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CompUSA Starts Program to Train All Sales Reps about Apple, Macs!!!

Rodney O. Lain - 1999.05.28

This article was originally published on The iMac.com, a site which no longer exists. It is copyright 1999 by RAC Enterprises, which also seems to no longer exist. It is thus reprinted here without permission (which we would gladly obtain if possible.) Links have been retained when possible, but many go to the Internet Wayback Machine.

"Good things come to those who wait."
 - an old Adage

First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win.
 - Gandhi

Do you feel that cool, fresh breeze? That's the wind of change blowing at CompUSA.

I just got back from a meeting in which it was revealed that CompUSA is instituting a program to teach all sales reps about Apple, Inc, and the Macintosh platform!

My General Manager, Steve Palaccio, came back from a training session. It appeared to be a big meeting, in which every CompUSA manager was required to attend. He came back pumped up about something. He said we have mandatory sales meetings coming up, and that things will be different from then on - but first, he said, we have to Think Different.

The Meeting

Steve said that upper management is clamping down on the lack of training that many sales people have. As a result, CompUSA is instituting a Product Certification Program. The program has five parts that all employees will become family with:

  1. Computers
  2. Peripherals
  3. Software
  4. Services
  5. Apple products

While Steve was talking, I, embarrassingly, was playing Quake on my PowerBook in the back. Upon hearing the fifth point, I stopped playing my game and began taking notes.

"Our first certification will be on Apple products," Steve said. "Training begins next week."

After the Powerpoint presentation, we went to another room to watch a video. I mentioned to Steve that I really appreciate the effort on CompUSA's part to train the guys on Apple products.

"Do you realize how much money Apple brings to CompUSA? Millions and millions," I said.

"Yeah, the iMac is the best-selling computer in CompUSA's history," he said.

The wind started blowing again.

The program will have two parts: each week, we will be required to go through web-based training at the store, under management supervision. A manager will also be on hand to answer questions. I looked at the training pamphlet and went straight to the Apple section. It has an overview of Apple Computer, pointing out the company's chief contribution to computing: the GUI (pronounced "gooey"), the Graphical User Interface. It also said that before the iMac, USB support was at a standstill. It actually said that the iMac ignited the USB revolution.

It also mentioned Apple's creation of Firewire.

It went into detail about the evolution of Apple hardware, ADB, PCI, AppleTalk, etc. It went into an outline of the PowerPC, RISC vs. CISC.

This time, they really mean business. This is the training we thought would come to Best Buy.

I honestly am optimistic about this. CompUSA has a basement-level stock price and stiff competition from Sears' upcoming iMac sales and other forms of computer retail.

They must reinvent themselves. Maybe they are going through what Apple had to do, but on a less significant scale.

Stay tuned for good things to be happening.

You heard it here first....

Rodney O. Lain, a former university English and journalism instructor, works full-time as a software developer and works part-time at a local CompUSA Apple Store Within A Store. A card-carrying member of the local Macintosh User Group Mini'app'les, Rodney writes this column exclusively for theimac.com. His greatest desire is to become an African-American Guy Kawasaki. A self-professed "workaholic writer," he waxes prolifically about race, religion, and the "right OS" at "Free Your Mind & Your Behind Will Follow", his unabashedly pro-Mac website. When he's not cranking out his column, he collects John Byrne comic books, jogs, and attempts to complete his first novel. He lives in Eagan, Minnesota, a southern suburb of St. Paul.

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