Competitive Marketing Concepts - Competitive Consulting - Kismet Concepts complete waste of time... manipulative company Austin Texas
All of these comments are true. I recently graduated college and was excited about what I read on their job posting so I applied with a fresh cover letter and resume. I was called by Twee (Thuy Nguyen) to schedule an interview date and time.
I arrived on the interview day with 2 resumes as they requested but was still asked to fill out a generic application even though most of that info was on my resume. There was also a 1 page quiz I had to take asking about above the line and below the line marketing and about my personal values. The first interview was with just one person, Joe Nolan in a tiny office. I expressed my concern about not knowing what exactly the job entails but Joe assured me that I would find out at the 2nd part of the 3 part interview process if I were to be offered to progress. The interview went great and I received a phone call that same night from Thuy. She said I was one of the top candidates and Joe wanted me to progress onto the 2nd part of the interview. Thuy suggested I wear flats since I'd be following someone around on the field.
I showed up on the day of the 2nd interview and waited in the lobby with one other person who was in the same position as me. As I waited, one of the girls at the front desk answered the phone as Kismet Concepts... the office is WAY too small for 2 separate companies to be sharing. Anyways, after waiting for 30 minutes, a group of about 20-30 young individuals strolled out of a conference room. Katherine, who greeted me at the first interview, was also sitting at the front desk and as each person left, she said Have a great day, See you later, Bye and addressed each person by name. Weird.
After that group left, Justin introduced me to Jonathan. He asked Jonathan what area he was going to that day and Jonathan replied San Antonio. Great, that'll give you guys time to talk. So away we went to San Antonio in his California plate Tahoe that didn't have working A/C. On our way to SA, we talked a little about my work experience and quickly switched gears to interests, hobbies, etc. After we got to SA, we did door to door solicitation for Quill. Jonathan showed me a map of his territory which was mapped out by zip code. I asked if he was the only one on this Quill campaign or if everyone did the same campaign at a given time. Apparently, everyone does the same campaign but in their own territories.
At lunch time, he gave me a piece of paper that had a break down of the different positions and the benefits. From the top, Branch Manager (Joe Nolan), Assistant Manager (Justin, who is leaving for Sacramento in 2 weeks), Lead Account Manager (Jonathan), and Entry Level (me). The pay break down is as follows: week 1: $400 base, week 2: $200 base + 15% commission, week 3: 28% commission. To be promoted to Lead Acct. Manager, you have to get 9 accounts in 3 days or 8 accounts in 5 days with a $1600 production size.
Looking at this paper and listening to what Jonathan told me, I gathered that the only difference with Entry-Level and Lead Acct. Manager is that Jonathan has to train others like myself but still has to do the door to door BS. He constantly reminded me that Joe is a great guy and would do anything to help plan out specific goals because having a long-term goal is what keeps people in this job. Jonathan's goal was to buy his mom and dad a dream home back in Cali. At this point, I had a funny feeling in my gut but I thought it was just because I'd never worked in this field and felt uneasy.
We did more door to door but didn't get any sales. On the drive back, Jonathan explained that this day was a good example of rolling a donut... a big fat zero. I asked him how long each of these campaigns last because at one point in the day, he explained to someone that he wasn't planning to stay in the office supplies business forever... which made it sound like he's been doing this for the whole 2 months that he's been with Competitive Consulting. He didn't give me a straight answer but gave me an example. Joe's been with the company for 4 years and he's been on the Quill campaign since the very beginning.
Right before we arrived back at the office, Jonathan had me write 4 impulses of sales, 5 steps to sales, and 8 great work habits because they'd be on the quiz I'd have to take once we got back. That funny feeling came back. Is he supposed to be giving me the answers to this quiz? If he's allowed to, what determines who he gives the answers to? If he gives the answers to everyone, why the crap does this quiz even exist? I didn't ask these things and just went with the flow.
After taking the quiz at the office, I had a final interview with Justin who was a complete prick by his tone. He mentioned the good qualities about me and asked if I felt ready to start working tomorrow. I decided to just go for it since I had nothing to lose so I answered Yes, definitely. Justin continued to look for reaffirming answers from me because if I were to take the position, Jonathan would be my coach and would put in 100%.
If I wasn't ready and didn't put 100% into the job, I'd be wasting HIS time. He said that they'll train the right people even if they didn't have a college degree. In fact, he continued to rant that a lot of people WITH college degrees think that they deserve an easy job with easy money and lack the motivation to put in any effort. Everything he said had that negative undertone, but regardless, he said I can start working the following day and that Jonathan would call me later in the evening with info on what to bring.
When I left, I was super excited and called all my friends but by the time I got home, I still had that funny feeling inside like something wasn't right. I tried convincing myself that this would be a new experience and that I could quit if it wasn't the right fit. Prior to sending in my resume, I did a credibility check online for Competitive Consulting and came up with nothing. I checked again and came across this website and 2 negative reviews on yahoo.
I decided not to invest anymore time and effort into this pyramid scheme and waited for the phone call from Jonathan to let him know that I wouldn't be working there. I hoped to confront him about the reviews I read online too but I never got that phone call.
If you have a college degree, don't waste your time with this company. You may learn a thing or two about sales and how to be a great actor but I personally think it's a waste with very little return.