Written by Raisinberry
If truth is truth, why are there sides to the Mary Kay issue? If you go to a pro-Mary Kay site, and read a bit, you find participants who are ticked off at Pink Truth for what they believe are exaggerations and downright lies.
Anyone who reads here for any length of time would come away with an overwhelming sense of negativity toward the Mary Kay business, and all multi-level marketing companies, for that matter.
Mary Kay does engender a strong loyalty in its member consultants as we are all aware. One of the purposes of a pro-MK site is to defend the “Mary Kay way” and perhaps offer a counter balance to the stories posted here.
Truth is truth. There must be a way to test the waters and see if what we have experienced in Mary Kay is actually a norm or some aberration? And what if such a test could be viewed by both pro-MKers and anti-MKers to see if there is common ground? Maybe we are too harsh and too angry to balance our posts. Maybe they are uninformed and in denial about career path atrocities and in “insider” information of the Directors? How can some women love Mary Kay to death while other women want death to Mary Kay?
Mary Kay worked for me. As a new consultant doing a perfect start, I held the 5 classes because I booked 8. It took me 3 months to hold them, but when I decided to do it, I did it. The company says book 8 to hold 5 and that’s true. (Do we all agree?)
When I didn’t have classes it was because I wasn’t on the phone asking anyone, after having whatever I did have on my books cancel. Phone fear was my biggest obstacle, and deterrent. (Do we all agree?)
Shortly after the perfect start was the perfect stop. Once the rebooked customers did their thing, the second and third tier of customers I met were harder to keep on the books. (Do we all agree?)
Meeting attendance was fun and I always felt better for going. I did like the upfront recognition and thought if anyone can win that car, then I surely could. (Do we all agree?)
Learning the Mary Kay values was great for me. I loved working in an honest environment, positive with mentors encouraging you to move up. After my first recruit who did a Diamond star order, I wanted to keep going. (Do we all agree?)
Rejection hurt but it wasn’t anything I took personally. After friends and family, I found strangers and warm chatters to be about 10% effective. But all you needed to hit was one to start a showline. One started everything. (Do we all agree?)
Finding customers was like sifting for Gold. You just have to be persistent and disciplined, and keep going. Running my own business meant being willing to keep my mouth open all the time to capitalize on a chance meeting or lead or referral. I was getting more confident and stronger and better at making conversation. Great personal growth. (Do we all agree?)
During this entire time, there were also other things that were happening.
Being told that I had free training, when the room fee was requested at sign in, I thought it was odd. It was only a couple bucks, so who really cared, but it was just that I didn’t know about it. The “training” was in my showcase because I could never get a Director or my recruiter to take me to her class. (Do we still agree?)
When the sales count up started, everybody did it “on their honor.” There was no proof of sales by looking at sales tickets. People sat down as their sales figure was surpassed until the top lady stood there. She told her sales, how many hours she worked and the Director divided her hours into her sales at 50/50 and told us all she made $65 an hour. We found out later that she worked way more than 4 hours for the week. (Are we still in agreement?)
We all attended a guest event where the National came and the whole city had Directors being introduced in front of our guests. We were not to tell our guests that this was a recruiting event. We were to tell them it was a motivational speaker, one of the rich and famous, who would tell us how she made her money. We felt a little odd about this but did it anyway. (Are we still in agreement?)
Just before my guest signed up to win the chance at a free showcase, she asked, “Is it just the hundred dollars? Do I have to have inventory?” We were told to say no it is not required, even though we knew the Director would tell her if she wanted to be successful she would need it, and that you cannot sell from an empty wagon. We felt odd again, like we were carrying a secret, but we were too excited to let the feeling bother us. (Everybody still with me?)
When the newsletter came out, our recruit was number two because her wholesale was doubled as if she already sold it. “Seminar Retail Sales Leader” it said. Hmm. She hadn’t even facialed anybody. Our Director told us that is just how the company does it—gives you credit for your wholesale—isn’t it great to be number 2?? We all knew she wasn’t number two but we applauded anyway and felt kind of odd again. (Still in agreement?)
Since everything was so positive it was an easy environment to love. I came home every week with weekly challenge prizes. They were bee pencils, baby bees, note pads, mink key chains, etc. I had recruits and was moving up and red jacket was next. I did notice my sales were not so great, but I was focused on recruiting now and kinda let the class thing slip. I was doing better with facials and giving the marketing plan. (Can I have an amen?)
My third recruit was signing up but had some issues. My Director warned not to recruit “beneath” me but to look for sharp intimidating women. Apparently my Director felt that #3 wouldn’t be MK material. Knowing my recruit would struggle, she still got a Diamond Star out of her anyway. I was feeling conflicted, but I was told not to “judge.” (Still agreeing?)
My customers loved the product and so did I. I even took partial payments so they could have it they loved it so much. Some women never paid me back. (All agree?)
When I had no bookings, I had to make great deals and discounts to motivate a hostess. Sometimes classes were just a break even proposition, with little to no profit but it was okay because I was counting on the reorders. (Are we still on the same page?)
Seminar was life changing. I wished I hadn’t charged it though, because between my product, my section two, my supplies, meeting, better clothes and such I was starting to feel the pinch. Looking sugar sharp costs money. I caught the big picture though and decided to become a Director at Seminar. (Ditto?)
I needed two more recruits and quickly found them and my Director did the rest. All the production was in and we still needed $700 wholesale to go “on Target.” My Director said 5 active…oh my gosh… if you just put in the $700 you will be on target for your Grand Am. I didn’t need any more product. Really. I didn’t. But My Director said that it would be crazy to lose all that production and I will eventually sell it. So I placed the $700 order… trusting in her better judgment. The $700 cost around $1,000.
(Might this be where I start losing people?)
When the last month of car came around, we needed about 3 more people and about $1,200 wholesale. The prior 4 months were gut wrenching as I scoured the land looking for hostesses and interviews. Classes were hit and miss, but the goal was bearing down on me. My Director talked me into asking my best customers to join as Personal Use. Two did, and another $600 was in. One person and $600 was all I needed and it came down to the second last day. The interview AND inventory talk was too much pressure for #12. She signed but no order. My Director pulled out the first in the bag of tricks and called a California Director friend to walk the order into Distribution the next day as soon as we got a consultant number, with my credit card. She was “helping me” finish my goal. (Fork in the road right about here, eh Pro-MKers?)
You WON! You have a CAR baby! My Director was SO PROUD OF ME! Who in their right mind would let a $16,000 car go for the sake of one tiny order? (Is anybody left?)
For the sake of the discussion I will stop here, however I could list about 30 more things a consultant never knew went on. Some have said that it was my poor integrity that landed me here on PinkTruth. In fact, they say that of all of us who post in the affirmative. They may be right.
I wonder how many, being in the same shoes, would have been influenced and ultimately pressured to sit at the feet of the “get it done gals” and take notes? I had been assured for some 4 years that this was a “woman of excellence.” I was taught, “Listen to your Director.” Somehow, I shut down my conscience, and publicly played the game.
Directorship was about learning all the tricks in the bag. At DIT week in Dallas, along with all the other glazed over new Directors, it became clear that everybody knew how a Unit comes together. The insiders chuckle at all the relatives who sign up, and how many orders were “illegally” placed. By “insiders” I meant CORPORATE. Day One, the Staff person or President of the Company laughingly acknowledges that many of your signed recruits are 6 feet under. Hardy har har.
It appears to me that where the pro-MKers and ourselves part company is knowledge of the career path! Most of us think MK is just fine as long as you weren’t frontloaded and are selling your smattering of products and enjoying yourself. But is that truly what happens? Sooner or later, the “sharp” gals will be “selected” to move up and then the hamster training begins in earnest. By the time you put on the suit, you are so sick inside you can hardly stand yourself.
You Directors who are reading this now… Am I telling the truth? Imagine how conflicted we were? Setting the goal, being praised by all, recognition by your National, the Car, the Suit, the crazed activity, the debut and the creative financing that makes it all come together—or you try again.. and again.. and again, until you MUST succumb to the creative financing to dig out!
After all, all eyes are upon you! And don’t be too shocked to learn that nationals do exactly the same thing on a much larger scale!
Year after year after year you learn more and more. At the same time you pretend that it all works since attitude is everything and belief in “the dream” is what focuses the red jackets to drive the production. Applause! Cry! Laugh! Applause! Misdirecting the madness, as women hungry for recognition and acceptance stay true to the mission… enrich women’s lives. Only nobody talks about the debt. (Are we in agreement again?)
I think it is clear that once a woman starts up the career path and gets privy to the inner workings of how things get done, she has lost her red jacket innocence.
Veteran Directors begin learning just how NIQ is handled, as adoptees share how many consultants get “stuffed” into Units with Directors they have never met, just to make the goal happen. And we all look away. In the quiet of Dallas Hotel rooms, some women risk coming clean, and open up to just how bad it is. The churning begins again, and women leave and new, unknowledgeable ones come on board. Frankly it is ignorance that keeps the career path consultant in Mary Kay. She just doesn’t know what is ahead.
The only difference between the pro-Mary Kay sites and the anti ones is time and reflection. We all start with the same belief and the same hope. If you see things that make you question, and you question not… you are on the path of indoctrination that will have you in denial about even your basic profitability.
You will start by learning lies of omission, followed by lies of necessity. Then you will begin telling them. And this is perfect training for the manipulation and persuasion scripts you will be using as a Director. If you “agreed” to the first 16 statements, it is already happening. You are already looking “the other way.”
We’ll be seeing you pro-MKers on PinkTruth real soon.