy, crappy pizza coupons if you don't play golf! By the way, there just happened to be a Papa John's in our territory, so we got a free pizza for lunch, and since the store was a delivery only store, we had to find somewhere else to eat. We ended up in the lobby area of a Wal Mart tire store to eat, and where we also had to wait for a buyer to come back since his card was rejected. One thing I can say, most of the sales were to Wal Mart employees, which made the trip to that store very fruitful for the account manager.

After we made all of our sales calls, we went back to the office for a quiz' and I was to meet with the office VP to review my day. Of course, when we got there, it was time for the end of the day rah-rah sales meeting. I could hear cheers and bells and whistles coming from the meeting room. Now, I get excited about closing sales deals like every other sales person out there. But the rah-rah bull-s**t is for amateurs. Recognizing top sales people is certainly a good thing, and doing it in front of other sales people certainly motivates others to achieve. But at the end of the day, when you have walked 2 3 miles in a suit and dress shoes, I doubt that their little cheering session truly motivates anyone for very long. It about drove me nuts just hearing it! My motivation for closing sales is the paycheck at the end of the day. I wasn't getting one for my interview process, and I was subjected to sub-par pizza for lunch. It was time for me to go!

I had a little interview with the VP after my interview with the account manager, and I could see the high-pressure sales tactics kicking in to see if I would want to work for this company. Of course I wanted some time to think it over and discuss with my girlfriend. The VP said that I should discuss this with my wife before making a decision, showing me that he hadn't heard anything from me but no' and was trying to save the deal. If you check out my left hand, you will notice no ring. If you heard me say girlfriend, you wouldn't mention wife. Anyway, he wants me to call back on Thursday the 22nd of January, and we went to get one of his business cards from the receptionist. Now, when I was in sales, I always had several business cards on me at all times. When I was in my office, I had business cards in a holder on my desk. This guy had to go get one from the receptionist. Now my secretary did have some of my business cards, but I guarantee you that I always had my business cards on me as well. Anyway, he got a business card for the office's Director of Operations, someone completely different, and he wants me to call him back. Right.

Some observations about this business:
1) The business model obviously works for someone higher up in CV, because this company is hired by professional sports teams and major companies to do this type of marketing
2) The business model makes sense in many ways, since CV is getting some kind of incentive to produce and sell collateral; the businesses that hire CV get customer awareness with minimal advertising budget impact; there is valuable raw data returned to market analysts who can then tweak marketing efforts for the company who is hiring CV
3) There has to be a very high employee turnover rate at CV simply because this is a mundane, unchallenging (mentally) sales job all you have to be able to do is carry on a conversation about the product and pitch the memorized dialogue to potential buyers (I equated it to my girlfriend that it would be like repetitive assembly-line work, which is not mentally challenging to me; well it is but not in a good way!)
4) This is door-to-door sales; all day I felt like I should be carrying a bunch of Girl Scout cookies or copies of the Watchtower
5) This type of sales business takes a certain type of person, and I am not that type of person I would be better suited selling customer driven software solutions that require insightful analysis, not hocking wares door-to-door
6) You read all the time about very successful sales people who get their start (and in some cases their finish) in sales of this type; what you don't read about is the millions of people who waste a lot of time and effort doing this only to find out that they hate doing this type of work
7) Everyone should do this type of work, as well as wait tables, for at least 3 6 weeks of their lives; it will make them better customers and better tippers!
8) This is a good way for inexperienced people to get sales experience and to learn principles of work and sales that will help them in their careers

In the end, I can see that CV Marketing isn't for me. The saddest part of today is that I missed a pretty kick-a*s inauguration party with some friends and acquaintances. Oh well, I can't have today back, but maybe someone will read this and not lose a day of their life.
Respond to this report!

#1 Consumer Comment

A day of my life I want back

AUTHOR: G - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I have been unemployed since September of 2008. I was laid off from my job as an agency recruiter when the company I was working for lost income and could therefore not continue to pay my base salary. There is more to this story that I do not wish to delve into because I am not ranting about that particular company.

During my time being unemployed, I have searched and researched many job postings on the internet boards, and I have been networking as well. My background is in both software business analysis and in sales. For 8 years, I worked in the information technology field as a software business analyst. For 5 years, I worked as a mortgage loan officer and as an agency recruiter. I hold a BSBA and an MBA from pretty well known and respected schools. I am currently seeking employment as a business software analyst again, which is pretty difficult in the current economy, so I am also looking at other opportunities as well, including sales positions. I have found some open positions in both areas locally, but have yet to qualify for those positions due to career changes or lack of desired experience. Regardless, I still apply for those positions in case someone sees something that they like and decide to bring me in for an interview. Currently, I am also seeking part-time employment to bring in some money while I am seeking full-time employment. Possibly, too, part-time work could lead to full-time work and advancement opportunities.

On Friday, January 16th, 2009, I received a phone call from a company that I had applied to, CV Marketing. The call came from a secretary and she wanted me to come in on Monday for a preliminary interview, which I set up and took. On Monday, January 19th, 2009, I went in for the preliminary interview with an Account Manager at CV Marketing. This interview lasted all of 15 minutes, and I was never really asked any in-depth interview questions that you might expect from a company looking for experienced sales and marketing professionals. I was a bit skeptical, but I decided to play along for the heck of it. At the very least, if this opportunity did turn out to be a fruitful experience, I would be able to take advantage of this at the beginning of a new year. So I agreed to come back for a day-long interview with another one of their account managers.

I arrived at the office at 9:30 on Tuesday morning, January 20th, 2009. When I got there, the sales staff was in a meeting, and I could hear through closed doors some of the rah-rah of your typical sales meeting. I sat in the lobby with 3 other candidates waiting to go on their day-long interviews as well. Meanwhile, one of the receptionists was busily on the phone contacting others to come in for a preliminary interview, which kind of shot down an earlier claim by the prior day's interviewer that this was an exclusive' offer and only the best candidates would be hired. If this offer were so exclusive and only the best would be hired, how come the secretary was calling a list of candidates whose resumes were found on a job board? As a former recruiter, I knew that your top-notch sales people typically aren't hired by a secretary calling you in for an interview. Rather, a recruiter (whether it is internal or an agent) would contact you, explain in detail the product to be sold, and also go into pretty good detail about compensation, expectations, and company information. On my phone call, and the others I heard in the office, none of this was explained. Regardless, I was in the office, and I wanted to see what kind of opportunity existed with this marketing company. Hey, if I could get my foot in the door there, maybe I could actually move up in the company and do some real market research and add that to my resume. Was I in for a surprise!

I met the account manager which was going to be interviewing' me before our journey into the world of sales, and I was somewhat impressed with this guy, regardless of his cheap suit! He did have a high level of energy, and spoke well of the company, both of which I expected. Anyway, we go out to his vehicle, and he has a trainee with him as well. Oh good, I got to see the training process too! We leave the office to go to our sales territory, which is about 20 miles away, and we have an opportunity to talk. Of course, the account manager is talking up CV and how he has benefited from working with them. In fact, he relocated because of this job, and felt that he was going to be quite successful at his position. Also while in the vehicle, we go over the products that CV sells, and the target audience for the sales. The product discounts on green fees at a local golf course (at least this was today's product; they do sell discounts on many other businesses' services and on sports teams' tickets). The target audience anyone who has an ear!

Our first stop was at the city hall of the city where we were going to go sell. I knew that this sales opportunity wasn't for me after the account manager approached the secretary of the city manager and would not give up on the sale until she had asked him 3 times to leave and mentioned a no solicitation policy for city owned buildings. Additionally, as he was hocking his wares to this particular secretary, the city manager was in his office holding a meeting with his door open. This account manager, even after seeing and hearing from the secretary that this guy was in a meeting talked loudly (trying to get the attention of the city manager), which led to her asking him to lower his voice and move away from the door as not to disturb the city manager. Oh, and his name dropping didn't get her past no', and he continued to try and sell to a non-buyer, and came close to being escorted from the building. And later, while we were in the library (yes, we made a sales call on a public library), he once again spoke in a loud voice. This guy was lacking not only in sales sense, but also in common sense!

Now, as an experienced sales person, I know when to cut my losses. This guy wasn't belligerent, but was persistent to the point of annoying. Not only was he annoying the secretary at the city hall, but also to several other people at several of the other businesses in which we went door-to-door and encountered gate-keepers or decision makers. Now, I'm not saying that each pitch was an annoyance, because we did find some friendly ears and he even made some sales, but when he never rightly read the definitive no', and in some cases even asked if there were others with whom he could speak when he got the definitive no'. At one point, while we were in an office with someone who had stated that they were there by themselves, he even asked if there was someone else that he might be able to speak to in the office, all while looking around to see if others might be in the office. Obviously, this guy was into his pitch and not listening to his audience. Additionally, he did use some hard-sell tactics after getting a soft no' to try and encourage the person to commit to this impulse buy. I never like the hard-sell. If you are going to hard-sell me, I will walk away and never buy from that sales-person/business ever again. I believe that there is a vast majority of people who will do the same, and I never present a hard-sell nor use hard-sell tactics unless of course there is truth behind the hard-sell. An example, when I was working as a mortgage officer, there would be times when a special deal for buyers or owners of investment properties might be offered for a limited time, or if we could see that rates were rising and we would mention that to our clients. Of course, we could and would always back that tactic up with truth.

Throughout the day, the account manager would pitch the product with the same name dropping and half-truths trying to sell this (non-tangible) product to people who weren't interested. At the end of the day, we probably spoke to 100 150 people and made 7 sales, a conversion rate of 4.6% 7%. Actually, not a bad conversion rate for outside sales. However, each item sold grossed $40, with the account manager taking a 30% commission, or $12/item. Multiply that by 7 and he made $84 that day before taxes and expenses. For the 12 hours he put in that day (he came in at 7:30 AM, and was going to leave at 7:30 PM), that's $7/hr. Surely he has better days, and certainly he has worse days, but if all you are getting from working that hard to sell is $7/hr, go get a couple of part-time fast food jobs paying better, put in similar hours, and have a guaranteed paycheck each week.

Another interesting aspect about the day was the trainee - A scientist making a career transition. This guy was horrible at the sales pitch; obviously nervous he messed up the pitch and process constantly. Regardless, the account manager never gave him good criticism, but jumped in to save' the deal (none were actually saved) only after the guy floundered to the point that the audience was totally disinterested. It was kind of fun watching this guy, knowing that in 6 weeks he will be either looking for different work or be canned by the business owners. I wanted so desperately to give this guy some constructive criticism, but instead I discretely and casually mentioned to him in the car that I had contacts that might be able to help him find a job in his field (I made sure that I didn't come right out and say this, but I dropped some heavy hints his way).

So, we walked and walked and walked. We went into 40 50 businesses, including a couple were the employees spoke little to no English. Those were fun sales calls! And when a buyer' didn't want to buy the golf discount package, we had some Papa John's pizza coupons to sell as well! Oh joy, crappy pizza coupons if you don't play golf! By the way, there just happened to be a Papa John's in our territory, so we got a free pizza for lunch, and since the store was a delivery only store, we had to find somewhere else to eat. We ended up in the lobby area of a Wal Mart tire store to eat, and where we also had to wait for a buyer to come back since his card was rejected. One thing I can say, most of the sales were to Wal Mart employees, which made the trip to that store very fruitful for the account manager.

After we made all of our sales calls, we went back to the office for a quiz' and I was to meet with the office VP to review my day. Of course, when we got there, it was time for the end of the day rah-rah sales meeting. I could hear cheers and bells and whistles coming from the meeting room. Now, I get excited about closing sales deals like every other sales person out there. But the rah-rah bull-s**t is for amateurs. Recognizing top sales people is certainly a good thing, and doing it in front of other sales people certainly motivates others to achieve. But at the end of the day, when you have walked 2 3 miles in a suit and dress shoes, I doubt that their little cheering session truly motivates anyone for very long. It about drove me nuts just hearing it! My motivation for closing sales is the paycheck at the end of the day. I wasn't getting one for my interview process, and I was subjected to sub-par pizza for lunch. It was time for me to go!

I had a little interview with the VP after my interview with the account manager, and I could see the high-pressure sales tactics kicking in to see if I would want to work for this company. Of course I wanted some time to think it over and discuss with my girlfriend. The VP said that I should discuss this with my wife before making a decision, showing me that he hadn't heard anything from me but no' and was trying to save the deal. If you check out my left hand, you will notice no ring. If you heard me say girlfriend, you wouldn't mention wife. Anyway, he wants me to call back on Thursday the 22nd of January, and we went to get one of his business cards from the receptionist. Now, when I was in sales, I always had several business cards on me at all times. When I was in my office, I had business cards in a holder on my desk. This guy had to go get one from the receptionist. Now my secretary did have some of my business cards, but I guarantee you that I always had my business cards on me as well. Anyway, he got a business card for the office's Director of Operations, someone completely different, and he wants me to call him back. Right.

Some observations about this business:
1) The business model obviously works for someone higher up in CV, because this company is hired by professional sports teams and major companies to do this type of marketing
2) The business model makes sense in many ways, since CV is getting some kind of incentive to produce and sell collateral; the businesses that hire CV get customer awareness with minimal advertising budget impact; there is valuable raw data returned to market analysts who can then tweak marketing efforts for the company who is hiring CV
3) There has to be a very high employee turnover rate at CV simply because this is a mundane, unchallenging (mentally) sales job all you have to be able to do is carry on a conversation about the product and pitch the memorized dialogue to potential buyers (I equated it to my girlfriend that it would be like repetitive assembly-line work, which is not mentally challenging to me; well it is but not in a good way!)
4) This is door-to-door sales; all day I felt like I should be carrying a bunch of Girl Scout cookies or copies of the Watchtower
5) This type of sales business takes a certain type of person, and I am not that type of person I would be better suited selling customer driven software solutions that require insightful analysis, not hocking wares door-to-door
6) You read all the time about very successful sales people who get their start (and in some cases their finish) in sales of this type; what you don't read about is the millions of people who waste a lot of time and effort doing this only to find out that they hate doing this type of work
7) Everyone should do this type of work, as well as wait tables, for at least 3 6 weeks of their lives; it will make them better customers and better tippers!
8) This is a good way for inexperienced people to get sales experience and to learn principles of work and sales that will help them in their careers

In the end, I can see that CV Marketing isn't for me. The saddest part of today is that I missed a pretty kick-a*s inauguration party with some friends and acquaintances. Oh well, I can't have today back, but maybe someone will read this and not lose a day of their life.
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