Advice for a Mary Kay DIQ?

A Mary Kay DIQ wrote seeking advice on becoming an ethical Sales Director in MK:

I found your site on accident over a year ago when I began my business.  I pop in occasionally just out of curiosity to see what is being said.  While I disagree with a lot of the points that are made, I can identify with the emotion and hurt that are behind those defenses.

I am currently in my 2nd month of DIQ and am working on finishing my 3rd month of car qualification, and while this is a really exciting time, I am not completely happy with the way I am being taught to do things.  I.e: get production from recruiting new consultants who purchase large amounts of inventory (rather than train my current team to sell the product and consistently have a legitimate need to reorder product), put inventory orders and starter kits on my OWN credit card and have them pay me later, expect my husband to cook/clean/do laundry when I am fully capable of doing at least part if not all of that, guilt my best friends into joining by telling them I NEED them to or they aren’t my real friend, etc.

I have never had a problem with selling the product, and consistently sell $1800-$2000 every month, and I truly enjoy meeting new people at the appointments I hold.  Where I am starting to lose my enthusiasm though, is in the tactics I have been taught to get orders out at the last of the month.  Like offering outrageous ‘incentives.”  Shouldn’t 50% profit be a good enough incentive?

I am writing because I do feel that I would make a great SALES director, but with what I have been taught so far in DIQ from my soon-to-be-senior, I can see why you all here had such a bad taste in your mouth.  So I am writing to ask, what tips would you have for me to actually be an ethical, respectable, and relatable Sales Director as opposed to what is apparently and unfortunately the ‘norm’?  I will not turn into what I have been seeing lately as that is against all I stand for.

Thank you for your input!

-Don’t want to be a DIQuitter


  1. pinkpeace

    Have you read the stories of those of us who were sales directors, convinced that we actually were going to do it the Mary Kay way? The realities of a saturated marketplace, outdated home-party model, thousands of eBay product listings, and proliferation of top-notch skin care and cosmetic lines kicked us in our pantyhose-covered butts pretty quickly. Even if a sales director herself can book, coach, sell and recruit, she’s lucky if she ever has one consultant in her unit who will do the same. It’s simply too much effort for too little a payoff.

    I wish I could tell you that there were a true path to DIQ and director success using strictly ethical and honest techniques. I can identify with your wanting to do things the “Mary Kay ” as presented in company materials. However, the realities of the marketplace make it absolutely impossible to accomplish this.

    While I believe that you actually do consistently sell product every month, the company’s own statistics show that you are an exception. If you average out published company sales statistics with the number of consultants in MK, the sales average is roughly $1000 per year. Not per month, per year. In addition, you’re offering product discounts, birthday month sales, hostess credit, etc., so that your $1800 – $2000 sales figures are not actually bringing you a $900 – $1000 monthly income.

    The odds of your finding a unit full of women who can actually sell product every month at a sustainable level are basically none. You’ve been in the business long enough to know that someone will be excited at first, have a successful debut with family and friends, then fizzle out two months later. That’s why you have to continually recruit women with Star orders, because your existing consultants will never need that much product ever again.

    There are so many other reasons why this is a system that is stacked against you, but think on what I’ve just written. And please believe me when I warn you that the position of sales director is where Mary Kay has you by the neck. As an SD, you’ve left your job and benefits, and are now relying on other women for your income. It’s right where Mary Kay wants you. It’s all up to you to keep recruiting, keep bringing in those Star orders, and keeping the hamster wheel going.

    When it becomes unsustainable, you will be forced to use shady tactics or leave Mary Kay. Make sure you have a good backup plan.

  2. cdn_xmk

    You are starting to see the real Mary Kay now … I went through DIQ twice and “failed” each time because I wasn’t a recruiting machine and I wouldn’t front load inventory on unsuspecting women. I realized that I was seeing MK for what it truly is, a scam/pyramid scheme/not a real business.

    Up until DIQ, I really believed in the company and everything I was taught. But taking that baby-step up the career path was such an eye opener. I left MK and shortly after found this site. I learned that I wasn’t alone.

    Good luck on your journey. There’s nothing anyone can say to help you make it through DIQ and become the type of director that you hope to be. It’s simply not possible.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      I went through DIQ twice and “failed” each time because I wasn’t a recruiting machine and I wouldn’t front load inventory on unsuspecting women

      And your director won both times because of the increased production and when you ‘failed’ she kept your recruits.

  3. MLM Radar

    If you want to be an ethical Sales Director, quit Mary Kay and join another company that has a code of ethics and enforces it.

    If you stay in Mary Kay, your desire to be ethical will only last as long as you have a downline with a big friends list they haven’t exhausted yet. Once that ends (sooner than you expect) you’ll find yourself chipping away at your own ethics just to meet the monthly production and unit size goals…. recruiting women who can’t afford a kit… buying their starter kit yourself… omitting “facts” so you don’t scare the good ones away… being Miss No Negativity yourself so they don’t lose heart while knowing your last three parties also cancelled…

    It may even start sooner than that, when you find yourself pressured to recruit ghosts to “finish” DIQ, and mocked when you don’t.

    Here’s the worst part: Failing DIQ, losing your granddaughter recruits to your Director, then finding out the reason your Director pushed you into DIQ was that you were growing a strong customer list and she wanted your customers as recruits instead.

    As I said… If you want to be an ethical Sales Director, join a different company that takes ethics seriously (i.e., don’t join another MLM). Do you remember the parable about the man who built his house on a foundation of sand?

  4. BestDecision

    I vowed to never ask my unit for production, and I kept that until the day I resigned. I refused to teach my unit to recruit customers for “Personal Use” because I didn’t want to give them a false sense of security when getting in to their Red Jacket, for example, only to have those people fall Inactive 2 months later. I charged modest prices for unit meetings that NEVER completely reimbursed me for my cost of the room or rent. I never promoted an NSD event without first knowing how she trained people. When we fell backwards out of Cadillac, I took complete ownership of the Premier Club car level, taught my unit how to lose, and drove it without buying my Cadillac and looking like I was still a Cadillac Director. I taught more on selling the product, product knowledge, and building a customer base than I ever did on recruiting.


    I was surrounded by Directors that didn’t operate that way and often felt like a loner. I never made as much money or had all the recognition I could have gotten if I had taken those steps to order more or recruit under false pretenses. I had to teach my unit how to react if their customers were stolen by others, and I had to counsel and encourage my unit when they had people recruited right out from underneath them. I warned my on targets and DIQs to not cheat because of the lack of production they’d experience afterwards or that MK could catch them cheating, and, because of that, I was confronted with cold shoulders by them (misinterpreting all that for “holding them back”). I had to learn how to zig and zag from questions by my unit as to why people did Courts and not be in Director suits. Or why Directors were no longer Directors. Or why Directors still held outside jobs. Or why Directors weren’t in Director cars.

    It was emotionally exhausting to fight that uphill battle, and it soon became obvious I didn’t agree with the majority of the sales force or MK in how things were being handled. Even earning Cadillacs, I was never netting the profit I should have at that level. I was a hypocrite, and I couldn’t do that to people anymore.

    If you are okay with playing solo, knowing you won’t make the money you deserve leading a unit, and can say you back MK 100%, then go for it. Beware that it’s not all lies on here and watch your back in Directorship. Very few, if any, of the people calling themselves your friends will exist in your life after you’re done with the experience. It’s brutal, but it tells you a lot about their character and how fake MK is in general.

  5. onelessSD

    These are all wise words to help you… I hope you will read them with an open heart and mind, so that you can see the truth that we speak. I too was an SD… of a very small unit for 7 years. I almost didn’t complete DIQ… so I asked 2 friends and my mom to buy starter kits (or the $20 re-up) and $200 order. That is how I finished- on the last day when none of my other leads panned out. I started out DIQ strong… but when you are racing to finish, you stop selling and your entire focus is on recruiting. It just doesn’t work long term. I had the 4th highest production at my debut at career conference…so I appeared to be strong, but just a few months later.. I missed my 1st month of production. It was difficult to maintain the monthly production requirement when you are the leader of a volunteer group.. and that is what your unit is… a volunteer group- you can’t threaten, fire or punish anyone. Life gets in the way… end of the school year, kids activities, sports, family reunions, weddings, birthdays, summer vacation, etc. No one will take this as seriously as you do, so you are never off- ever. I am here to tell you- I wasted 7 years as a director of a small, struggling unit.. because I too tried to do it ethically, but it can’t be done. I ended up $22K in debt due to director expenses and it took me 6 years after directorship to finish paying that off. It is a money pit… and I hope that you give what we’ve said some serious thought.

    Please remember this (if only this)… we have nothing to gain if you decide to let it all go and quit… we aren’t financially compensated for any post we decide to share with others. The sole reason I’m still here commenting from time to time is to help women like you, who are honestly trying to see if this can work out. You haven’t seen the other side to directorship yet… I have and many others here on this site- we have no reason to lie. My hope and desire is to honestly share what I’ve learned about the dark side of MK and hopefully save another woman from having to go thru all of the heartache and destruction of her self-esteem that I did.

  6. Shay

    Dear DIQ,

    Go on eBay and Amazon and search for Mary Kay, Mary Kay Makeup, you will find most of the products are below 50% of MSRP. You know why?
    Mary Kay products do not sell themselves.
    Mary Kay products are too expensive.

    Search for MAC products on eBay and you will be lucky to find products under MSRP prices. If you do find them, check the country where they come from. China is selling knock offs. But if you do find MAC products that are under MSRP prices, most likely it’s a discontinued product.

    Yep. Mary Kay products and prices speak for themselves.

    1. Shay

      One more thing, well I do think some Mary Kay products are good– they are simply too expensive and do you not live up to the price. I use Estée Lauder and MAC. I pay more for my make up with them BUT I get a better quality of make up than I do with Mary Kay.

      Mary Kay is selling you products at retail value. That is part of the problem.

  7. morningstar

    Too many directors (if not all) cheat, no matter how you would try to be on the up and up it will wear you down, and then you will think maybe this once I could do it the cheating way and there you go just like the rest of the MK bunch. This MLM is not set up for integrity and ethical business behavior. Too much peer pressure and too many ways to game the system.

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