Rush for Red: Why Do it Slow When You Can Do it Fast?

Written by LighterShadeOfPink

This is part of my “I story” and how I became a Red Jacket.

I started out as a Mary Kay customer with a facial with my soon-to-be Sales Director.  My first purchase was the Miracle Set, eye products, and Satin Lips.  My SD said, “I think you would be great at this business.”  A month later I had a follow-up facial and purchased a whole set of color products.  Again she said she thought I would be great in the Mary Kay.

She invited me to several breakfast events and after declining several times, I accepted her third invitation.  The “MRSCAB” survey was on my plate.  When I saw that I could buy my products at cost and earn a little money on the side, I signed up.  Little did I know that the “rush” was about to begin.

My SD said the first step was to attend training on how to conduct a skin care class and I needed to bring a guest.  I was too uncomfortable bringing a guest, so I arrived without one.  All the other consultants at the training center had a guest and were giving facials. I felt out of place because I had no one to facial.  I vowed not to make that mistake again.

The next week I brought my best friend to a “training event”.  I gave her a facial and my SD recruited her.  Wham! I had my first recruit and I had not purchased my inventory yet.  I was excited; the two of us would go into business together.

The next week I invited another girlfriend and her college-aged daughter.  We did color makeovers and at the end of the session my SD recruited both of them.  Kaboom!  I had my second recruit and my friend had her first. Wow, this was fun.

The next week I brought my college-age daughter to an NSD event a little further from my home.  We rode in my SDs car and talked MK all the way.  Again, at the end of the event, my SD tried to recruit my daughter.  She did not bite . . . not yet, anyway.

The next week I went to the monthly breakfast event and brought two friends with me.  My SD recruited one of them.  Bam!  I was now a Red Jacket.

Two days later, I arrived at our weekly success meeting and was blind sighted by a special reception just for me.  I was seated in a special chair, crowned queen of recruiting, given “red” gifts from everyone in the unit such as a red pen, a red rose pin, and a red key chain.  Photos were taken of me with my team.  I received a certificate and gifts from my Sales Director. I moved up to the prestigious “Red Jacket Row,” that was reserved for Red Jackets only.  It was all so exhilarating and unexpected.

The next week I went to a local area retreat put on by several area Sales Directors.  Again I was the center of attention.  Now I was with several units from different seminar areas and I was the top recruiter.  I was crowned queen on stage in front of a large audience, I received prizes, I as interviewed me on stage, and congratulated at every turn.

The next recruit I got on my own.  I held a double facial with a friend and her daughter.  I recruited the daughter with the 100% support of her mother.  She was my fourth.

My fifth recruit came when I invited my daughter to an event with all her friends.  My SD did her best to recruit all of them.  It was a week or two later, at a skin care class, that my daughter said she wanted to do the business too.  She was my fifth recruit and now I was a Team Leader.  That month all my team members made their initial inventory orders and I got the coveted 9% “love check”.

As much fun as I was having I started to feel uncomfortable; I had only conducted one fumbled skin care class and a facial or two.  I had minimal knowledge of the products.  That didn’t matter to my SD.  I was on a roll and she wanted to keep me moving.  She said it was time for me to choose a name for my team that would eventually become my unit name once I became a sales director.  When I expressed my discomfort with moving so fast she said, “Why do it slow when you can do it fast?  I want you to be director with me, go to Leadership Conference with me, and be with me on top director trips.”

In the pit of my stomach things did not feel right.  I had not perfected the skin care class, I knew nothing about what was involved in being a SD and I was now supposed to coach my team on skills I had not mastered myself.  “Don’t worry,” my SD told me, “You will learn all you need at fall retreat.”

Just before fall retreat my SD contacted me squealing with delight. I had been invited to speak at a Red Jacket panel.  I would be seated at a special table with the top eight or so Red Jackets from my national area.  We would be interviewed in front hundreds of other Red Jackets.  Wow, I was excited.

An Elite Executive Senior Sales Director was the moderator.  She asked a series of questions and the microphone was passed down the table. One by one we answered questions.  One of the first questions she asked was, “What is your favorite booking technique?”  Panic arose in my body.  I had no booking technique.  I had only held one skin care class and a few family facials. She handed me the microphone and I froze, speechless.  I looked out in the crowd as hundreds of women were staring at me and I had nothing to say.

I fumbled some of answer about being really new, doing whatever my SD told me to do, and bringing guests to events and weekly success meetings. The questions kept coming.  I did not have answers because I did not have any experience.  The final question came, “What is your purpose?”  My heart sank.  “Purpose?  What in the world is a ‘purpose’?”

Needless to say it was a very stressful experience.  It should have been a big red flag that something is terribly wrong in a business when an inexperienced consultant is put in front of hundreds of people to share her expertise when she had none.  My SD recruited the majority of my team members, not me.

As much as I would like to say that I came to my senses after that experience, I did not.  That night was our national area awards night with the all consultants and directors in attendance.  I was on stage over and over again, receiving prizes for sales, star orders, recruiting, and other product sales challenges.  I came home invigorated and empowered to move my business ahead.  I was on the move to the next level, clueless about where I was headed.  And then came seminar . . .

26 Comments

  1. MLM Radar

    The newbie with more new recruits than customers, and unopened boxes of inventory, is getting awards for sales. But the older Red Jackets with a modest customer list and some seasoned recruits are just sitting in their chairs with no awards.

    What’s wrong with this picture? Shouldn’t the more experienced people be collecting most of the awards?

    There was selling going on, but it wasn’t the kind of selling named on those awards. What was being sold was the idea that this is a profitable business. That, and big inventory packages being sold to the new recruits who would be pressured to recruit their own would-be customers.

  2. BestDecision

    Big red flags went up when they trained us at DIT Week on holding a skin care class. There were people around me hanging on every word and taking tons of notes. To see MK support that drove home the fact they don’t care about us selling, they ignore the obvious disasters in the making, and they don’t make major changes to shut down weak Consultants becoming DIQs.

  3. BestDecision

    Another way MK makes their money: Redesigning the Red Jacket so those not moving very fast will be forced to buy a new one.

    That’s, of course, if there aren’t those still wearing the boxy ones with the gold crest on it from the 90s.

  4. FlyNic

    So someone felt uncomfortable telling the story about how she became a Red Jacket because of inexperience and that makes for a bad business?

    The SD shouldn’t have recruited the team members, it should be the consultant that does the recruiting of her customer or whomever is interested… That is what is wrong here. Just don’t call a company a bad thing when it’s anxiety and insecurity that causes the pain.
    Also it’s not the company doing this, it’s the SD that’s doing this and you can’t blame the company for the actions of individual directors who are not working the plan as taught by Mary Kay.

    I left because my director was crap! She was never forthcoming with support, we had to beg her for help or to arrange a meeting outside of the unit meetings. She asked me one day why I thought people were not attending her unit meeting and I told her what my 8 team members told me, the 8 team members that I recruited, but she couldn’t be bothered to give appropriate training. I said they all didn’t like the meetings, because they came to learn how to be a beauty consultant, not watch an hour long video about self development or waffle on about how they can improve their lives by positive thinking. She basically called me a liar! That was my cue to leave. She had her own agenda for her sister ( who was her Senior SD) to become successful at her personal development business. She didn’t want to hear the truth that she wasn’t true Mary Kay. Her sister has left Mary Kay to pursue her career as a life coach! My SD has since quit as SD…

    People also need to stop the nonsense about being forced to buy inventory. When I was in Mary Kay I was never forced to buy inventory. It was suggested as a good business strategy, but never told I ‘have to’ buy inventory.
    If that happened to you then you had a greedy director and she wasn’t treating you the Mary Kay way.

    I run my own beauty salon, you wouldn’t believe the ‘packages’ I get offered from suppliers to sell in my salon. Boxes worth of products that I ‘ought to have’ sitting on my shelves. What’s so different about that?

    I went into Mary Kay to get the products for myself and accidentally ended up selling a few bits and yes over the years I built an inventory. That was all my own doing though, no-one forced me.
    Yes, I was blinded by carrots being dangled in front of me, but then CND Shellac do the same, if I buy x,y,z I receive this much in freebies… How is that different? Is CND also a bad company because they offer me freebies in exchange for me buying more of their products? Do you never get a Buy 3 Get 1 Free offer at any other company? It is duo to me or you to say; no, thanks I don’t need 4 of that, I only need 1 and that’s my lot.

    I am more focussed on nails now, but I wouldn’t say Mary Kay is a bad company, there are some directors who are working their own agenda and ruins it for a whole host of people.

    1. TRACY

      Where do you see anyone saying they were “forced” to buy inventory. I’ll give you a hint… you didn’t see that anywhere on this site.

      I blame the company for being a predator. I blame the sales directors and recruiters for participating in it and lying to recruits. Nearly everyone loses money in MLM. That alone makes it terrible.

      1. FlyNic

        “There was selling going on, but it wasn’t the kind of selling named on those awards. What was being sold was the idea that this is a profitable business. That, and big inventory packages being sold to the new recruits who would be pressured to recruit their own would-be customers.”

        Comments like this are all over this site – this one just on this thread…
        Big inventory packages being sold? I’ve never even seen one.
        A flyer going around with SUGGESTED inventory packages, maybe many, many moons ago and perhaps some NSDs or SDs are perpetuating that and twisting the story to make it sound like new consultants ‘HAVE TO’ buy the inventory, but there is no packages being sold or anyone being pressurised – at least not from the company…

        1. TRACY

          You need to brush up on what’s going on in MK. The big inventory packages are being sold all over the place. The proof is in the unit newsletters and in new consultants being “star consultants” immediately. Maybe you need to get out more?

          1. FlyNic

            Wow! Seriously!? Rude and offensive comments will get you friends! I’m only saying I’ve never bend told to buy an inventory package. I was a star consultant 16 quarters. It wasn’t because I bought inventory packages, I just worked and sold products, ordered the products from the company and build my customer base. Just because I had a different experience doesn’t mean I am ignorant. You are out to dig up dirt, you will find dirt, but you don’t reflect the whole story that this doesn’t go on everywhere. Some people in Mary Kay are not nasty, sleazy, underhanded and scheming! There really is no need to be rude and unpleasant!

            1. TRACY

              Actually, you did NOT just say you weren’t told to buy an inventory package. You said you’ve never seen a big inventory package being sold. And I told you that the fact is that they’re being sold all over the place and maybe you need to become aware of that.

        2. Still Breaking The Basic

          “…but there is no packages being sold or anyone being pressurised – at least not from the company…”

          Sorry to disappoint you but you are so wrong. The fliers are alive and touting ridiculous packages. My ex-director pushes $7,200, $8,400 and $9,600 packages because “you can’t sell from an empty wagon and women want product right now”.

          MKC is complicit with this because their only customers are the consultants placing orders. They do not track sales made by consultants to their end-user customers which is the definition of a true sale. MKC has no problem reprimanding anyone who does something detrimental to their bottom line. Directors have not, and will not, be told to discontinue this practice.

          1. FlyNic

            Cool, inventory package flyers may still be around, but no one forces anyone to buy anything. A consultant can say no. I was touted the ‘can’t sell from an empty wagon’ line and suggested I keep inventory, but no one twisted my hand, threatened me, held a sword over my head or anything. I just collected orders and ordered from the company when I had a big enough order. Never had any complaints when I delivered.

            Tracking what is sold to the public is no argument. Some of you need to get into the real world of trading! I’ve worked for a major footwear & apparel manufacturer, we shipped trainers all over the world, we got orders for inventory and we sent them out to the stores and outlets, the only place where we checked what got sold to the public was in the flagship stores that were owned by the company, the department stores and sports stores that sold the brands were not tracked. They just bought whatever inventory they wanted and we never knew if all of it got sold, we’d not contact them to ask how many they sold.
            If I buy a supply of nail oil through Salon Services they don’t check in with me to ask how many I have sold to the public.

            1. TRACY

              Enough with the “no one forces anyone to buy anything.” No kidding! Everyone has a choice. But they are lied to and manipulated in the process, which gets people to buy much more of this garbage product than they would if women told the truth about MK.

    2. Lazy Gardens

      “Also it’s not the company doing this, it’s the SD that’s doing this and you can’t blame the company for the actions of individual directors who are not working the plan as taught by Mary Kay. ”

      They are doing what the NSDs teach, and Mary Kay does nothing about the sleazy practices because it makes money for Mary Kay. If you report a sleazy or even illegal act by a SD to Mary Kay, they do nothing.

      “I run my own beauty salon, you wouldn’t believe the ‘packages’ I get offered from suppliers to sell in my salon. Boxes worth of products that I ‘ought to have’ sitting on my shelves. What’s so different about that?”
      You will NOT lose the salon if you don’t buy a minimum quantity from those boxes every quarter will you?
      You CAN send back products that aren’t selling for a refund (I hope) without losing the salon, can’t you?

      1. FlyNic

        Not sure which company you’re referring to when someone loses their business/salon if they don’t do a minimum quantity each quarter, I did a minimum order once a year for about 3 years, at some point in my time in Mary Kay, because I couldn’t run the business due to personal circumstances, I didn’t lose my business, I just bought what I needed for my own use and stayed a consultant all that time, no one took my business away, no one closed my salon.
        So no, CND won’t close my salon, but neither did Mary Kay.

        I can’t comment on what happens when you report sleazy or illegal behavior to Mary Kay as I have not needed to do that, but then how would you know they don’t do anything? Is that based on the fact that said SD is still with Mary Kay? How do you know she’s not had a telling off? Do it again and you’re out type of telling off… who knows?

        As for beauty supplies from other suppliers, return policies tend to be within 21-30 days of purchase for refund minus 15-20% of value and minus postage. So if it sits on your shelves any longer than 30 days, you’re stuffed.
        Very generous from Mary Kay offering a 90% buy back!

          1. FlyNic

            It’s International law for all companies under Direct Selling agreements, get your terminology right! Not just Texas all over the world, it’s one of the key areas where Direct Sales sets itself apart from MLM & pyramid scams.

            It’s still a better deal than me getting noting back after 30 days from any other supplier. That is what Mary Kay was to me, a supplier, I bought wholesale and sold retail. Now my business focus has changed away from skin care & makeup I don’t need them as a supplier anymore. No more need for Mary Kay.

    3. BestDecision

      Does CND quote scripture to you and claim to follow the Golden Rule? Didn’t think so.

      Different methods used by MK staff and sales force make them different than other companies, and that’s why a lot of us are on here. If you don’t do certain things, you’re not helped, not invited, UN-invited, and scolded.

      Does CND do that to you? No. Because you’re the customer, and they WANT to make you happy. MK breeds fear of missing out, being labeled a quitter, and has people completely lying about their net incomes. CND probably is t working from a place of desperation, either. MK has top Directors and Nationals leaving. We all know morale is low, and the products are getting worse every season.

      1. FlyNic

        “If you don’t do certain things, you’re not helped, not invited, UN-invited, and scolded.”

        Really? Never noticed any of that in 8 years in Mary Kay.

        “MK breeds fear of missing out, being labeled a quitter, and has people completely lying about their net incomes.”

        Again; really? I’ve not been labeled a quitter, I am still in contact with many people I have met through Mary Kay, they are still in the business, I’m not and they don’t make me feel guilty, they don’t make me feel like I’m missing out, they totally respect my decision to step out of the business.

        CND – or rather Revlon who owns CND and is the company that supplies the products – has a Code of Conduct, they tell you how you can display products and what you are not allowed to do, they provide marketing materials you’re allowed to use, they have a whole host of Terms and Conditions. They don’t see it as a customer relationship it’s a commercial contract and I am just as much out of pocket if I buy too much stock as I would be with Mary Kay or any other MLM…

        It’s up to me to make those business decisions, what I buy, how much I buy, and it’s also up to me to sell it. I can’t just order a few bits from suppliers when my customers want to order some products, I have to buy bulk… as with any other business. That’s the beauty of companies that allow small-ish orders to be placed of a selection of individual items, in Mary Kay I didn’t have to buy 10 of each…
        If I fail at selling nail products, then that is MY FAULT, not the fault of CND / Revlon… They are still making a profit of my bulk purchase, that’s how business works.

        “MK has top Directors and Nationals leaving. We all know morale is low, and the products are getting worse every season.”
        When I was working in the corporate world I had bosses leaving too, people in top positions left, moved on to pastures new, so what? That’s life!
        Morale is low? Products getting worse?
        As a professional makeup artist and beautician, I can assure you, I have worked with many different brands, but MK tops the charts each time, in my opinion.
        As for morale…
        It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there with lots of competition, new companies popping up competing for a place on the market, global economic set backs over the past decade hasn’t helped ANY business, it’s brutal, everywhere, not just in Mary Kay.

        But hey, if you can see that Mary Kay is losing the battle and the ship is sinking, then at least when the business closes down you can all move on and leave all the negativity of Mary Kay behind… you should all be celebrating! 😉

            1. FlyNic

              Wow! Rude!
              If you’re trying to get someone on board with your way of thinking, being rude and calling them names is not the way to go. That’s the second rude and offensive comment played to me as a person when you don’t even know me! You lot can just stay in your sad negative tiny little world! You obviously don’t want anyone to join your group.

        1. BestDecision

          But, you didn’t answer my question: Does CND/Revlon quote scripture to you and boast about following the Golden Rule?

          I’ve not read one solitary article or seen a spread of makeup artists using Mary Kay. Editorials are from product given to them for consideration by MK, so you can’t count that. Nor can you count their own MUA that are on staff.

          Since you’re a “professional”, it’s astounding for you to consider MK as the best out there. My own experience as a consumer is far different. Let’s remember MK has just 6 cheek color shades (my last count). Decades-old mineral makeup. But, you, as am I, are entitled to your opinion. I can vouch from being in MK that my customers were not banging on my door for the color line at all.

          Hello, Bobbi Brown, NARS, Too Faced, Tarte… Way, way better!

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