I have a question for any RIMarkable readers that work in a Verizon store. Are you incentivised to sell the Motorola Q over the BlackBerry 8703e?
I ask this question because I saw two Verizon sales reps working at different stores try to talk a customer out of getting a BlackBerry 8703e and into getting a Motorola Q instead. I was actually kind of shocked at the clear bias towards the Q over the BlackBerry when the customer clearly asked about the BlackBerry.
In one case, the customer knew that he wanted a BlackBerry 8703e as he was upgrading from from a 7250 and the clerk, instead of just showing the customer the BlackBerry that he was asking for, which cost significantly more than the Q by the way, proceeded to try to tell the guy about the features of the Q. The customer actively cut him off and said “I think I will stick with the BlackBerry.”
In the second case, the customer appeared to be new to smartphones. They said that wanted a BlackBerry but didn’t really know much about them. The Verizon rep immediately asked if the customer may ever need to open documents that they receive in email because if they did, they may want to take a look at the Motorola Q.
Being the conspiracy theorist that I am, I decided to see what would happen if I asked about the Motorola Q. Would the clerk be as eager to tell me about the BlackBerry as they were to talk about the Q to customers inquiring about the BlackBerry? When the next sales person walked out of the back and called my name, I said that I was interested in the Motorola Q and the Verizon rep showed me exactly what I asked for. The BlackBerry wasn’t mentioned until I said that I wanted to check out the BlackJack from Cingular before I made my decision.
Maybe it was just me but it seemed kind of odd when two different reps at two different stores made it a point to talk about a device that the customer never said they were interested in, yet, when I asked about the Q, was shown exactly what I asked for.
Perhaps these guys don’t want to talk about the BlackBerry because they don’t know anything about it. I mean for your average minimum wage worker, would you expect them to know more about a Windows device or a BlackBerry?
I think Keith is absolutely right. When I talk to anybody about these phones and they say that email is important, then I send them straight to a blackberry. I know first hand that whenever anybody come across a blackberry they freak out(I’m in tech support if you couldn’t tell.) I personally like the blackberries, especially if you live and die by email. Wince most of the sales reps know nothing about how the RIM infrastructure works they are apprehensive about recommending it. If somebody needs to be connected by email, they should definitely go with a blackberry
Could it be cost? IIRC, Verizon charges extra for a blackberry plan, so the reps might think they’re more likely to close the sale if the overall plan cost is lower.
Cas and Verizon User,
This may have been the case in the situation where the customer didn’t really know what they were looking for. At the first store, however, I am going to say that the Verizon rep just wasn’t a very good sales guy.
The customer buying the 8703e literally had to shut the rep up from talking about a device that he didn’t want so that he could write him a check for the one he did want.
One of the first rules of sales is to stop selling when the deal is done and in the first case the deal was done before the customer even walked into the store.
When the guy said I want to replace my 7250 with an 8703e, the rep should have shown him exactly what he was asking for and maybe asked if he needed a skin or a leather case or something.
Keith: Yes there was a contest with the Q.
And minimum wage…do you have any idea how much vzw people make?
For the record my 8703 is the best, and the Q is a huge heap of crap.
First — thank you to you all for your terrific postings and blogs, as a small business owner about to make his first SmartPhone purchase it really helps with my research.
So, here was my experience when I visited my local Verizon store earlier this week to actually “hold” the phones they say they offer. (note: I’m a longtime Verizon customer and a “Merit” level — which is some type of VIP program they have.)
To validate previous postings — the salesperson was not very knowledgable at all — in fact I’m being really nice just saying that. I knew more about each phone and Verizon’s service offering than the salesperson. And to verify Robb’s observation — she was most comfortable speaking about the Motorola Q. If I had to go in order of her “pitch” it went Motorola Q, Treos and then BB’s.
Even worse — they didn’t even have a floor model or demo model of the BB 7130e for me to evaluate the SureType functions (nor did they have any sales associates with this phone.)
And to top it off — the price they had listed on the floor for the BB units were $50 to $100 more than their own Verizon Wireless web site.
Basically — based on their lack of knowledge and incomplete demo models made it clear they are not serious about the Smartphone/BB segment.
Right now I’m trying to get a straight answer out of Verizon as to what BB phones are planned to be released — otherwise, there is a good chance Cingular will be getting my business.
Any Verizon BB roadmap information (or postings) you can point me to would be very welcome.
Hopefully Verizon get’s there BB act together — because right now it is REALLY sad!
In the past I worked at Sprint in corporate sales. I learned a few things. First, the price on the web is almost always going to be less than the prioce in the store. No commissions to pay and low infrastructure costs. Second, RIM did a terrible job of training us. Palm was all over us with training support and perks. The RIM rep would not even give us a toll free number to call her. She insisted we call her 416 or 905 numbers. This was $.70 minute. Bottom line, no one called her. Too bad, they have a good product. When you work for a carrier, you have a lot of phones to learn, plus data, plus rate plans, plus all the internal crap that everyone has to know. The vendor that shows the most attention to training, support and a rep’s compensation is the one that will stand out from the crowd.
Another thing to note, when you are in a monopoly or near monopoly position like RIM was for a long time, you can get by on your technical merits alone. However, with competition heating up, iPhone, Treo’s, Windows Mobile and Active Sync providing a similar experience, they need to pay attention in a way they have not had to before or they will find them selves slipping in the olong run. I do not think that any f those products are better at this point, but rhey will get better and even an inferior mail tool like Active Sync is good enough when it is free.
Note I am a Verizon 7130e user. Love it.
I just posted a rant over at BlackBerryforums.com regarding this very thing: http://www.blackberryforums.com/rants-raves-forum/60807-verizon-completely-clueless-technicians.html
They didn’t want to sell my friend the BlackBerry, and convinced him to go with the Q, which died every day because of the awful battery time. See my rant above for the details.
I think that there is a lack of understanding on the part of the employees (I’m sure not all of them) regarding the BlackBerry. It is too bad, to be sure – –
I for one thnk that blackberrys are the best phone out in the market. Especially with vzw’s EVDO, and push email. I perefer a blackberry over some crappy microsoft smart phone that will just freeze on you. but the fact of the matter is, for one like everyone else said, maybe the employees arnt too knoledgeble with the black berrys, and sencond, everyone looks for that camera. not only that but verizon is big on pushing for internet tex mess. and pics n flix. so that might also discourage the emplyees from selling black berrys. I myself check this sight just about everyday and love blackberrys, my store had a trainer all the way from canada and gave the complete 411 on the black berrys. my key selling point for the black berrys are:fast and easy to use, theres more free software for blackberrys than any other PDA out there, push email, and for those pearl and 7130 users etc. sure type, oh and didnt i mention the scroll wheel, and one more thing thethering to modem is super fast and easy.
Hmmm…. Ok I’m a Retail Mgr for VZW. 1st off I would like to point out that our lowest paid employees are our greeters and make over $11/hr. We pay our ppl well.
Now to the phones. The reps make ZERO money on the phones nada, nothing, so get the crap about the phone pricing and them trying to up sell to a higher priced phone out of ur head (they really don’t care as long as u sign up and leave happy). The pricing for the BB data plan is the same price as the other PDA plans and they make the same commission off both. Again they don’t care as-long as u sign up and leave happy.
The big issue is that BB’s are considered hardcore business products and not for the casual 9-5er. Also most 9-5ers want a unified device meaning camera, expandable storage, etc. WAIT do not yell at me about the pearl I don’t know why or when we will be selling it. The current BB’s don’t provide those features PLUS their $100+ more then the Q which you can get for close to $99.
Now do me a favor and understand that these guys work as hard as they can at helping you out and getting you in the right device but they don’t know everything so if you know what you want save them some time and just str8 up tell them. Also remember their jobs depend on them selling so throw them a bone and buy the car charger.