An Inside Look Into LTS

By Isabella Cheng, Published Dec 22, 2020, 11:41am EST (Info+)

LTS has grown rapidly over the last decade, as a major Hikvision OEM and now a distributor of varying products with varying offices. However, how the company works is not well known.

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IPVM conducted various interviews with previous LTS employees to learn more about the company.

In this report, IPVM examines the following:

  • LTS' background
  • Company strengths
  • Use of cold calling
  • The impact of speaking Chinese at the company
  • Employee growth potential
  • Office variance
  • Training challenges
  • Commission / payment structure

LTS **********

***** * ***** ********* ***** ******** OEM *** ***** ********** *************** **** ***** **** **** ********* quietly******* ***** ** ********** ***********. ** *** last *** *****, *** *** ******** to ***** ***** ******** ********* ******* (relabelled), ********, *******, *****, ***. *** primarily ***** ******** ** ******* ** employing * ***** ***** **** **** of ** ****** ***-****** ******* ******** who ****-**** *** ********.

*** **** **** ******** ** ***, see "*********'* **** ********** **********- ***" *** "*** *** ***********".

*** ***, ***** ****, ******** ** comment **** **** ******* *** *** feedback ** **** ****. **** **** contacted * *** ******* ** *** current ********* *** ************ *** ********* declined ** ******* ** *** *** return ****'* *****/******. *** ****** ******* told **** ****** "** *** ******* are ********** ** ****** *** ********, you *** **** **** ******* ** directly."

LTS *********: **** *********, ***-**** ********, ***** ***** ****

** **** **** *** *** * major ****** **** *********** **** **** other ***********:

  • ********** ********* *** **, ***** ** *** most ******* ** ******** ****-************ *** and *******. *******, ******** ** ***** smaller ** ************/***********, *** ******** ************* more ******* ****** ** *** **** ******* ********* areas ** *** *******.**** ******** ***** ********* **** *** ability ** ****-** *** ********** **** to * ****** ** ****-** *********.
  • ***** *********** ** *** **** ** their ***** ****, ******** ******* ********* ***** **** ******* ** their *******. ********* **** * ********* salesperson **** *** ******* ** ***** local *** ******, ****** *** ******* level ** ******* *** ********** ** LTS ****** *** **** ******** ******** to ***** ***** ************.
  • ***-**** ********, ************ *** ********* ***** Hikvision. *** ***** *** *********, ** it ****** ***** ****** *** *** same ******* ******** ** ******* ********* and ********* ** ******** ******* ** other ***-**** *********.

Cold-Calling *** **** ** ***

*** ****** ***** *** ********* ******* cold-calling, ***** ** ******** ******** ** larger *********** **** ** *** *** Anixter. *** ** *** *** ***** employees **** **** ***** ***-**-*** *** was ** ****-**** ********** *** **** LTS ********. *** *******, *** **** employee ********* *** **********:

** *** ********* ** ****-******* ******* a *** *********** ** ***** ** make ***** ** *********** *** *********. It *** **** ** *** ******* managers' **** ** ****** ***** *********** and ********* ** ******. *** ***** also *** ***** **** *****/************ *** us ** **** *******.

***** ****-******* *** ****** *** ***, being ******** ********* ***** ** **** people **** ***** *** ********** ** a ****** ******** ****. *** ****** employee **** ****:

**** ** ** **** ****** **** and ***** ** *** **** *****, we **** ******** ** ****** ** and **** ******* *** ********.

******* ****** ******** *** ****** **** calling ******** ********, *** **** ** was **** **** ** *** ****** of "****-*******" ******** ** ***** ***** attempted ** **** *** ********, ******** the ****** ******* *** *** *******:

****, * ****** ** ******** ******* and *** *** *** ****** ** told ** "*'* *** ******* **** these ******* *******" ****** ** **** up.

Chinese ******* *. ***-******* ******* *******

*** ******* ***** ****** ******* ******** and ******** ** **** *********** *** non-Chinese ********, ******* **** ****. ****** mostly ***-****** ***** ******** ******** ** atypical. *** ******* *** ********* ******** native ******* ********. ***** ** ************ on ******* ******* ******** **** ******* for *** ****** *** “******* **********.” However, **** ********* ******* *** **** having * ***** ****** *******-******** ***** team ***** ********** ** ****-******* **************** and ***** ****** * ******* ******* in *** ****** *** ***-****** ********.

******** ******** **** **** **** ***** team ******** ***** ***** *** ***** presented ** ******* *** ********** ****** to *******, ***** **** ** ********** for ***-******* ******** ** ********** **** was ***** ****. *** **** ***-******* speaking ******** **** ****:

*** ***** ******** ***** ** ** English, *** *** ******* *** *** limited. ** ******* **** *** *******, the ***** ******* ***** ***** ***** Mandarin ******* *** *** **** ** minutes, ** * ***** **** *** back *** *** ****** ******* * didn't ********** ******** ***** **** .

******** ***** ********* **** ***** ********* up ** “****************”, ***** *** *********** for *********** ******* ** ***** ******** affect ***** ***********. *** *******, *** same **** ******** *********:

* *** ***** * *** ** time ******* **** * ******** ********, just ** **** *** **** ***** customers ******* ******** ** ******* ***********. Throughout *** ***** ****, *** ******* did *** *** ********, *** * asked *** ******* *** **** *** not **** ************ ******* ** **, the ******* **** ** *** * misunderstanding ******* ** ******** ********.

***-******* ******** **** **** **** ****** Chinese ******** ***** ***** **** ** each ***** ** *******, ****** ****, and ** *********. * ****** ******* speaker *** **** ** **** ** LTS **** ****:

** ******* *** ****** **** ******* and *******, * *** *** *** a *** *********. *******, * *** some ********** ** ***** ****** **** your **-*******. ** **** **** ***-******* speakers’ ******** *** ***** **** **** excluded ** ******* ***** *** ****** them.

****** ***-***** ******** ** *** ****** outnumber *****-******** ** ********, *** ****** mostly ******-******* ******** ****** *** ****** impact, ** ***, ** ***'* ******** performance. *****, ********** ***-**-*** **** ** Chinese *** ******** *** ******** ** non-Chinese ********, ** **** ********* *********. That ***** *** ***** ***** ** a ****** *********, *** ****** **** to ***** **** *******, ***** ***** impact *** ******* ** *******.

No ****** ********* / *** ********

****** ******** **** **** ****** ** left *** ******* **** *** ** growth ********* ** ***** ******** ** the *******. **** ********* ********** ** a **** ** ******** **** ** the ********** **** ** **** *********** become ****** ** ***** ****, *** there *** *** **** ** ** avenues ** ******** * *****/****** ******* if *** **** ***** ** **** an ******* *******. ****** *** ********* done ** ** “***-********* ***” **** cold ******* ** *** **** ** gaining ********, *** *** **** *** support *** ****** ********* *****.

*************, ***** ** ******* ****** ****** in ************ ***** **** *** **** issue ** ****** *** ******** ** just ***, ******** ***'* ****** *** certainly **** ** *** ***** * book ** ********. *******, **** ********* have **** **** **** ** ***** sales **** **** **** **** **, they **** ******** ******** *** ****** on *** ** ******* ***** ******. Feeling ***** ** *** **** ******** is *** *** ****** *** ********* turnover.

Inadequate ********

******** ******* **** **** *** ****** training ******* ** ********* ******** **** they ***** ******* ***** **** ** LTS. *******, ********** ***** “**** **** them ** *** ******* *** **** them ** ******** *** *****.” ***** was ****** ** ** *********** ***** out ***** *** ********** *** ** each *******, *** ** *** ** to *** *** *********** ** ********** learn *** ******** *** ****** *** the ***** ** **** ******* ** their ***. *******, **** ********* ****** that **** ***** **** ******* *** helpful ** ********* ******** *********, *** more ******** ********* ***** ** ******* to **** ****** ********* ** ****.

**** **** ** **** ********* ********, to **** ******, ** ******* ** being * ***********/**-******, *** *** *************** is ******* *** ******** ******* ** add ***** *** *** ******** ** to ** * *** ***** **** ADI/Anixter. *** **** ********, *** ****** services **** *************** *** *******, *** at *** **** ****, **** ** an ********** *** ******** *** ** be ******* ** **** ** ******** the ***** *** ** ***** *********.

Uncompetitive, **** ** **********, *** “************” **********/******* *********

******** ******* **** ***’* ********** ********* was “**** ** **********'' *** “************,” aside **** *** ***** *********** ******** to *** **** ** *** ********. There *** *** **** ******* **** gave *** *** **************** ** *** commission *********.

*****, *** ********* ***** ****** **** set *** **** *** ********* ** reasonably ***. **** ***** *** ******* any ********** ** ***** ******* **** not *******. *******, **** ********* *** agree **** ***** ******* ***** ** more ********** ** *** **** * salesperson *********** * **** ** ********.

******, *** ***** *** ******* *** seasonality ** ******* ****** *****, ***** would, ** *** ******* ** **** employees, ******** **** **** ******’* ********* to *** ***** ********** ** *******. For *******, * ****** **** ****:

***** *** **** ****** *** ***** months. ** *** ********* **** ****** a ***** ***** ***** **** * slow *****, *** ***** ********** ** required ** ******* **** ****** *** month ***** **** ** ** *** a **** *****. ***** ***** ** sense ** **’* ************ *** **** you ** *** ******* ** ****** make **** ***** *** *** ********* month.

************ ** *** ** ***** (~$**,***) than ******* ******** ** ********** ********* and ***** ** **** **** ********* who **** *** ***** ******** ********* have **** ****. ******** ** ** LTS **********, *** **** **** *** a ***** ** ** *** ****** commission ** ***** *** ***** *** competitor ***** ********** ******* * *****. Offering *** *** **** ********* ****** LTS's ******* ** **** *** ****** talent.

Variance ** ******** ****** *******

**** ********* ******* **** ***** *** “little *********** ** ***** ** ******** which *** **** ** **** *********** even ****** **** [***] ***** ** be ***** *** ******.” *** *******, offices ***** ******* *** **** **** out *********** ***********. ***** **** ******* got **** * ***** ******* ********** no ****** ****, ***** ******* **** paid * ******** ********** ***** ** product ******. **** ********* ********** **** LTS ******** ** ** * ******** franchise *** ******* **** ******** ***** compete ******* **** ***** *** ***** numbers.

*** ******** ******** ** ****** ***** be * ****** ** ***’* **** growth ***** **** *** *** **** that *** *** **** *********. *******, there ***** *** ** * **** for *** ** ** * ******** whole ******* ******** ** ** ************, and *** ***** ***** ** ********** local *********, ****** **** ******* ****** the ***** *******.

Human ******* *** **** ** *********

*******, * *********** ** ************* ********, low ***, *** *** ***** ********** of ********** ****-******* *** ****** ** influence **** ********* ** ******* **** LTS **** *** ***** *** ***** capital. **** ********* **** **** *** business *** “*** ***** *** ****** line,” *** *** **** ****** * “warm **** ** **** ****.” ****** pointed *** **** *** *** **** available ** ********* ***** **** *** worked ** *** *** ** ****** year. ******* ****, “****** *** *** the **** ********* ****.” ******* ******* that **** ** *** **** **** LTS ********* ****** ** **** *********** to **** *** **** ** *** US, ***** ****** *** ** “**** advantage ** ******.”

*****, *** **** **** ***** ****** business ******* ** ******* *** ******** wants ** *** ***** ** **** push *****. ********* *** ** *** feel **** **** *** ********* **** leave *** **** ** ****** ********. Loss ** ****** *** ** *** feel **** *** ** ***** ********* can ****** *** *********** ** *** company.

**********

***** *** *** ********** ** ********* many ******* ** ***** ****** *** employing * ***** *** ***** ***** team, *** ********** ** ****-******* *** hiring ****** ****** ******* ******** ** atypical ** ******** ************ ********* *** could ********* ****** ******. *******, **** of *** ****** **** ********* ******* up **** *** *** ********** ** realities *** ***** *** ************ ** the ********. *** ***, ************ ********, and * ********** ** *** ****** potential ****** ******, ** **** ******, all ***** **** ** ***-**** ******* distribution.

Comments (14)

Isabella, good job!

We are looking to do a series of this on various companies. Let us know which ones you are most interested in doing this. A poll:

Agree: 1
Disagree
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Funny

The offices also run independent of one another. I was a manufacturer's representative for them for a very short time. I helped a customer with a system, the customer had previously used LTS but only once to check it out. I got into a bidding war with the LTS office in Chicago. I found out I only represented the LTS office in Texas. Plus I was 10% higher so they could pay me commission. I also found out that if I didn't directly sell it, I didn't get commissions so and inside person could call the customer, undercut my price and steal the job. Of course, I also figued out they weren't really a manufacturer. Terrible experience and I was done in less than 60 days.

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Informative: 5
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Funny

Having non-local speakers in the office outnumber local-speakers is atypical, but hiring mostly native-Chinese speakers likely has little impact, if any, on LTS's business performance.

agree with the first part of this sentence - and disagree with the part I bolded.

disregarding the probability of having more people to talk to in the company cafeteria, being a native Chinese speaker (especially those here in the US via visa sponsorship) should be an obvious negative when selling to native English speaking Americans here in any US city. Just as I, as a native English speaker from the US, could not expect to be able to sell French things to French people in French as prolifically as a native French speaking French person could be expected to.

following that logic, the question becomes - why would they bring in so many native Chinese speaking people on visa sponsorship to sell things to non native Chinese speaking Americans if it is indeed - all about the bottom line?

Agree: 3
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Hi U#2,

being a native Chinese speaker (especially those here in the US via visa sponsorship) should be anobvious negative when selling to native English speaking Americans here in any US city.

That makes a lot of intuitive sense, and this is something I asked some of my sources during our interviews. What I've been told is that even though these sales people's English is at a pretty basic level, they are really friendly, good with niceties, proactive with reaching out, and some can even get pretty technical when explaining products. There's separate tech support, which to my knowledge, is actually not majority native-Chinese speakers, so perhaps as long as you can sell the product, the issues/technical aspects that come with using it can be handed over to people with better English skills. Being proactive and eager coupled with baseline low prices for the same Hikvision product seems like a reasonable combination to do a pretty good job in sales.

This is probably a good question for LTS customers to share their experiences with non-native English speaking sales reps at LTS. How have your experiences been with non-native English speakers? Do you find their sales potential is impacted (significantly? negligibly?) by language barriers?

Agree
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Informative: 1
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I dont think they "bring" Chinese workers, they hire the ones they can find in the USA.

it's too much work to bring someone to the usa on a work visa just to have them cold call to sell entry level cctv.

in any case, it's their choice, and i saw the same also in Israeli companies in the states, where many of the people recruited where Israelis living in the USA.

I deal with " non native speaker " sales staff all the time, it's the attitude and smarts that count most.

Agree
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I dont think they "bring" Chinese workers, they hire the ones they can find in the USA.

I'm no immigration lawyer, but how large is the pool of non US citizen native speaking Chinese that have lost prior visa sponsors and are looking for another sponsoring company to be able to stay in the US?

The OP mentions that visa sponsorship for native Chinese speakers hired by LTS is common:

Another concern that came up was that many LTS employees depend on visa sponsorship to work and stay in the US, which allows LTS to “take advantage of people.”

My understanding is that the majority of those non US citizens that are here in the US working via visa sponsorship are somewhat beholden to the companies that sponsored them to come to the US - which is the point the OP makes about them potentially being taken advantage of.

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I'm no immigration lawyer, but how large is the pool of non US citizen native speaking Chinese that have lost prior visa sponsors and are looking for another sponsoring company to be able to stay in the US?

From my understanding, the pool that LTS is looking at for hirees is pretty large not because they're hiring people who've lost work sponsorship but because they're hiring people who came to the US for undergrad or (more commonly) grad school.

So these people had a student visa, then after school ends, they have to roll it over to a work visa or leave. LTS can sponsor their work visa and let them stay.

Agree: 1
Disagree
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Funny

So these people had a student visa, then after school ends, they have to roll it over to a work visa or leave. LTS can sponsor their work visa and let them stay.

if they are in the US on an F1 (student) visa, LTS can sponsor the OPT extension of their student visa after completing their studies, or they can apply for an H-1B visa - with either way only allowing them to work for up to 12 months in the US max. (a STEM OPT can be extended to 24 months).

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Wow. I can't image going from grad to school to working in an LTS boiler room. I'm guessing these aren't the valedictorians.

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Funny: 2

Oh man, there was a rep in Queens NY named Miku, the poor girl would cold call me every three months, and every time I tell her that she had already called me, she apologized, and said that even if she deletes my number from her system, somebody else does a search in certain areas and of you number comes up, they add it to the system. Crazy

Agree
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Informative: 2
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Funny: 1

every time I tell her that she had already called me

How is this different from the Verkada model? Mostly not kidding, LTS and Verkada's mass repetitive phone calls are similar, no?

Agree: 2
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I had great experience with my LTS tech support person (San Francisco) who is also my account sales manager, the product quality is just another hik, but pricing is good for the small businesses that can't afford avigilon, I simply have all those Hik-oms behind a firewall so the cameras will never reach the internet or scan the local network.

Agree
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My experience has been good with them thus far. My first rep Bing Ren, who no longer works at the port Washington location, was always on point with both the features/sales part as she made recommendations for my projects and told me of savings i could get which i found helpful. Then she moved to another office but I never got someone as knowledgeable as her. Their tech support is good but someone like me who has a strong IT background seldom has reason to use them.

Overall I give them a B, only because i wish they had more in-depth training for us resellers and integrators regarding their software and product compatibility.

Agree
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I've been dealing with LTS for more than 15 years. My company has received 4 awards from LTS for being best business partner. What I see is a lot of lazy installers who complain about LTS, because there are only a few native speaking american there to walk them through the basic installation process. Unfortunately there are plenty on "installers" in our industry who can't install anything without being on the phone with tech support for hours. Personally I have never had a serious issue with LTS products or support. There were some instances that required me to call my rep or tech support and everytime the issue has been resolved. I deal with other vendors out there and the fact is that LTS offers the best value in the industry. But if you need someone to hold your hand throughout the entire installation process, then you're better with some other vendor. And the fact is that every employee I spoke to, was always nice and tried to be as helpful as possible. You put that vs the attitude of entitled millennials and there is the answer why their staff is mostly Chinese.

Agree
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Informative: 1
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