Written by Raisinberry
When Mary Kay recently announced a national contest encouraging consultants and directors to hold skin care classes, I felt hope. I am an eternal optimist, even while railing on the destructiveness of multi-level marketing. Could “Party With a Purpose” be a step in the right direction?
My heart and soul just will not let me believe that all in Mary Kay are corrupt. I tend to believe that there are many at Corp and some in the sales force that just grieve what has happened to this company. I actually believe some insiders want to find a way for consultants to have fun, make money, and not be manipulated into the staggering debt that ultimately happens if they “stay plugged in”.
Now these people are also in denial, let me make that statement plain. In their hearts, they are clinging to a simpler time, with simpler values and less greed. In their naiveté, they actually will not consider that Mary Kay was at its core, a system that guaranteed corruption.
The 5 million parties contest is a show to take the focus off ordering and recruiting alone, and put it onto face to face selling that could legitimize the “Mary Kay opportunity” while also holding the FTC dogs at bay. Above all things, Mary Kay fears the “full disclosure” legislation that surfaces from time to time (for the Direct Selling Industry) because they know it will drop the last nail in Mar’s coffin.
You think I am exaggerating. I assure you I am not. If prospects knew what the actual numbers are in this business they would hightail it to the hills. It was the “actual numbers” that finally got the scales to fall from my eyes and it was a profound moment. Real numbers and real facts will reveal the exaggerated claims (also called lying) of the Upper Tier Sales leadership and real facts and numbers will also kill recruiting.
When Mary Kay can point to 5 million parties held, it will appear that actual retail sales are indeed happening, as opposed to just credit card charging. But there’s a problem. Home parties as the vehicle for producing retail sales are just about dead.
Let me refer to an earlier article I wrote for Pink Truth:
“I was in a “service providing” establishment with a few other women. One lady got to talking about the “jewelry” party she was invited to, and I kept quiet, trying to get a “feel” for the temperature of yet another home party mlm. The ladies began to chime in, and the comments made me want to sink into a hole.
Once again, I found myself coming face to face with something I had either denied or never thought of concerning our MK world. The woman speaking shared how she was “baited” into coming to this friends house by her friend who shared that “she must come and see so and so’s new home…it is just beautiful…she doesn’t have to buy anything, just come and see it….”
The remarks that followed made my stomach turn. The woman sharing, (we’ll call her Sue) went on to say, “She never has even visited my home, and she wants me to come see another friend of hers home and do this overpriced jewelry thing…”. Another woman said, “Oh she doesn’t want you to see her home, she probably promised her friend that she would get some guests there and she figures she’ll use something that will work on you…you probably like fancy houses?”
“Yes, I do check out models from time to time…So you mean she is just manipulating me to be there at the party, not being thoughtless?” Sue smiled as if she couldn’t figure out which was worse.
“Oh yea, that’s what they do. No one wants to go to those party things…the purse one is outrageous! So they have to guilt you into coming or bait you into coming, and you go and of course you have to buy so she can get her free stuff. I paid $75 for a purse that is just cheap…and I could kick myself”
Another woman spoke up.
“I have a friend who holds every kind of party all the time. She said to me, ‘Why don’t you come over…I never see you, have some fun and talk and just relax.’ And you know what I said to her? Why don’t you ever invite me over without the party thing, when nobody can talk much to each other anyway? If she misses seeing me, why does she only think of me to be at the party where I have to come and buy the cheapest thing I can find and she gets free stuff for doing it?”
“I just hate being asked to go, but if you go… then they ask you to hold one too, and I just tell them that I don’t want to put my friends in that position.”
“The stuff is always over priced, and for the most part cheaply made for the price they want, but that isn’t the worst part. Once you are on the mailing list, you will be bugged to join up and sell.”
A collective groan went up from the group. I said nothing, except, “All Multi-level product pyramids are the same, and you would be wise to stay away from them.”
I couldn’t say anymore. I couldn’t say “I speak from insider experience…I can tell you what is really going on and how much money is lost, and how manipulative they are and how cultish they behave.” I couldn’t speak because once again I was left in a deep sadness and awareness of how blind I had been, how much I fantasized that booking with me was what someone wanted to do-not something I manipulated them into with any number of bogus challenges and contests. I “positively affirmed” they loved working with me, and I know many of them did once I was there, but that doesn’t change that most likely they secretly dreaded the fact that I put them in that position to be unable to deny me.
One big manipulation. What Mary Kay hides from is that few “parties” are booked, and even less are held. Because they deny that the core of the mlm system is corrupt, they must convince themselves that the underlying premise is do-able thereby convincing the FTC that they are not a product based pyramid that relies primarily on recruiting and frontloading.
But not really.
If they really wanted actual numbers, to track the parties held, they wouldn’t be using an unverified login system on Intouch. This is what’s called “between a rock and a hard place”. The few remaining sales development employees with a conscience want to push parties held, while corporate management doesn’t want one bit of truth glaring them in the eyeballs.
How do they restore “integrity” and actual results while denying the actual results that will prove how pathetic multi level direct sales really are? You’d have to be willing to admit that your money comes in on the credit cards of consultants starting up, DIQ’s and Car Drivers trying to keep them, and Directors staying “in”. None of which has much to do with consistent sales to consumers, as in “parties”.
But Mary Kay can’t admit that. That would bring down the FTC, which would demand full disclosure, and that bugaboo, “truth” would put a screaming halt to recruiting.
If Mary Kay’s claims were true, that IBC’s can make easy money from products that “fly off the shelves” by doing home parties, then turnover would not be 60%, and Units would not be in a desperate quest to constantly recruit just to stay dead even.
Denial reigns! This should be the new slogan of the 5 million party’s campaign, because one of the key sales development rules is “inspect what you expect”. No one is inspecting any info on the parties being held. Log in whatever you like. No one will ask, no proof required. One would think that numbers tracked for such an important contest, should come through the Sales Director and would give her an opportunity to follow up and connect with possible new team members.
No, ironically it is an “honors system”, if you can stand the hypocrisy.