Sneaky Sales Tactics in Mary Kay

A high level Mary Kay sales director did a CD called The Art of Networking. Someone took a bunch of the “tips” and put them together in a training document, and I thought they’d be fun to share here.

I object to many of the sales and recruiting techniques taught to Mary Kay consultants because they are dishonest. They range from warm chatter (think up a compliment, pretend to sound sincere, and start a conversation with it) to finding a recruit’s “hot buttons” (find out what she’s “missing” in her life and give her a bunch of ways that Mary Kay fills that need, leaving out anything that might cause her to say no to the opportunity).

Every business uses “sales tactics,” but what I object to in Mary Kay is the emotional manipulation and the selective information that is given. This training document highlights the “ulterior motives” of so many Mary Kay consultants. Consultants are taught to do these things, and often don’t realize how dishonest their being. If you’re out of Mary Kay, aren’t you glad you don’t have to look at everyone as a target and everyone as an opportunity to sell or recruit?

Beauty Salons

  • It takes a little bit of time because you have to develop a relationship with the owner or manager of the salon as well as the beauty operators. Bounce around to a bunch of them.
  • Find one that is up to date and has some advertising in the windows. Offer free makeovers for their clients for client appreciation.
  • You tell them this is a different type of makeover. I’m going to teach you how to do this yourself so you can look this good all of the time.

Brides Fairs

  • Also check the newspaper for engagement announcements
  • New brides make good recruits because they are going through major change in their life. 1/2 to 1/3 of her recruits last year came from brides.

Girl Scouts

  • This can sometimes be a bust and sometimes it can be great. The key is if you get a good troop leader. Have her set up a mother and daughter pampering session.
  • Don’t try it with just the girls. We need the mom’s there so we can teach them what to do to take care for their skin so that they can act as a mentor for their daughters.
  • We don’t want to tell them that we want the moms there because they have the cash, and we don’t want the daughters going home telling the moms I want this, this and this and the mom’s don’t know what’s going on.

Facial Boxes

  • Please know that some will be thrown out, some will have names of men and others kids will sign up. So what keep moving. Good place to target are bagel shops, coffee shops, dry cleaners, doctors offices i.e. OB/GYN doctors.
  • At the coffee shop talk to the person behind the counter each morning. Offer her a satin hands set for getting people to put in their name and number.
  • Try and target everyplace that you are spending your money. If you are doing business with them they should be doing business with you.


  • Call people who work in the healthcare industry. They are usually overworked and underpaid. The person in charge is always looking for ways to pamper the staff that is nice and won’t take a big bite out of their budget.
  • You go in and offer your service. You tell them that you know they are always looking for ways to pamper their staff and you are there to help.
  • You will not push product on them. You will just do a luxurious hand treatment and have books and samples if they would like something. Have the clients fill out the cards for a free facial/makeover and for the drawing. Bring wrapped PCP gifts for the drawing.
  • Bring a sample hand cream for everyone.
  • When applying the satin hand treatment really massage their hands and this gives you a brief moment to talk to each person. Use the private spa lotions to finish off the hand treatment instead of the hand cream.

Chamber of Commerce

  • When you spot a really sharp woman, here’s a sample script: “Hello, I’ve only got about 10 minutes and I’m looking for sharp women to go in my portfolio of professional women. I’ve scanned the room and saw you and rushed over to ask if I could feature you in my Before & After portfolio of professional women” Then exchange cards. The best thing is that you’ve got her work number, so she’s less likely to “hide”€ from you. She’€™s a professional so if she isn’t interested she’ll say “no” and if she books, the appt. is more likely to hold, since she understands business. When you put her photo in your portfolio, but her business card next to her face which will promote her business.

Professional Before & After Photos

  • To take a Before Shot: Have the model stand in front of a WHITE wall, with a WHITE towel draped around them, then photograph with them NOT smiling.
  • To take an After Shot: Have the model wear a bright blouse and/or a colorful scarf and fluff their hair. Then photograph them WITH a smile.

Fund Raisers

  • You provide free facials for PTA ladies (referrals and possible sales for you) and the PTA has increased attendance and participation, etc.

No one is safe when the Mary Kay lady is around!


  1. James the long suffering husband of a Mary Kay addict

    You are so right about not being safe when the Mary Kay lady is around!!!!!!!!!! I could be at a funeral and she’s trying to hit up the other family members with her Mary Kay schpeel!!!!!!!!!!!! Get a life Mary Kay robot!! There are times when you should tone it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Lazy Gardens

    Professional Before & After Photos
    To take a Before Shot: Have the model stand in front of a WHITE wall, with a WHITE towel draped around them, then photograph with them NOT smiling.
    To take an After Shot: Have the model wear a bright blouse and/or a colorful scarf and fluff their hair. Then photograph them WITH a smile.

    And then give credit to the makeup, not the cheap photoshoot trickery.

  3. Sapphire

    FYI – The original “Super Star Director” who did the CD was Cindy Machado-Flippen; she is out of Pamela Shaw’s National Area. (and yes I am naming names, which we should do to expose everyone and everything we can for who and what they are!)

    Ashamed to say it but, I bought the CD from wholesale director’s tapes. Their gimmick is that you can’t buy 1 cd, you have to spend around $24 before they will ship. Like everything, it’s a racket… and consultants are so deperate for training, they will do it.

    Anyway => I got the impression of trickery and deceit. And then keep it movin’.

    1. Still Breaking The Basic

      My unit’s big on that, as well as checking for divorces, bankruptcies and obituaries. Who wouldn’t like a “free” pampering session when you’re in a crisis?

      In addition to stalking the weekly business insert for announcements, promotions and ads.

  4. Jexalt

    At least they are “honest” when they say it’s a different afferent kind of makeover where you “learn” to doing yourself. In no way doing your own makeup considered a makeover.

    1. Jexalt

      Yikes! Typing on my phone in the above answer.

      I wanted to say that at least there is some honesty when they say that it is a “different kind of a makeover” where you “learn” to do it on yourself. Because let’s face it, in no way is doing your own make up ever considered a makeover.

  5. MLM Radar

    Get her work number…

    Because employers don’t mind at all when the Mary Kay lady calls and interrupts people at work. Not even when she calls five times on the last day of the month


  6. DaisyMay

    I highly doubt that if people knew MK was going to be at a PTO event that the numbers would increase. I avoid anything with mlm vendors. We had an event recently and we had a mix of mlm and actual craft people who sell their handmade goods. I will look at all tables that have handmade and I snub the MLMs.

  7. dhagen02

    Can I tell you how many times I threw away MK boxes, some strange juice that was supposed to cure all(cant remember the name), Avon books, Candle books etc that “patients” had left in the office?

    And the “offering to pamper the staff”? I always simply pointed to the sign on the window at the desk and on the front door that says “NO SOLICITING”. Occassionally I would get someone arguing with me about how a “hand pampering session” was not soliciting but it is because you are then asking for their personal info and leaving crap around my office. Ugh!

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