Wireless Zone opens in Schoolhouse SquareJon Medin, Matt Funk and Kyle Palmer were all cell phone salesmen during college. They moved up to being managers in corporately owned stores and saw firsthand some of the mistakes their former employers were making. “We all saw potential and how to do it better,” Palmer said.
By: Keith Grauman, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Jon Medin, Matt Funk and Kyle Palmer were all cell phone salesmen during college. They moved up to being managers in corporately owned stores and saw firsthand some of the mistakes their former employers were making.
“We all saw potential and how to do it better,” Palmer said.
That, in a nutshell, is the story behind how Wireless Zone ended up in Schoolhouse Square on Vermillion and 10th streets. It’s the only Verizon dealer in Hastings.
The store is the second franchise owned by the three Twin Cities natives. They have another store in Mendota Heights. Opening a store in Hastings was perfect for the type of business they want to run.
“From a population standpoint, Hastings is a perfect-sized town where you can still have a face in the community,” Palmer said.
Though they want a face in the community, they want their customers to know salespeople won’t get in their faces the moment they walk through the door. That’s one thing they saw in their old jobs that they wanted to be different at Wireless Zone.
The atmosphere of the store will be more relaxed and customer oriented.
“Our success model has been just customer service,” Medin said.
The not-so-in-your-face feel of the store starts with display kiosks where people will be able to play with cell phones before they buy them and get all the information on them via interactive TV screens mounted above the kiosks.
The owners want people of all ages to feel comfortable in Wireless Zone. They’re not going to try to sell the latest Blackberry to someone who just wants a basic cell phone to make calls here and there.
Since the store isn’t corporately owned, they have the ability to be very flexible when it comes to their pricing. It also allows them to provide better customer service when it comes to questions or problems.
“Instead of calling a 1-800 number, you have my cell phone number; you’re calling me,” Medin said.
Funk, Palmer and Medin are all “B to B,” or business-to-business certified by Verizon, which means they specialize in coming up with wireless and internet solutions for small businesses.
“Since we’re a small business, we want to deal with small businesses,” Palmer said.
With Verizon’s Air Cards, which plug into computers and receive Internet service anywhere, Wireless Zone is also an Internet service provider. They also specialize in tech support and troubleshooting.
Wireless Zone is open for business. The three owners have a grand opening planned for July.
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The phone number is 437-4800.
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