Backstage Reality of a Mary Kay Director

Written by TRACY on . Posted in Culture & Manipulation, Sales Directors

ImageWritten by SuzyQ

The backstage reality is what the audience does not see.

When the actors are on the stage and the play has begun, you are seeing what you paid to see – a great performance that is designed to touch you emotionally in some way. There is a backstage reality to directorship in Mary Kay too, the part that consultants usually do not see.

In Mary Kay Cosmetics it begins the moment DIQ (director-in-qualification) ends. The verification phone call from the Company with your very own unit number, and the realization that you have made it to the TOP 2% of the company!

Like most, you didn’t get caught bringing in “mirror foggers” as the last few people to make the 30. You have been told that if being a director was easy, everybody would do it, so the elitist thinking begins. You have proved yourself to be “a find a way make a way kind of woman!” Kudos and high fives all around. There are a couple of days allowed for simply breathing.

So then you get about two weeks into your first month. The production clock starts and the expenses are starting too.

First is the purchase of The Suit (ranging from $350-500 depending on accessories), a trip to Dallas for director training (DIT), the search for a training center for meetings, your director debut, a subscription order, desktop office manager (set-up fee plus a monthly charge), supplies ranging from postcards to consultant prizes to stamps for newsletters.

Your printer generally goes on the fritz at this point, or at the very least you will run out of ink. If you had contests to help you finish directorship, those prizes for Queen of Recruiting and Queen of Sales need to be purchased too.

And don’t forget a gift for your senior sales director. And you did remember to order new consultant pins and enhancers didn’t you? And the roses, don’t forget the roses and the red jacket candles. And you’ll dump a bundle on MK Connections too. You need new business cards (yeah!!!) so you might as well get some postcards and note cards from there too. While you’re at it return address labels and checks with your new title couldn’t hurt. And a UnitNet website? Of course!

It gets worse. But the backstage reality is that very few new directors make production their first month. That’s okay, the company understand. New directors sucked their units dry trying to finish DIQ. But, did you pay attention to the new director’s expenses that first month?

Moving on. Many (but not YOU, of course) seasoned directors understand the following regarding back stage realities:

  • It is easier to give birth than raise the dead. Consultants who are not working (ordering) are to be left alone. They don’t get it, and new blood will turn a non-working (ordering) unit around.
  • Production requirements to keep the free car are not discussed.
  • Production requirements to keep your unit may not be addressed.
  • Team Leaders are generally shocked to learn that in order to get the 13% commission check, they must personally order $600 and all five team members must order. (Can you say product-based pyramid scheme?)
  • Director’s meetings. You now belong to the big girl club. It can get nasty. Questions are not welcome. Opinions are not welcome. This is a sorority, and you’re not in charge.
  • Unit members are never ever to discuss inventory with potential recruits.
  • Frontloading inventory is known as an innocent-sounding phrase like “having a full store” or “profit level”.
  • Practice interviews are anything but
  • Directors are taught to keep new recruits in their hip pockets for at least 2 weeks to ensure they are not bothered by negative people.
  • Meetings are designed for recruiting first. Anything else that may be accomplished is secondary.
  • She with the most unit members at an event wins.
  • She with the most name badge ribbons wins more.
  • Instructors at events are to be fawned over. They are the ones with the most name badge ribbons.
  • If a consultant misses one meeting, she is sick or in the hospital. Two meetings in a row is cause for a note and a call, and after three in a row, the consultant is out.
  • There is to be no negativity in front of consultants EVER. Everything is great. You are to say “I love everything!”
  • Chicken is cheap, it will be served nearly always, sauce adds extra money to the tab. “Nobody is there for the food anyway.”
  • Never tell the consultant you are, in fact, cannibalizing the new consultant’s customer base when you are helping her with her Pearls of Sharing.
  • One should stand when a national is introduced. We will be the next nationals.
  • I stories get better and better with time and audience reaction.
  • This is a numbers game. You will need to run through the numbers.
  • Never distrust the nationals, after all, they have walked in your shoes.
  • Always trust the company, they have our best interests at heart. (Order, order, order!)
  • If you MUST discuss your low month, and your concerns about your ability to pay your bills, this is NEVER to be discussed in front of a consultant. You will be told to hold a skin care class or two.
  • You must sell the sizzle. Your subconscious does not know the difference between reality and dreams, so speak your dreams. Technically, this way it’s not lying.
  • Do what the company does: reward sales (ordering).
  • Do what the company does: reward sharing (recruiting).
  • If asked, you always say your highest check is what you made on your highest check whether it was this month or 10 years ago, it needs to be at least $4,000 or it’s embarassing.
  • Same thing with your highest skin care class.
  • What we ask of consultants, we rarely do ourselves. Of course, we lie about our results to inspire consultants.
  • 4 sheets of a paper back and front makes a newsletter that can be mailed with one stamp.
  • Dialing for dollars (or for those with a weak stomach, emailing for dollars) at the end of the month is common practice.
  • More often than not, directors skip leadership classes and shop at the vendors or tour the host cities. Drinking is common.
  • Great= OK
  • Awesome = great
  • Unbelievable= suckier than can be imagined
  • The only part of OUR car YOU get when we finally earn one is the free look.
  • Before and after pictures in our Spring portfolios? Yeah, right. But we do want to see yours along with that person’s phone number.
  • The vendors available to directors sell stuff their at an incredibly cheap price and we buy heavily at Leadership and Seminar to avoid shipping charges.
  • We don’t have many people at our open houses, either.
  • We hate doing newsletters, and frequently wish we could skip our own meetings.
  • Our highest check (or any income statement shown by us) does not include chargebacks, gifts or any other expenses.
  • We call and wish you happy birthday when we are pretty certain you will be gone, so we can just leave a message.
  • We compare ourselves to others constantly and tell you not to.
  • We don’t tell you what product is going to be discontinued because we don’t want you to “hold” your order. We almost always know 3 months in advance when things are changing.
  • We encourage your attendance at events because we want you to be safely in the fog at all times. Any longer than 3 months, the real world might just sneak in.
  • We charge for meetings because we were charged for meetings and we thought that was just the way it was.

The more production we have in and the more stars we bring in means higher bonuses and more money for us.

We are taught to follow the money, work the numbers, and attain fame and fortune that is there for anyone who works her business. Faster is better, slow is hard.

We didn’t mean to hurt you, we were just doing as we were taught. And for those of you who did nothing wrong and followed all the rules, this obviously doesn’t apply to you.

Having made a resolution to do this Mary Kay thing the right way, we look forward to reading your posts when you finally figure out it can’t be done.

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Comments (11)

  • CaliforniaGal

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    Had I been told the truth about what directors actually did, I would have run the other way. I asked plenty of directors as well as our local NSD. The answer was always just get there and everything with be alright. I found out too late the high cost of rising in the ranks. I did manage to get into a massive financial mess.

    Reply

    • Freefrmpink

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      CalGal, I totally agree with you. I would have certainly ran with you. The high cost of being in the secret “big girls club” is a massive financial mess. No need for Vegas when you’re play the big money slots with the pink devil.

      Reply

  • T.

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    how do you suppose so many women stay in the “pink business” ?

    Reply

  • Pinkiu

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    I never wanted to try for SD because I really liked making women feel pretty and wanted to focus on parties. I didn’t make any many though even though I was good at selling. I stopped trying after about 6 years.

    However, all the behind the scene reality…it wasn’t until I came here that the curtain was pulled away. And then?? I felt so dumb. How could I have fallen for all of the lies? But again, after reading more here, I realized that it’s a carefully orchestrated illusion of reality. I’m so glad I found PT even though I’d been out for years. This site, much like this story, explained so much as to why I made only cents on the dollar.

    Reply

    • Pinkiu

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      **money**

      Reply

  • Deflated Pink Bubble

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    Ya know, my director tried several times to get me into DIQ but something didn’t feel right about it. There were at least a half a dozen times when there would be a frantic conference call telling us she needed orders or she’d lose her unit. If being a director was all it was cracked up to be, why was she in jeopardy so often? That just didn’t sit right. Luckily I listened to my gut on that one. I wish I’d have listened to my gut when I got the inventory speech right after I signed up. At least I dodged one bullet.

    Reply

  • TakeBackPink

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    I wonder if my former NSD is suffering a little financially. I’m still receiving emails from her even though I haven’t been a consultant for awhile or talked to her in over a year. Usually at Christmas time they have a catered dinner at a restaurant downtown. This year they had a ladies only potluck dinner at her house. Oh how the mighty have fallen. I wonder if her numbers are down as well.

    Reply

  • princess lea

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    Something to add to the bullet point list:
    When helping new recruits get set up on MKIntouch, make sure they use “dreambig” “thinkpink” or “believe” for their password. That way when they go to Mary Kay Heaven, you can hack their account and steal all their customer information.
    Desperation at its finest.

    Reply

    • MLM Radar

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      Ooohhhh. I know people who will fall for that, too, if the website instruction sheet includes suggested passwords.

      Ladies, a strong password has five features:
      NOTE: DON’T use these. Make up your own and keep it secret.
      – More than 8 characters long; preferably more than 12 characters
      – Upper and lower case letters, preferably in weird places: thiNkpiNk
      – Numbers, but not consecutive and not grouped together: 1thiNk4piNk
      – Words broken up (trips up a computer doing a dictionary search): thiN1kpiN4k
      – Special characters (if the website permits them): thiN1k&piN4k

      Reply

  • ShockedDisgusted

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    “First is the purchase of The Suit (ranging from $350-500 depending on accessories), a trip to Dallas for director training (DIT),”

    (I have never sold MK, I have friends who sell MK and I have been a customer and after reading this site, I feel horrible for having ever purchased anything.)

    I have NEVER heard of any industry where employees pay for training, particularly required training, particularly if it involves travel! I have friends and family is all different fields and not once have I ever heard of anyone having to pay for their own training and travel/lodging costs associated with the training.

    I myself have never had to travel out of town for any training but I have gone to many trainings locally to learn things that would help me perform my job better. At one job I actually supervised the company’s training department and not once did anyone pay for training. The employer covered it and I personally signed off on the invoices to pay for any outside training needed (we offered quite a lot of the training in-house) and checked off the hours for HR so the employees got paid for their time in training.

    My mom’s job requires keeping internationally recognized certifications up to date. This requires X number of hours of continuing education and training every year including traveling once a year for a week long training with classes on any new industry updates, new methods etc. Her employer covers her airfare, hotel bill, food, and pays her salary while she is in training.

    You should never pay for any job related training! If someone tells you that then you should treat it with the same skepticism as you would when someone offers you a job that requires you to put up money, any legit job pays you and NOT the other way around!

    Reply

  • CaliforniaGal

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    Hi gal friends, I went to DIT back in May of 2001 in Dallas. I know I paid for the plane fare, but I thought that the hotel costs and meals were free to me. I even got a free director suit because I bought so much product.

    I remember buying stuff that I could use for my IBC. Of course, my memory is kind of hazy after so long. Did anyone else attend DIT back then and remember paying for food and lodging? Just wondering.

    I have been out for almost 2 years now, and am so happy I am not longer bleeding credit card red. I am happy that I no longer wake up at 2 AM and worry about how to pay for my increasing debt. The stress of being a SD was so intense. I dance every day and celebrate my freedom from the Mary Kay sales force!

    Reply

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