Written by The Scribbler
It’s always fun to browse through Mary Kay NSD websites and see what constitutes “money management” training. Naturally, when I came across the “Fall Retreat Money Management Slides” on NSD Linda Toupin’s website, I was interested. “Wow, an NSD that’s actually teaching her National Area how to avoid debt? How nifty is that?” At least, that’s what I thought until I read the very first slide:
Face palm. Sigh. Roll eyes. Pour a stiff Pepsi. All of the above.
NSD Toupin’s a Class A product pusher, actively “encouraging” her followers to load themselves (and their new recruits) with mountains of makeup for a myriad of reasons.
Want to make an easy $2k in commissions? Saddle up five freshly-signed fillies with diamond star ($3000) orders! Just starting Mary Kay? Toupin advises that “$3600 wholesale is suggested for new consultants beginning with a debut.” Or maybe you’re looking to become a director, in which case Toupin warns you that “The average Toupin director stocks 4800 wholesale (non-discontinued product).” But don’t worry; Mary Kay products sell themselves! Just ask all 25,653 hits (as of 5 Feb 10) for “Mary Kay” on eBay.
As you browse Toupin’s Powerpoint productions, you’ll run across basic Mary Kay business concepts such as the 60/40 split, the separate checking account, and lookie here, there’s even a 90% buyback should you choose to return your product but by golly, you can’t rejoin MK ever again and you’ll have to go back to the non-enriching drudgery of teaching first-graders how to read, God help your soul! I suggest we burn through this chaff and get to the good stuff, like the slide that begs, “Teach me how to make $2000 a month profit.”
Toupin starts with assuming you’ve sold $5500 for that month. (Is not laughter good for both belly and soul? Indulge, I pray thee, for it will fatten your head with oil and all that other great stuff you see in the Psalms.) What’ll make you slap your forehead is the fact that – according to the “Team Toupin Stats,” – the all-time consultant record for “Highest Sales 30 Days After Debut” is $4393, $1107 short of the $5500 benchmark. Uh-oh, someone’s lazy!
After figuring deductions for inventory, Section 2 goodies, and hostess gifts, Toupin reaches a gross profit figure of $2200. She then allots $200 for business expenses. It was at this point that my “Bravo-Sierra” flag started flapping about worse than a duck’s rump in a rainstorm. The expenses included $15 for Intelliverse, $40 for door charges/raffles/hostess contest entry fees, $ 45 for postage/copies, and $100 for MK events (Seminar, Fall Retreat and Career Conference). Bam! $2000 net profit!
But wait a second. Did you notice that NSD Toupin earmarked only $100 for MK events? Perhaps she means for consultants to squirrel away $100 for the purposes of using it to fund Seminar, Fall Retreat, and Career Conference. Sounds peachy, but as you’ll soon see, any cash consultants had hoped to stash gets pillaged by the legion of events on Toupin’s double-booked calendar. Ever wonder why consultants are taught to bring their checkbooks to unit meetings? Wonder no more:
February: 3-day Red Jacket retreat, $49 ($65 per day hotel stay) TOTAL: $244. This figure does not include travel expenses such as airfare, rental car, gas, and so forth.
March: Lexington Career Conference, $80. Hotel and travel expenses not included.
April: 4-day Spring Director Boot Camp, $200 for all three sessions. Toupin recommends that you stay at the Sheraton 700 for $159 a night. TOTAL: $677, travel expenses not included.
May: Toupin’s “Finish Strong” event: Although current prices are not listed for this one-day event, last year’s price of admission was $35. According to the flyer, there were “No qualifications to attend!” I found it hard to believe that an NSD was even capable of typing such a blasphemous phrase, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Toupin’s kids burst into the room while she was typing, tased her, then quickly typed the offending phrase on the flyer before Toupin came to. I bet those kids giggled about their kooky caper for hours, huddled under their Hanna Montana and G.I. Joe bedcovers. What’s that? Toupin’s kids are grown? Fine, the bedcovers came from JCPenney’s Cindy Crawford Collection. Happy now, Tom Clancy?
June: Seminar, $175. That’s not including airfare, hotel, food, clothes, tips, special “Please Let Me Touch You” nights with your NSD at the karaoke club, and the hiring of a priest to mop holy water over a bathroom that’s been befouled by your three roomies ten minutes after checking in. And which one of you pigs had the curry? It’s Janet, Director Jackson if you’re nasty.
What events await you post-June? How about Fall Retreat, Fall Director Boot Camp, and the Toupin Area “Consistency Club Adventure” to the Biltmore Mansion? I like what Toupin put on the bottom of the Biltmore flyer: “0% Credit Cards or low interest loans are often used in our business to stock our shelves but never to place orders simply to ‘win’.”
Stock your shelf, order to win, it doesn’t matter what reason you give for violating your Visa because the end result is the same. Product is getting ordered in mass quantities when it’s not necessary to have that product on one’s shelves to begin with. And as long as Toupin is tacking ordering requirements onto her events (as she does for the Biltmore outing), the temptation to order so one can go on a getaway or win a prize will be ever-present.
NSD Toupin may be teaching a form of money management in Mary Kay, but between her penchant for frontloading and her billfold-busting bacchanalias of baloney, she’s making it challenging for the women in her National Area to keep their financial bathtubs filled when she’s twirling the drain cork. And while reading of these morally-defunct practices may cause the PT public to grow wide-eyed or furrow a brow, these practices are business as usual for NSD Toupin. I’m beginning to think that her catchphrase, “Just go milk the cows” is no coincidence.