Talking You Out of Returning Your Inventory

This email has been circulating for years. It is meant to seem professional, almost as if it was a real live exit interview from a real live job. It also makes it seem as if your sales director cares why you’re leaving Mary Kay.

The truth is that all she really cares about is you not returning your inventory so she doesn’t get a commission chargeback. She doesn’t care what you do with that inventory, as long as you don’t send it back to Mary Kay.

You will notice that during the interview she makes it seem like she is really interested in the reasons the woman is quitting. Yet it’s clear what the focus is when she talks up how much the woman will “lose” if she sends back inventory. There’s the real focus.

Behold the “exit interview”:

Thanks to the advice from Sales Directors xxxxx xxxxxxx and xxxxxx xxxxx, I put together this brief survey as an “Exit Interview” when a consultant suggests that she’s ready to ship her products back to the company and close her MK Business.

I did my first exit interview using this script (Below) last night with a $3600 inventory. We left each other on a VERY positive note. And while she is still deciding what she wants to do, she’s very strongly considering not sending product back. At the very least, she will leave Mary Kay knowing what a wonderful and caring company we are.

Here’s what I did:

First of all, it’s Soooooooo important to do this in person rather than over the phone!! She can see and feel your heart in person. Travel to her if necessary.

1. Once I learned of her decision, I immediately called her and said: “Hillary, I understand that you have made the decision to not continue your Mary Kay business. The next step in the process is that we get together for an ‘Exit Interview.’ During that time I will give you your options of closing your business, and you will leave with the paperwork necessary if you choose to send the product back.

Hillary, I hold these exit interviews for two reasons–first I made a commitment to you as your Sales Director to help you through every stage of your business, even if that means closing your business. I will not try to talk you out of your decision ((note: this is their biggest fear about getting together with you)).

Second, I use these interviews as a way to learn as much as I can so I can improve my training within my unit. The best way to learn what doesn’t work in Mary Kay, is to talk with someone who is closing their business

2. She was more than okay with meeting with me, so we met at a diner close to her home. We small talked, and chit chatted for a bit to ease any uncomfortableness. The moment I felt that we were friends, I began the interview. I learned SEVERAL THINGS in this process. I’ll share that in a moment.

3. I spelled out in D-E-T-A-I-L what she will be losing if she chose to send product back, and what she would gain if she chose to sell it at cost (see details below). She purchased during the time where she received well over $1000 in new consultant and monthly ordering bonuses. There was a $1000 difference between selling back to MK and selling it at cost to friends/family/customers. I stapled this sheet to her pink form.

I learned several things through this interview:

a. She had NO communication or support from her recruiter once she came into Mary Kay. In fact I learned that her recruiter continued to pursue Hillary’s family and friends as customers and recruit prospects (ACKKK!!!) (A huge red flag to me that I needed to do more Golden Rule Business training!)

b. I learned that she LOVED having me as a director and she thought the training and support from me was great (I took her with me to my classes). However, because she had zero communication with her recruiter, she still felt lost. She didn’t want to bog me down with little questions that she had because she felt that I was probably too busy.

c. I learned that the $3600 package was too big for someone like Hillary. She shared with me in the beginning that she just wanted to do Mary Kay for fun. However when I met with her and her husband during the orientation process (He is in the sales field), I think he wanted to do Mary Kay more than she did!! It made total sense to him and he excitedly bought the $3600 package for her. She told me in her exit interview that this size package was too overwhelming to her.

Exit Interview

1. What was it about the Mary Kay opportunity that excited you? Why did you want to become a consultant?____________

2. Why are you deciding to close your business? ________________

3. How did Mary Kay Inc. not meet your needs? ____________

4. How did I not meet your needs as your sales director? _______________

5. On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate the following? (If less than 10, ask her to explain).

1. The Products?______
2. Training and education?______
3. Explanation of Inventory Options? _______
4. Sales Director Support?______
5. Company Support? _______
6. Recruiter Support?______

6. Do you understand that if you send product back to the company that you may never be a Mary Kay consultant again?

$3600 Wholesale Inventory

If Returned to the Mary Kay – You will receive $3,240 through the 90 percent buy-back guarantee. You do not receive $$ from Mary Kay for your free product bonuses, which are valued at $516 (wholesale value).

If Sold at Cost – You will receive $4,116… Wholesale Inventory = $3600 + Free Product Bonuses = $516 at wholesale. You may profit by selling your free product bonuses.

If Returned to the Mary Kay – You are closing the door indefinitely to your Mary Kay opportunity. You may not be a consultant again

If Sold at Cost – You may continue to purchase Mary Kay products at cost. And you may pick up your business at a later date.

Ways to sell product at cost:

1. Have a 50 percent off going-out-of-business sale over your web site or at your home. Your recruiter or director will help you have an event at your home if you’d like.

2. Let your existing customer’s know you are closing your business for now, and ask their help to liquidate products. Schedule classes and facials with them, and let them know they will receive products at cost/free for helping you. Your director or recruiter can help you hold appointments, and we’ll support the customers after that appointment.

3. Give your friends, family members, customers Look Books and Beauty Books to take to work and sell products for you at discount.

4. Have your friends, family members, customers hold a web show for you, where everyone get’s products at cost. If you don’t have a web site, your MK recruiter/Director will help you.

There you have it. The grand plea to not return the inventory to the company.

And don’t forget, if it was so EASY to sell the products, no one would need to return them in the first place!

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25 Responses to Talking You Out of Returning Your Inventory

  1. Mindy Bunny September 24, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    “The moment I felt that we were friends, I began the interview.”

    That’s shady business Ma’am!

    • anan September 24, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

      That woman was never her friend, just a number.

  2. rkcanada September 24, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Oh, I just loooove the whole part about selling your crap to friends and family at a discount— if I could sell this crisp so easily I wouldn’t be going out of business!! That’s what my director tried with me bit it didn’t work!! Such asses….

  3. enorth September 24, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Typical MK bullsh*t. Notice how the blame is put on the recruiter and the husband. Oh, yes, the husband who actually sat thru the orientation. LOL Yeah, right. The husband who – because he is in SALES – wanted his wife to do this and “it made total sense to him.” Riiiiight…another great fairy tale.

  4. raisinberry September 24, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    I will not try to talk you out of your decision ((note: this is their biggest fear about getting together with you)).

    What the hell is the entire discussion about, then?
    Look at how they tell a lie with absolute denial. Go ahead and tell her a lie and do what you need to do anyway. It is an absolutely surreal world, this pink bubble. THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT INTEGRITY IS. They no longer recognize their own deception and lack of authenticity in relationships.

  5. Ne_Pink_Plus September 24, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Interesting she doesn’t bring up sales tax in there anywhere. Does MK refund the sales tax they charge on product retail when an IBC returns product? Ex-IBCs who sell their overstock/clearance MK, even at a discount, are still losing money, since they would have already paid sales tax on the retail value (MSRP) of the products. They seem to conveniently forget about taxes.

    • Lazy Gardens September 24, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      Does MK refund the sales tax they charge on product retail when an IBC returns product?

      Yes, they do.

      And, little-known feature for those IBCs who sold at a discount and charged sales tax on the discounted price, you can file a form to get back the difference between the tax you got and the tax you pre-paid to Mary Kay.

      I know most SDs tell IBCs to always charge the full price tax, but that’s ILLEGAL in many styaters. You are supposed to charge tax on the actual sales price.

      • PinkPhoenix September 24, 2013 at 11:55 am #

        I never knew this tidbit about sales tax until very recently by reading the boards. Both my SD & recruiter taught that you charge tax on the full retail price because “you paid the full tax already”. I did forget a couple of times and was politely scolded. This is very upsetting because this is yet ANOTHER way I was taught to be dishonest and I didn’t even know it.

  6. A Reader September 24, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Liquidating a large inventory takes time, effort, and customers. It would be so much less hassle to just send the product back and be done with it.

    I would love to see a recruit in this scenario tell her director, “I’ll do you a favor. I’ll gladly let YOU have my inventory for the same 90% MK would have refunded me.” Win/win, right? Recruit gets most of her money back, director keeps her commission and even gets extra product (which, as you know, just sells itself) at a slight discount on the wholesale price. It would be hilarious to watch a director try talk her way out of the offer without inadvertently admitting the product is unsalable.

  7. Tigger September 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    No, the next step after deciding to get out of MK is NOT an exit interview. Who in the hell is this SD to tell me what the next step is? And, no, you will NOT be giving me my *options* about closing my biz, you dig? Keep your ‘paperwork,’ Sweetie, I done got it off Pink Truth. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

    You’re not fooling me that you need to learn to do your biz better by having this bogus ‘exit’ interview. I detect desparation.

    #2. Meeting at a diner? Bravo. That might keep me from tearing your head off. Ease the uncomfortableness? That’s an understatement. It’s all I can do to keep from reaching across the table and smacking your condescending mouth.

    $1000 in sign-up bonuses? Seriously? My Gosh, how much did the poor girl order? You can keep the lousy $1000. It’ll be a small sacrifice. I just want out – NOW, savvy? You’re pushin’ my buttons!

    O.K., I’ll bite. Why did I want to become a MK consl.? MONEY, and a ton of it. You said it would fly off the shelves. Oops. Wrong.

    How did MK NOT meet my needs? Again, money.

    How did I not meet your needs? See above.

    And do I understand that if I send product back I can’t ever be a MK consl. again? Do you swear? I’ll come after you if you’re lying. Oh, wait, your mouth is open.

    And of course, she ends with all the simplistic ways to sell your products. O.K., Einstein, I’ll say it one more time – I am quitting. I think I’ll live if I can never be a MK consl. again. No, I’m sure of it. In fact, I’m so confident that this is the best decision for me, I’m gonna let you walk outta here on both legs.

    • Rkcanada September 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

      Love it Tig!!!

    • Lazy Gardens September 25, 2013 at 7:56 am #

      And iof you are selling it “at cost” … you are losing money on shipping and delivery.

      If you COULD sell it, you would have sold it and you would not be having this conversation!

  8. cbbgreat September 24, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Exit interviews are conducted by companies when an EMPLOYEE leaves, not when an independent owner/franchisee decides to close up. In real life, in a real business as a franchisee, the franchiser often offers to purchase inventory, help find a new owner, and so on. As for the “questionnaire”, question #5 rating 1 – 10 – why are these metrics collected? Does the SD turn it in to corpse to improvee retention or the company in some way? Not at all! She’s just looking for a button to push/objection to overcome.
    The whole idea of an Exit Interview for an IBC is ridiculous!!!!

  9. Pinkiu September 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Lurkers…if your director tries to tell you that you need to meet for an exit interview, tell her, “No, I don’t. I am an INDEPENDENT consultant and not an employee. I choose NOT to meet with you.” Better yet, don’t take any of her calls. Voice mail!! Please know that her whole purpose in this exit interview is to keep you from returning product. Do you actually think you can sell the rest of your inventory at a discount when you couldn’t even sell a few hundred dollars to your family and friends? Phhftt.

  10. Nomore_Pink September 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    I called the corporate office a few weeks ago and asked them to send me the repurchase form. I was informed by Corporate that I would get a phone call from my SD and sure enough, the next day at 4:30 pm, as I was about to get out of the car to go into Costco, my cell phone rings and there it is, my SD. I let it ring. Then the texts started. She said I was making a big mistake. Then she said for me to call her back so we could make an educated decision together. One message right after the other. One e-mail and one text right after the other. I never did answer any of them. I sent back almost $2,000 of product.

    • cbgreat September 24, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

      Hurray for you Nomore_Pink!!! Welcome to freedom!!!!

    • MLM Radar September 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

      I know she had to forfeit her 13% commission ($260). But she also probably got several bonuses on top of the 13%, bonuses which could have brought her total income up around 40%+ of “production.”

      Did she also have to pay back “production” bonuses? Or does the $2000 return count against this month’s “production”?

      If so, it would really bite for an SD who missed last month’s “production” quota and just barely made this month’s quota, to learn at 6pm on the last day of the month that suddenly she has to cough up $2000 more or lose her directorship.

    • BestDecision October 13, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      I’d never been so happy to tape up boxes in my life as the day I packed it all up and shipped it back. Selling your business back t corporate is REALLY liberating, as is having my week nights and weekends back again. Kudos to you for being brave enough to listen to your gut!

  11. cbbgreat September 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Hurray for you Nomore_Pink! Welcome to freedom!

  12. NOREAYZAN September 24, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    I’m to bc at Malaysia..i proud of u dear sis..but i still not have strong to make call to my customer and ask them about mk..tq

  13. Anonymous October 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    I tried to sell Mary Kay in high school. Didn’t have too much problem returning then many years ago, but I’d hate to think of now. I also had very bed skin reactions and my skin was never the same again and I let them know it. Poor quality products tha are dangerous.

    I will remember Mary Kay forever-as using it then is one of the main reasons I have CANCER today. Those products should be illegal!

  14. Gigi October 13, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    I did MK for about Feb to May of this year. In that time frame, I was really doing well. In fact, I had a goal of being a Sales Director by December of this year. However, I was displeased with my Director. I had known about this site prior to joining the company and even still kept up with articles while in the business. Moreover, I grow up around the products and business. My mother was is a former SD, who did the business the wrong way. I decided to quit and returned my inventory. The first attempt, my SD wanted to meet. We did. She convinced me to stay. I reasoned with her that I was just always so tired from work and grad school. But, that wasn’t an excuse for her. Although I could be a better time manager, I just felt like it would have been too much. I kinda want to get back in the business, though. I’d just have to find a SD who would mind her own business. MK can be a cute side hustle, but it’s not something someone should be planning their future around. I used to have fun holding my appointments. And really, the only reason I wanted to be a SD was because I love teaching, training, and development. But, the company does not stand by a strong moral code. It could be so much more than it is. Very sad situation. When I think MK, I always have conflicting feelings.

    • BestDecision October 13, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

      Being a Director is def not all it appears to be. I, too, was attracted to the ability to teach, coach, and speak in front of crowds, but all the other things really made that part a very minimal piece of the position. You can’t coach the unwilling, and, sadly, a lot of Consultants look for the quick & easy instead of good, solid business practices. So, it becomes a game of trying to convince people to do more by making them WANT more. The only way to do that as a base-performing $48,000 gross profiting Cadillac Director is to FAKE IT. My Offspring, for example, used to brag to other Directors that she was on target for the Top Trip, yet I could see her production was nowhere near that.

      Best advice? Listen to your wise-sounding gut. Don’t fall for it.

  15. enorth October 14, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    “it becomes a game of trying to convince people to do more by making them WANT more.”

    Wow, that really sums it up!


  1. Talking Mary Kay Consultants Out of Returning Inventory | Pink Truth - April 13, 2012

    […] ***If she still insists on returning her products, have an exit interview with her in person.*** […]

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