An acquaintance of mine is a sales trainee for Vector Cutco. I’ve heard a few really negative second- or third-hand stories about that company, but would appreciate some first-hand facts. What has he gotten himself into?
I knew one person that tried it (briefly). It is a semi-scam of course. They teach you to put the hard sell on family, friends, and neighbors for cutlery. You make everyone buy some out of guilt (you are trying to pay for COLLEGE!) and they resent it and you make some but not much money and then you run out of willing contacts. It is basically the same thing as school fundraisers in earlier years but this time it involves knives. There may be some other bad aspects to the thing but that would be plenty for me.
Here are many first-hand reports if you want them and not all of them say it is horrific:
It’s like many sales jobs, but it does have its extra down side.
Sales jobs run through people like crazy trying to find those with the knack for it, because usually the bosses are people who were good at sales. This means that it almost certainly came naturally to them, which means they almost always can’t articulate what they do exactly. This leaves the new employee to shift for himself. It’s also hard in any field to explain exactly how to do something that’s really more of an art than a science.
Cutco makes great stuff, and the product is not a scam. However, even after having some myself, I don’ t see the big need to spend so much when I can just sharpen a straight edge and get really good results.
The point about pressuring your friends and family is true, though. That’s the part that I really hated. If they had walk-in customers or some other system, I might have handled it. Some people just have a gift for putting themselves out there and barging ahead, sometimes not caring about how they’re being perceived, either. That wasn’t me, or my brother.
Also, please correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you have to buy the product in advance and out-of-pocket?
A friend of my son’s did this and he loved it–and tried to talk my son into it. Now this friend is a natural salesman, so he was very good at it. He did it all four years he was in college and made approximately $35,000/year at it, then when he graduated (business degree, heh) he went into the management side of it, which he didn’t like as well. So now he’s selling golf carts.
The down side: The recommended spiel was to get your family and friends to make referrals and to say you were just “practicing your spiel” on them. And then the mark, I mean the customer, er, family/friend person, was supposed to want to buy a little something or other just to encourage them and to convince them that they did just fine.
More down side: They did have to buy their demonstration models. However, they didn’t have to buy the whole set. And they got a discount.
GQ is for questions that lend themselves to a factual answer. I think we’ll go over to IMHO where you can get informed opinions.
No experience with the sales end of things, except to have a salesman give us his presentation at our home. BTW, he was a stranger to us, I forget where we heard about him.
We thought the knives were OK (they are stamped metal, not drop-forged steel), but we thought they were way too expensive for what you were getting. We did buy an ice cream scoop, which is a great one.