Mary Kay Directors: People Will Disappoint You But Numbers Never Lie

Mary Kay sales directors tell their consultants to work the numbers. They say that people may disappoint you, but numbers never lie.

There is a method to the madness, and they know that if you pester enough people to come to a party, sign up to be a consultant, buy an inventory package….. eventually someone will say yes. You might think that’s the way all sales jobs work. Yes, sales jobs rely on working the numbers… but Mary Kay is not so much of a sales job as it is a snow job. Lie, deceive, withhold information…. because if you told women the truth about the company and the opportunity, they’d never sign up!

Here are some interesting numbers put out by one Mary Kay sales director. I have no idea how accurate they are, but they’re interesting nonetheless. If you are recruiting women into Mary Kay, you must remember that you are constantly treading water. (Or as Mary Kay herself put it… you are filling a bathtub with the drain open.) Numbers never lie… the truth is that Mary Kay sucks!

  1. 1/3 of your consultants will order an average of $400; 1/3 are thinking about it; 1/3 are on the way out.
  2. Your unit should recruit a minimum of 15% of its size (exclusive of personal recruits)
  3. Company statistics indicate a new recruit will place an initial order of $1,000
  4. 20% of your unit will generate 80% of your production.
  5. 1% of people are natural leaders: 2% are learned leaders: 97% are followers (it’s OK to be a follower, however, followers seldom become directors)
  6. 3% of your unit is leaders. Calculate 3% of your unit size. Unit of 30 has less than one leader, a unit of 50 has 1.5 leaders and a unit of 100 has 3 leaders.
  7. A consultant will recruit 1 out of 5.  A director will recruit 1 out of 3. There is one prospective recruit at every class. Using these figures you can always tell a consultant how many classes she is away from her goal. For ex. Red Jacket she needs 15 classes. Car 60 Classes.
  8. With whom do you spend your time?
  • 45% of your time should be spent with your new people
  • 45% of your time should be spent with key people
  • 10% of your time should be spent with those on their way out

Multi-level marketing is a broken business model. It isn’t a business at all, for there is no real foundation for anyone in Mary Kay.  It is simply a pyramid, in which women recruit women who will recruit women. There is no real business behind it, which is why 99% of people in multi-level marketing lose money.


  1. Lazy Gardens

    1/3 of your consultants will order an average of $400; 1/3 are thinking about it; 1/3 are on the way out. A consultant will recruit 1 out of 5. A director will recruit 1 out of 3. There is one prospective recruit at every class.

    Sounds like 1/3 of a directors classes are spent desperately trying to recruit someone to replace the ones who are on the way out.

    And I’d like a director who wants to recruit 15% of her unit’s numbers EVERY MONTH to show me how she books all those parties.

  2. pinkpeace

    All this ever translated to was WORK MORE. As a director, you had to work massive numbers to simply keep your unit in place, much less grow it to a sustainable level. And once you did have a “leader” in your unit, she’d become a director herself and pull 30 consultants out of your own unit, and you were right back where you started from.

    It was never-ending, exhausting, demoralizing and ultimately meaningless.

    1. onelessSD

      PP.. could not have said it better than that…. “ultimately meaningless!” Other than a couple of good friends I still have from my MK days… most of it I can count as meaningless…. sad, so many wasted years.

        1. Lazy Gardens

          Yes, BUT it’s less commission than when they were in the unit as the recruits of your recruit.

          They may count for points for a car, and her peeling off as a director makes you a SENIOR director for promotion purposes, but you take a decrease of income.

          1. Iescaped

            The fact that you take a cut in pay when you”promote” yourself shows how much of a scam MK really is.

            All you are to the Company and your National is a recruiting machine. The push to have offspring SDs in place is so your National can keep up her required number of SDs in her Area. You are only as valuable if you continue to recruit and push other women towards Directorship. Having an offspring in place just softens the blow to your National when you get tired, fed up and quit.

  3. Shay

    This website has saved 7 people in my life so far- thank you! Please help save another one by answering this because I know this has happened. Since I never took the MK bait, my stories are just “hearsay”. Part of me just wants to tell people who say that to me wants to just say; “Go ahead, go into debt” but I know it’s them MKayBOTS in their ears.

    •Has someone here ever had an NSD/Direcector/DIQ/Another MK “independent” contractor ever try to recruit your friends that are your customers in joining Mary Kay?
    If so, can you give a BRIEF description of what took place? Did you tell them not to do it before hand?
    If there is already a post on this, can you link it? I am sorry if I have not found it yet, there is over 10 years worth posts.

    1. BestDecision

      If you mean has someone tried to recruit an existing customer of mine, yes. It happened more than once when I was a Consultant all the way through as I was a Cadillac Director. Some National areas were more prone and known for that than others.

      If you mean has someone tried to recruit someone I know since I left MK? No, not that I know of. If they have, my friends are probably pretty keen that something is amiss since I gave it all up and ended my 10+ year old business. Something smelled fishy, especially when I sent my Cadillac back!

    2. Still Breaking The Basic

      The party line in my old unit was that you respect your sister consultants’ customers AND her family, but the reality was everyone was fair game as long as you ran under the radar or made it look innocent. “It’s not my fault that I see your customers at church every Sunday” or “it’s not my fault that your cousin’s kids go to the same schools that my kids do”.

      It was always a frenzy when a consultant dropped out because everyone went after her customers as well as her family after the director decided who she personally wanted.

      And they call this enriching womens lives.

    3. MLM Radar

      Yes it does happen… all the time.

      The official line is that you’re not “sharing” so you’re not doing things the “Mary Kay way.” The truth is that the Director lives or dies based on recruiting and initial inventory orders. If she sees someone with untapped potential recruits, she’s going to do whatever is necessary to get them.

      The sneakiest way is to get you to do all the recruiting, hand them over to her, then go right back out and do it again. How? DIQ. You get pushed into DIQ prematurely, aaalllmost make it, then give it another try while you still have your momentum going.

      DIQ failures on the second go-round are almost guaranteed, because you’ve already tapped everyone you could on the first attempt.

      The second weapon in the Director’s arsenal targets the energy-sucking new recruit with a big friend list. She’s a sweet thing, but requires a lot of hand-holding. The solution is The Big Debut. Sweet Thing is a weak player who won’t last long, so the Director has to get her replaced now, and what better place to look than her personal address book?

      The play goes like this: The Director tells Sweet Thing she’s going to “help” make her Debut a big success, runs the Debut party herself, recruits all likely-looking attendees, then (if she’s really good at the game) persuades Sweet Thing to place a Great Big inventory order now that she sees how a Mary Kay “business” can be truly successful.

      The third weapon in the Director’s arsenal targets the consultant with regular customers who make small but steady purchases. Can’t have that; no one makes money from a string of small sales. The solution? Play the Selfish Consultant card and rationalize that Mary Kay wanted her to do something better.

      There are two levels to this game: The first tries to persuade the Selfish Consultant to bring her customers to a Guest Night, where she can show everyone how to be an effective steady seller. Of course the Director tries to recruit anyone who crosses the threshold. On the second level the Director get a lot more, well, direct. “Mary Kay is all about sharing the opportunity, so if she refuses to share then I will. I’ll give her three weeks to offer her customers the opportunity, then I’ll contact them myself.”

      1. Lazy Gardens

        “The official line is that you’re not “sharing” so you’re not doing things the “Mary Kay way.””

        Somewhere on this site is an NSD’s explanation of how she justifies recruiting a consultant’s customers, and it’s about that … if you haven’t recruited them real fast, you aren’t “sharing the opportunity” and she needs to get in there and make sure it’s SHARED.

    4. pinkpeace

      What’s even worse about directors who recruit other consultants’ customers or family is that MK Corp does absolutely nothing about it.

      When I was still in MK and SO naive about how things really worked, a consultant in my offspring’s unit had a sister in another state. It just so happened that the sister got recruited by a director in my town. This sister didn’t know about the supposed recruiting rule that family stays with family. She thought Mary Kay was a normal business, not an MLM with uplines and downlines.

      When the two sisters realized what had happened, and new-recruit sister wanted to be in my offspring’s unit with her own family. I cannot tell you how many phone calls my offspring and I made to MK Corporate, how many letters we wrote, and how much documentation we had, not only about this, but about credit card fraud that was used in recruiting this girl. (The director in my town had used her card without her permission).

      However, the director in my town was on her way to NSD, and they get to play by different rules. Shocking, I know. (HA!) The sister had to stay in the unit where she signed – no exceptions.

  4. BestDecision

    Having my picture taken in MK’s bathroom was the ickiest feeling ever. I know it was clean and all, but here we were in suits and heels drooling over the fact we got to sit in it. I recognize the story behind her actual one in her home, but still.

    Why didn’t I turn back then?!?!

  5. Shay

    IDK if you all remember me asking a few posts ago, a lady I know sells Mary Kay, she makes money doing it actually.. BUT she only makes money because it fell in her lap. Long story short, when she moved to her new home, a few of the ladies were looking for a Mk lady, she thought they were scarce (LOL, she found out their old IBC’s) tried recruiting them and they quit ordering) so she signed up. BUT before she signed up– she asked the ladies would they buy off her and they said yes.
    I got her to read some posts here this weekend and not got to know more about her, now she says everything makes sense. Can you believe her Director (or whatever she was) actually tried selling her retail products because she came in company with orders and was stalled because she had to order that dang starter kit. Seriousky messed up. She even tried to make it seem like she was helping her.

    My friend even called corporate on her because that was one of many issues.. Mary Kay assured my friend this doesn’t happen in the company and they would have a talk..

    My point is, my friend has a good story to tell and advice for any one considering joining Mary Kay (if you insist on learning the hard way), she knows that if she didn’t have her group of friends that buy off her every 6 weeks, no way she would have been at it this long. She has turned down “promotions” and even said, from reading this site it seems like the ones who could sell it- it went down hill when they were “promoted” to recruiters; as she said; “the few women who were actually able to sell it, it appears when they accepted the promotions, they were talked in to recruiting their friends, how they heck can you make money that way?”
    She never understood why she was pressured to recruit. After reading here she said the whole pyramid scheme was the light bulb that finally went off in her head and now doesn’t even want to sell to her group. I told her if they really like the product, then they will just find it else where.. But I get where she is coming from.

    If any lurkers here are considering selling Mary Kay, my friend’s advice is not to do it. But if you insist on doing it, ask your friends/family if they would buy if you started selling.
    Don’t accept promotions- it goes down hill.
    Do not recruit your customers. You are losing customers by doing so. If your Director says you are selfish you tell her damn right you are- you have to think of yourself.
    Keep all your customers info private from Mary Kay.
    As far as customers she says a thank you card goes a long way..
    She also advises;
    Don’t be afraid to call corporate, if they act like they don’t want involved, remind them THEY trained them to be this way and it’s your “business” and it’s a “dual business” as they say; you buy (give an arm & a leg for) the product off Mary Kay– not the Kay bots-you should not have to be harassed and this is not what you signed up for.

    She also said the iPhone has a great feature when you can block numbers.

    But her best advice is: do NOT sign up to sell Mary Kay because the products are over priced and even though she makes money, after reading Pink Truth, everything started to make sense and she can no longer help a company who does not care about women.

    1. Shay

      To clarify,
      When she says, “the ones who were able to sell it” she is referring to some of the women who wrote in their stories, “I was good at selling it”
      And that was not a dis to anyone.
      She is really glad I showed her this site and again begs the lurkers who are planning on selling Mary Kay, DO NOT DO IT.
      One of her advice I left out was, she told me to tell any one lurking who has products that are going to expire to NOT to stock on new until you sell it. She said your customers won’t even know half the time they changed the product (again).
      She also said if you find yourself shipping a lot (she is lucky she doesn’t have too) she said look into USPS for business and get an account so you can save some on shipping until you can sell off the rest of your inventory.

      She said if you want to sell a product, consider opening an Etsy store. LOL. She is opening one.

      Her last text to me as I am writing this was at 1:28 pm and it says,
      ” I talked to the girls and told them I can’t sell them MK anymore and they understand.. They are probably on Pink Truth right now..

      1. AutumnMoonfire

        Everytime I encounter a recruiting MLM pitch I always wonder how in hell anyone really makes money when an area gets saturated and everyone and their mother is selling whatever it is…

        it’s not about the product, the product is crap. If it was people would be given sales territories.

        1. Shay

          Like I said, it fell in to her lap, but what was funny was she thought IBC’s were scarce.. Turned out the women didn’t want to order off their old IBC because she and the previous ones kept trying to recruit them.

          I never sold Mary Kay, but if I had a customer that was buying off me all the time, why the heck would I try to recruit them?

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