Check out the following scripted line and let’s see if we can break the record for “Most Heads Simultaneously Scratched!” Ready? Aaand, action!
“We’re looking for women who aren’t the sales type. As an MK Beauty Consultant, you are sharing your knowledge about the products and then taking her order. Women sell things every day: they sell their kids on cleaning their rooms… they sell their husbands on going out to dinner.”
According to that segment, every woman possesses sales experience via their day-to-day operations, effectively making them “The Sales Type,” or exactly the type of woman that Mary Kay isn’t looking to recruit – The End.
Okay, that’d be a lousy way to end an article, not unlike wrapping up an enchanted evening with a paramour by whispering “Darling, you take my breath away,” only to have him hike up his leg and rip one rivaling the Tunguska Event of 1908 in response – a most “unfartunate” thing. So while we’re waiting for the place to air out, let’s take a peek at what some NSDs say it takes to do Mary Kay:
“Mary Kay is not a difficult job. If you can read from a book, squirt from a tube, smile and nod and say “How does your face feel?” then maybe you might consider something like this…” ~NSD Rena Tarbet’s “New Consultant Companion”
“Anybody can do Mary Kay – all you have to do is be excited and have fun!” ~NSD Natalie Privette-Jones.
“I had no selling background and wasn’t sure I would be the selling type. It didn’t matter because the products are so great that they sell themselves.” ~NSD Patricia Rodriguez
Let’s take a closer look at that last statement. Supposedly, it didn’t matter if Ms. Rodriguez had a selling background because “the products sell themselves!” Kim Klaver, a network marketing expert, begs to differ: “Ever hear that line?” she asks. “When you do, you’ll know the speaker is either ignorant or fibbing. So you’re being fooled, at best.”
It may interest you to know that Ms. Rodriguez worked at a large department store before she hopped on the MK parade float. She also assisted her mother in her line of work; a line involving trays, tubes, and the title of Independent Beauty Consultant. No selling background, indeed – but hey, whatever makes the “I-story” pull a Mola Ram on the hearts of the masses, right?
The act of reassuring women that Mary Kay isn’t looking for the “sales type” is designed to project universal appeal – a false sense of “Mary Kay is for everyone!” That’s understandably so, for if recruiters told their targets, “Unless you’ve got a talent for sales, I’d advise against joining MK,” heartbroken NSDs everywhere would have to settle for serving HoneyBaked hams at their shoulder-rubbing galas instead of hiring Chef Gordon $%@# Ramsay to carve up a red heifer. Mary Kay’s for everyone, all right; everyone with a credit card or everyone who has someone who loves them with a credit card.
It’s bizarre; while I’ve seen IBCs referred to as “product educators” and “teachers of skin care,” the title of “Beauty Consultant” is used much more than that of “Mary Kay saleswoman.” Why? After all, if an IBC is showing a product and taking money for it, she is selling. She’s not standing in front of a roomful of women, her sole task being to describe the traits of a given product, nor is she teaching basic skin care techniques that do not require a Mary Kay product to accomplish.
The beauty consultant is functioning as a saleswoman, as in, “Would you prefer to splurge tonight with all seven sets plus the roll-up bag – or do you need to be more conservative and create your own roll-up by choosing four sets? Whatever you decide to do is fine with me.” Ground Control to Major Tom: that doesn’t sound like product education or a skin care lesson; that’s sales and it sure as heck isn’t happening by itself.
I’ll close it out today with a very wise observation courtesy of an active beauty consultant: “If you want to be successful in Mary Kay, you must acquire skills. It is sales and any consultant, director, or anyone else who says differently is a liar and unethical.”
Shucks, folks, what more can I add to that? The woman’s got more common sense than than three NSDs put together.