Contacts: Julie Mendoza, Store Manager at RadioShack (Wharton, Tex.)

Contacts: Julie Mendoza, Store Manager at RadioShack (Wharton, Tex.)

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Just ask anyone who’s put in the time, two decades on a sales floor will earn you a respectable cache of outrageous stories. Julie Mendoza, a store manager at RadioShack in Wharton, Tex. first worked at a grocery store and, later, in clothing retail before becoming a CE salesperson in 1997. The ready-to-laugh working mother has seen it all.

“My first year here, this big guy came in and he was so mad at his cell phone, he bent it back in half in front of me, broke it and just threw it all down, he was that irate!,” she remembers. “I said, ‘Are you O.K. now?’ He smiled all shyly at me, and after that, we had a great relationship.”

Mendoza says her style has always been to “keep it relaxed,” never putting pressure on customers but gently reminding them she’s around the corner if they need anything. That sympathetic soft-touch has made her the most successful salesperson in her store year after year. But it’s not her only secret weapon.

“I’m pretty good at remembering names,” she says. “In fact, I’m on a first name basis with many of our customers. IT makes them feel like we know ‘em.”

Mendoza says it took a couple years for some of her Texas customers to trust a woman for tech advice, but over time, her mobile tech expertise has won both customer loyalty and the respect of first-time shoppers.

“A cell phone today,” she ruminates. “They just can’t live without it.”

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