How long have you worked with the company?
What is your role within Cellular Sales?
I currently have a team of 40+ reps, and my most important role is getting them to buy into Cellular Sales. Second, is to help mentor and coach them to achieving their short and long-term goals.
Please tell me about your most rewarding or satisfying experience — your proudest moment — since you joined the company.
It’s really tough to pinpoint just one thing in [my] 5+ years [at Cellular Sales]. If I were to narrow it down, my most rewarding experience is coaching underperforming reps to their full potential by helping to bring out the best in them. Highlights include going to the North Georgia market in 2009 and coaching a team of 12 reps for two months to hit their goals and mentoring reps that just got started on my team and watching them grow into top sales reps in anywhere from 30 days to 6 months. It’s all very rewarding to watch unfold. I would also say my proudest moment would be when I got promoted to Sales Leader in May of 2009.
What makes Cellular Sales such a special company to work for?
The best part about working here is the sure fact that there are no limits to your income. All the tools to be successful here are right in front of us; it’s literally your ship.
What do you like best about working for Cellular Sales?
[The best part] definitely has to be the competitive nature of the company and always looking for ways to grow and get better. Even after a great month, Chris and Jeff will sit down with us (Sales Leaders) and reps to breakdown what and where we can improve to do better the next month.
Are there any obstacles you face at work?
Yes… TIME! Even when you think there are enough hour’s in a day to get [done] what needs to be accomplished….there never are. Yet somehow it gets done.
Do you have a funny story about working at Cellular Sales?
Back in 2008, a buddy of mine that worked here at the time and I had been killing it month after month. We were always 1st and 2nd on the boards. Another rep and his friend (also a friend of mine) called us out and wanted to challenge us in total VAPS one month. The bet was whoever lost had to show up at the next “All Hands” meeting wearing short, shredded, jean shorts (also known as Daisy Dukes from back in the 90s). Well the good news is I made a lot of money that month. Bad news was my buddy and I lost the bet. It was the most anticipated 7 am meeting in the history of the Orlando market.
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Outside of bartending and serving for several years at a restaurant called Chilis, I did work at KFC my entire senior year of high school. That was interesting…
What are your hobbies?
Traveling to Greece, Vegas, spending time with my family ( especially my brand new son, Zane, who is 4 months old) and helping people make VAPS!
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you have to have with you?
Internet access, beach chair and a cooler full of adult beverages
If a phone was named after you, what would it be called?
The “GZA Remix”
And finally…DROID or iPhone?
DROID… Currently using the Razr Maxx, and it’s the best phone I’ve owned yet.
Paul Bankston, member of Cellular Sales’ marketing team, has been involved with SOAR for approximately 11 years. He began working with the organization as a mentor for two boys and now serves on the board of directors. Bankston’s enthusiasm for the organization led other Cellular Sales reps to seek out ways to support the non-profit.
The $15,000 donation will primarily fund the six-week summer reading program that SOAR produces. Approximately 40 children are participating in the program this year.
“Cellular Sales is truly proud to support SOAR. The organization means so much to me personally but it’s inspiring that my company is also noticing the great work SOAR does,” said Bankston. “SOAR has really opened my eyes. I see some of the struggles that these kids endure and it feels good to find a way to really make a difference.”
SOAR Youth Ministries serves to establish long-term relationships with youth that facilitate spiritual and educational maturity in order to develop future community leaders.
“When we tested the kids at the beginning of the summer, we saw that there was a need to work with some of them outside of our typical reading enhancement program,” said Erica Wilson, SOAR program director. “To do that, we needed additional materials. Cellular Sales’ gift allowed us to help those kids that really needed it. Without their support, we wouldn’t have had the books and specialized personnel we needed to help those students that are really struggling.”
“We are thrilled to have Cellular Sales’ continuous support of SOAR,” Interim Executive Director Clayton Wood said. “They have helped make our summer reading program possible.”
To learn more about SOAR Youth Ministries, visit www.soaruponwings.com.
Sarah Malak – Ackermann PR
Cellular Sales’ Key West location is in the spotlight in this edition of Locations of Cellular Sales.
With over 400 locations Cellular Sales has stores in some very cool places in which to make a living. One of the coolest is Key West in Cellular Sales’ South Florida market. John James, one of South Florida’s Regional Directors, said, “The store is definitely a landmark in Key West, and everyone must notice it on their way to and from the famous Duval Street.”
Diego Betancourt, a Cellular Sales Representative said, “Key West is truly special. The thing that really separates Key West is that we are a lone store hundreds of miles away from our sister stores. Our locals love us down here. It’s a great feeling to be able to go out into the local community and have ourselves known as the go-to store for their cellular needs. Honestly being able to have the opportunity to work down here is truly a privilege.”
The Key West location fills a void considering Cuba is closer than the nearest corporate owned Verizon Wireless location. It serves all 30,000 residence of Key West, an island that is 4 miles long by 2 miles wide. It is also Cellular Sales’ most southern location.
“The Key West store is definitely the place to be. Most of our customers are tourists, boat captains or military. We have a lot of fun in this store, it’s easy going and most of the people are laid back. The location is the best on the island because it’s easily spotted. When the locals ask where I work and I tell them Cellular Sales, the first thing they ask is, “Is it the big one right on the corner of the street?” Feels great to be recognized right away!”, said Robert King, a rep in Key West.
Cellular Sales is growing at an amazing pace!
In the past two weeks alone Cellular Sales has opened six locations! “With rapid growth a company can easily get distracted from what made it great in the first place. I’m proud to say that we have never lost our way.”, said Brian Snyder, of Cellular Sales’ South Georgia market. Jose Ordonez, a Regional Director for Cellular Sales, commented on the growth, “Cellular Sales has always maintained it’s culture and core competency of outstanding customer service with every new store opening.”
Follow the links below to find our more on our new locations!
Alec Rankine of Cellular Sales talks with the Cellular Sales Blog.
What do you like best about working with Cellular Sales? Well, the nature of the question says it all. Working “WITH” Cellular Sales. I remember my interview in ’96 vividly. Dane Scism, our CEO, was interviewing me, and simply said, “If you want a boss, or a job, you are in the wrong place. If you want to be my business partner and share profits, then this may be a good fit for you.” I guess 15 years later it must have been a pretty good fit.
That business model is still what I strive to get across to every candidate that goes through our interview process. It truly is unique and many people don’t grasp it until they join our company and experience that culture. But that’s what makes us different and I love it.
What makes Cellular Sales such a special company to work with? Again, the fact that we treat our sales reps as business partners and not expendable parts is truly unique in this industry. I have been in the Gulf Coast region for eleven months and we have not terminated a contract with a single rep for productivity issues. Nor has anyone quit. I think that says a lot. (I was also a Regional Director in Central Florida for 5+ years and we had less than 5% turnover annually.)
When you find the right individuals for our company (and that’s not easy) and you treat them as business partners, the culture becomes very positive and empowering. We don’t threaten our sales people. We don’t manage by fear. We hopefully inspire them to be their best and provide an environment which fosters their growth. It is a process. It can take months before a sales rep truly has a grasp of our business, and that is perfectly fine. Some of my best hires in the past took a year or two before they really caught on and became great reps. It is extremely rewarding when that happens.
What’s different about it from other companies? Well, I have already sort of differentiated us with my example of low turnover, but I think maybe the biggest difference is how we compensate our people. There truly is NO cap on how much income someone can make. In other wireless companies the top producers reach a ceiling. They are actually penalized once they go above their quota. I love it when I interview someone who has wireless industry experience. Once they see our commission numbers their eyes typically get huge and I can see the excitement. Basically, our compensation really rewards excellence. If a sales rep is mediocre, our compensation for mid level productivity is only moderatley higher than some of the higher paying competitors. But the big producers really can see a huge difference in their income. This allows us to keep our superstars happy. And any good leader knows that keeping your talent happy is vital to your long term success. So, if I have to compare us to our peers in this industry, I would say that is the biggest difference, (other than the aforementioned cultural dynamics which also make us so unique.)
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? Hmmm… Tough question. I have had all kinds of jobs. While in college, I was not the best student in the world… to put it mildly. But I always had a great work ethic. So I often had two or three jobs. I remember one summer I was bartending at nights,(morning bartending is just not very profitable…) and I went to a temp agency to find some work during the day. The first job they sent me to was in a warehouse. I had done tons of manual labor jobs before, so I just figured it would be a basic warehouse job. Once I walked in I saw that it was a machinist warehouse and they actually wanted me to operate a blowtorch. Not gonna happen. I had to leave and go back to the agency and ask for a different assignment. Who knows what might have happened if I had stayed. “Blowtorching” may have been my calling, but I guess we’ll never know.
What are your hobbies? I love to run. It is the ultimate exercise for me. I have completed 13 half marathons and half dozen shorter races. I also enjoy working out and playing tennis. I also passionately despise golf. Is that a hobby?
Do you have a funny story about working at Cellular Sales? Hmmm… funny stories about Cellular Sales… Where do I begin? Of course when you deal with the general public face to face every day for 10 years, you are going to meet some interesting people. I think my favorite story is the time a customer brought his pet monkey into our store in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I was working with two other reps and a customer brought in his pet monkey which was wearing overalls. He was very friendly and cool, but he was also pretty large. I have always heard monkeys and chimps have super strength… so I tried not to make him angry. He actually sat on Laura Lynn’s shoulder most of the time(one of my co-workers)but when I went to take a picture of him he jumped from her shoulder to mine and the picture is pretty funny with the monkey in mid air jumping towards me. Fortunately I did not enrage the monkey and lived to talk about it.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you have to have with you? Assuming I can’t take my girlfriend, (gotta stay out of trouble here…) it would have to be a water purifier, a satellite telephone with a solar-powered rechargeable battery, so I could call somebody to get me off that island, and a king size bed, not a fan of sleeping on the ground.
Cellular Sales’ new “Trade-Up!” program is now in full swing with over 3,500 trade-ins so far. Launching company-wide on June 20th, the program provides customers the ability to trade in their mobile devices that include cell phones, MP3 players, tablets, and GPS navigation devices. Unlike several big box retailers, who limit items to ones that have been recently purchased from their stores, the Cellular Sales “Trade-Up!” program has no limits on what you can trade in.
“The Cellular Sales Trade-up! program is a great way to turn in the old, simple cell phones and ‘trade up’ to get a brand new smart phone,” said Dane Scism, Founder and CEO of Cellular Sales. “Our Trade-up! program has very few restrictions and you can trade in for ANY new device or accessory.”
When a customer trades in a device its value will be determined by the make, model and condition of the device. The value can then be used as an instant credit towards the purchase of a new phone, accessory or tablet. To take advantage of the “Trade-Up!” program customers just need to visit any Cellular Sales location. Store representatives will then perform the trade-in request in real-time and provide the customer with a real-value estimate for their device based on the make, model and condition of the device they are trading in. Chargers, boxes and paperwork are NOT required and do not impact the value of the device being traded. Customers can then apply that trade-in value towards the purchase of any new handset or accessory. The phones will then be wiped of all personal data, then refurbished or recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.
“This is a new option for our customers and we’re excited to make it easier for them to get a brand new mobile phone,” said JT Thome, Director of Operations for Cellular Sales.
July 21st will bring 4G LTE to many more cities that include:
- Portland, OR
- Toledo, OH
- Winston-Salem and Raleigh-Durham, NC
- Maui, HI
- Wichita, KS
- And Cellular Sales’ hometown, Knoxville, TN.
Coverage will also be expanding in these existing markets: Seattle, Louisville, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas.
Read on here.
Cellular Sales announced that James “JT” Thome has been named Director of Operations.
Cellular Sales welcomes James “JT” Thome as its new Director of Operations. Thome is coming up on 15 years of experience in information technology and executive level management. He brings with him years of experience in software engineering, e-commerce, logistics, business development and marketing.
Dane Scism, founder and CEO of Cellular Sales, said, “We’re glad to welcome JT to Cellular Sales. His background and skills are exactly what our company needs to prime our infrastructure for continued growth and success.”
Thome holds a BS Computer Science from West Point and an MBA from Emory University. Upon his graduation from West Point he served as an officer in the Army. Read On: Thome named Director of Operations of Cellular Sales
Cellular Sales donates $5,000 to fulfill wish in partnership with Make-a-Wish Foundation at its 400th store opening in North Carolina.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Most often, grand opening events are a celebration of a company and the products or services it offers to customers. But on Tuesday, Cellular Sales did something a little out-of-the-box during its 400th store Grand Opening event. The day belonged to a special little six-year old girl from Fayetteville: Georgia.
Georgia suffers from Wilms Tumor, a form of childhood kidney cancer. But on Tuesday, she was granted her wish thanks to a partnership between Cellular Sales and the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Eastern North Carolina. Like many young girls, Georgia loves to play with her dolls and dress them in all kinds of different outfits, which is why her wish is to go on a shopping spree to Wal-Mart and Toys“R”Us.
During Tuesday’s Grand Opening event, Cellular Sales and the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Georgia her wish. Georgia and her parents, Ashley and Anthony, and her brother and sister, Austin and Makyla, will share in the excitement of her special shopping day on July 5.
“Opening our 400th store is an amazing feat for Cellular Sales, but being able to make Georgia’s wish come true has certainly been the most rewarding part of the day,” said Ari Mendlovitz, North Carolina Regional Director of Cellular Sales. “We couldn’t think of a better way to kick things off here in Fayetteville and Hope Mills.”
Tuesday’s milestone event took place at the new store located at 3001 Hope Mills Road and despite a tough economy, Cellular Sales, the nation’s largest retailer of Verizon Wireless products and services, continues to open 30 to 50 new stores every quarter.
Cellular Sales invested more than $225,000 in the Hope Mills location and created 15 sales positions to service the store, according to Matt Henry, Regional Recruiting Manager for the East Carolinas Region.
“As we continue to grow, we are extremely excited to open our 400th store in this area,” said Mike Baker, Regional Director of Cellular Sales. “North Carolina is a great state and the Fayetteville/Hope Mills area is an area full of patriotism, community spirit and history. We are truly honored to celebrate this milestone in Hope Mills.”
Starting as a one-store company in Knoxville, Tenn., Cellular Sales is now a more than $300 million annual business that maintains an annual growth rate of more than 150 percent and has 2,000 sales consultants across the country.
“Cellular Sales has grown tremendously because we put customer service first,” said Dane Scism, founder and CEO of Cellular Sales. “Our business model is based on treating every customer as if they were our only customer. People notice it when you take care of them.”
Ryan Willis – Akermann PR
How long have you worked for the company? I have been here 3 years
What is it your role within Cellular Sales? Number one, I am an ambassador for the company. I let everyone know what a great company Cellular Sales is and what a fantastic opportunity it is to be in apartnership with Cellular Sales. After that, I am out looking for honest, personally responsible, hard-working people to join our team.
Please tell me about your most rewarding or satisfying experience, your proudest moment, since you joined the company. The satisfaction I get from changing people’s lives.
What do you like best about working with Cellular Sales? The people around me and the freedom and lifestyle it affords me.
What makes Cellular Sales such a special company to work with? I think working for a company that has vision that comes from the top down. Again, it goes back to working for a company that has a strong balance. It’s all about what you do. What you put in is what you get out.
What’s different about it from other companies? Number one, is the management style. This company affords you the ability to do your own thing. You do what works for you and gives you the flexibility to be your own person.
Are there any obstacles you face at work? My biggest obstacle is being able to have the elevator conversation with somebody and being able to convey what a wonderful opportunity it is to work for Cellular Sales. It is hard to describe all the great things about Cellular Sales in a short amount of time.
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? (Laughs) I worked for a salvage company in high school. The company bought everything that was lost from UPS for .10 on the lbs. One of the weirdest items I came across a big box of live baby chickens.
Are you married? Yes.
Do you have kids? A 9 year old girl and a 6 year old boy.
What are your hobbies? My family, golf, I coach a lot of little league teams (football and baseball).
Have you ever met anyone famous? If so, who? During the Olympics in 1996, I took a job at Ritz Carlton. I was able to meet Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Richard Branson and Donald Trump.
Do you have a funny story about working with Cellular Sales? A couple of years ago we had someone breaking into our stores stealing equipment. The Regional Directors put me in charge of finding out who was responsible. Working with the police and mostly doing online research on the thief, I found out where he lived and where he frequented around town. I used flyers around the community including the church, bars and clubs he went to and offered a $500 reward for his whereabouts. The police called me one day and said that the culprit finally turned himself in…only because he was tired of running from me. I was given the nickname “The Wolf” by my fellow Cellular Sales representatives.
If a cell phone was named after you, what would it be called? The Wolf.
And finally….Droid or iPhone? Droid
Cellular Sales’ South Texas market to open ten new stores by the end of 2011. Its Regional Directors Ty Rankin and Bay Willingham expand the Cellular Sales philosophy across Texas.
“Cellular Sales is expanding in South Texas because of our ultimate goal to achieve the best wireless customer experience in the industry,” said Ty Rankin, Regional Director of Cellular Sales. “This excellent experience is the product of intense sales representative training and a special emphasis on making and keeping our customers happy.” Within the next four months five of the ten stores will be opening. “As a company, we have grown by about 30 percent every year. Our expansion in South Texas is not a one-time event. We have every intention to continue this pattern in South Texas and in all of our markets,” said Cellular Sales Regional Director Bay Willingham. Bay continued, “We love our customers. One of Cellular Sales’ philosophies is to turn our customers into dedicated fans who don’t want to do business anywhere else. We promise to carry that philosophy into all of our new South Texas locations.”
Cellular Sales’ New Locations:
935 10th Street, Floresville, Texas 78114
Open Date: May 14, 2011
3304 Williams Drive, Georgetown, Texas 78328
Open Date: June 20, 2011
1712 S. Colorado, Lockhart, Texas 78644
Open Date: June 24, 2011
Harker Heights, Texas
701 Indian Trail, Harker Heights, Texas 76548
Open Date: August 31, 2011
2140 W. Oaklawn, Pleasanton, TX 78064
Open Date: September 9, 2011
Adam Mosley of the East Tennessee market of Cellular Sales sits down with the Cellular Sales Blog.
What is your title? I am the Recruiting Coordinator in East Tennessee. I also do sales as well.
How long have you worked with the company? I have been with Cellular Sales since August 2007.
What is it your role within Cellular Sales? As the Recruiting Coordinator in East Tennessee, I go out and actively recruit future sales reps. I look for the many qualities it takes to be in our company. I also source online websites (CareerBuilder/ Sales Gravy) and I am also part of BNI in East Tennessee.
Please tell me about your most rewarding experience. Probably the most rewarding experience was being appointed as the Recruiting Coordinator. It was great to know that the hard work I put in, not only mentoring new reps but all my efforts, was being rewarded. I knew that at that point I was going somewhere with the company. My overall goal of becoming a Recruiting Coordinator was able to be met through the hard work I gave the company.
What do you like best about working with Cellular Sales? The things that drew me to Cellular Sales were the flexibility and the entrepreneurial drive found in the other contractors. I‘ve always wanted to own my own my business and this company has provided me the ability to do so. It is also a great way to connect to the community. Working with Cellular Sales is an everlasting relationship with like-minded business professionals. It gives me great satisfaction to work with this company.
What makes Cellular Sales such a special company to work with? I think Cellular Sales is special in that, unlike many large corporations, Cellular Sales is able to hold on to a family-like community. That’s what I truly love about it. It’s the feeling of family within the company. Today, in lots of companies, you can put in the extra hard work but still get paid exactly what the next guy earns, who hasn’t been working as hard as you have. With Cellular Sales I can control the success of my own business.
What’s different about it from other companies? By contracting with Cellular Sales you are able to control your own destiny. The flexibility lets you not only work on the sales floor but also work with charities and other organization within the community.
Are there any obstacles you face at work? Being a business owner you are always faced with obstacles. To be a successful business owner in this economy you have to be always thinking outside the box and Cellular Sales provides me that opportunity.
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? I would have to say farming as a teenager.
Are you married? Yes, I am married.
Do you have kids? I have no kids but I have a Bullmastiff named Lucca.
What are your hobbies? Golfing, fishing and anything sports related.
Have you ever met anyone famous? If so, who? I have met Bill and Hillary Clinton. I have also met Peyton Manning.
Do you have a funny story about working at Cellular Sales? I was working on an account and had a customer call in that needed a phone delivered to him. While delivering the phone I found out he was a caretaker for an elderly man. Sometime between the caretaker answering the door and letting me in, I noticed that the elderly man had managed to disrobe all his clothes while the caretaker was talking to me. I immediately turned, walked out and finished talking to the caretaker on the front porch. That’s was most the uncomfortable situation I’ve ever been in.
Phyllis Blay of Cellular Sales South Georgia sits down with the Cellular Sales Blog.
What is your title?
Lead Sales Support, I work in the back of the house supporting the reps on the sales floor.
How long have you worked with Cellular Sales?
What is it your role within Cellular Sales?
I am in charge of processing sales transactions. I also support the sales contractors, help them problem solve on sales and customer service issues.
Please tell me about your most satisfying experience since you joined the company.
Knowing early on during my time at Cellular Sales in the South Georgia, that I am a part of a great work environment!
What makes Cellular Sales such a special company to work with?
The people make it a great place to be. It does not hurt that we have an awesome product to back us up.
What do you enjoy most about working with Cellular Sales?
I enjoy helping others. Knowing I can be there for the contractors means a lot to me. I enjoy the fact that this is not a place where you “ punch the clock” and go home. We seem to have a family environment. We take care of one another. That is what I like to see.
Are there any obstacles you face at work?
Absolutely ! That is what keeps it interesting!
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Eastlawn Memorial. It was a cemetery and I did telesales on site. Fun times!
Do you have a funny story about working at Cellular Sales?
The question itself brings a smile to my face. I have actually been a part of Verizon for 8 years now. Knowing that all walks of life have cell phones allows a person to see a lot. If I had to tell a story ,my first experience would include a customer handing a sales representative a phone that had gone into the toilet. The look on the reps face was priceless when she realized what she was holding in her hand. I understood quite quickly to troubleshoot from afar when a customer tries to hand over a cell phone. Please take note for yourself!!
Do you have any kids?
Yes , Aiden. He is 8.
What are your hobbies?
Anything outdoors. Going to the beach and getting plenty of exercise.
If a cell phone was named after you, what would it be called?
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you have to have with you?
Hair conditioner, my son, and a hunter man to bring us food…lol!
And finally… Droid or iPhone?
J.D. Power and Associates rank Verizon Wireless highest in satisfaction for small to medium sized business customers. The ranking comes from their 2011 U.S. Business Wireless Satisfaction Study. The categories ranked included performance, reliability, sales representatives/account executives, billings, offerings, and promotions. Verizon’s cutting edge 4G network and the nation’s most reliable 3G network played a part in J.D. Power and Associates’ results. Not to mention the amazing lineup of smartphones, to include Android and Blackberry, tablets, Hotspots and USB modems.
What is your title? Regional Director North Texas Market
How long have you worked for the company? Since January of 2003.
What is it your role within Cellular Sales? I manage the 14 locations that the North Texas area currently has. I also find new contractors to sell Verizon Wireless products and services to the North Texas and Oklahoma regions.
Please tell me about your most rewarding or satisfying experience, your proudest moment, since you joined the company. Through being a very successful sales rep in the Knoxville market, I was given the opportunity to become a Regional Director in the North Texas market in 2005.
What do you like best about working with Cellular Sales? It’s the people I work with! This company has the best reps and everyone is so great to work with.
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? I have to say probably being a drummer for Gran Torino and traveling United States.
Do you have kids? Yes, one son named Bonham.
What do you enjoy doing with your family? Grilling out with friends and taking the dogs to the park with Bonham.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy running, playing drums and riding my motorcycle.
Have you ever met anyone famous? If so, who? Yes, Michael Irving and Emmitt Smith! I sold them some phones when they came in the store one day. I’ve also met a bunch of musicians from all the days of traveling with Gran Torino, but there are too many to list.