The Risk of Leadership: Preparing For Life As an NSD

Written by Raisinberry

In my first life, I had the task of teaching sales to a large sales force in a multi-state region. As part of my job, I went to all the motivational programs, heard all the famous speakers, and sat under the tutelage of the greats… Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, Tom Hopkins, Zig Ziglar, Dr. Peale…you know, the old school guys who really knew how to rev up a crowd and tie ethics and passion and sacrifice together in a nice “feel good” package.

Over the years, I started noticing a sales tactic being used on the sales force that was generally used on the customer. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Sales is sales. Back in the day, the sales training greats used to talk about a technique called “overcoming an objection before it is verbalized”. Now it is a tricky technique because you don’t want to give away an objection that the customer wasn’t even considering. And if you use it too soon, that is exactly what will happen. In other words, you could never use this “tactic” on a person who wasn’t even thinking along those lines.

Let me give you an example. You just finished showing product and the customer isn’t saying much. You go for a trial close like, “so what do you think?” She responds, “well, I guess it’s nice.” You read her wishy-washy response as a request for more info about the product. So you say, “It has done wonders for my skin…my husband says it took about ten years off my face!” Her turn. “Hmmm..thats nice, and this is how it comes?” she says looking at the closing sheet…

Moment of decision! What is holding her back? You could ask or you could assume and before she gives you a price objection, use the “overcome the objection before it is verbalized” technique. You suspect “price” is the objection so You say, “ yes it comes in sets so you have everything you need to get the best results and because the product lasts so long, the price is economical costing just pennies a day!”

Now this is a great technique provided her objection was “price”. If it wasn’t, you just brought it up. See the problem?

Lately I have become aware that the leadership of Mary Kay is doing the same thing. Faced with the growing discontent that draining finances, garage loads of product and credit card debt produces in a sales force, Directors are being “handled” by the skillful National Sales Directors trained on “overcoming objections before they are verbalized” – using that tactic on the vulnerable hamsters in heels.

In a recent gathering of the greats, the topic came up on the “risk of leadership” where Directors (most with a whole lot of “experience”) were told that in their positions, they should expect to spend a great deal of their time calming problems with discouraged Consultants and offspring, facing the negativity of their sales force, being strong in the middle of conflict…you get the picture. This is the price of leadership…to be in the middle of the hornet’s nest and be a rock and keep on pressing on. This is the privilege of leadership, that you risk friendships and confrontation and so on.

The stage is set! Now the hamsters return home and at the first sign of discontent, confrontation or presentation of information gleaned from Pinktruth, that “rock-like” imagery is conjured up in their minds and they remind themselves that this is the price and risk of leadership! One of the oldest sales tactics in the book is to prepare the subject for the objection before it ever comes up in an effort to replace their objective thinking with the acceptable thinking that the manipulative salesperson prefers.

The tactic is designed to insulate the perceptions of the Director so that their knee jerk reaction will be, “Oh I remember this…this is what they told us about…I am at the next level, this is what the big girls face…I must be ready and strong…etc” (Closing down objective thought)

In an attempt to overcome the objections of all the sites that are forming to expose Mary Kay’s long time financial manipulation and abuse of the sales force, Directors have been tricked into believing that Leadership is that place at the top where you label real concerns as “negative” and mentally prepare yourself to let these “nellies” go and steel yourself against their opposition and possible cancerous negativity to the rest of your Unit.

What a rare privilege you have to be perched upon the top of the hamster cage convinced that anything negative can’t be legitimate and all people who do not conform to the Mary Kay way must be flushed from your life…painful as that is. You are being trained to believe that your ability to ignore or counter any attack on Mary Kay is a sign of your true and great leadership ability.

Masterful! Excellent job, you crafty Inner Circle Nationals! Great use of the “overcome the objection before verbalized” model. Preparing your top unit Directors for the collapse of their units or growing areas, will keep them working just so much harder and for quite a bit longer!

Instead of objectively looking at the reason for the collapse, and trouble shooting trends that might be cause for the decline, asking questions or familiarizing themselves with problems, they will go happily along, wearing the Blinders you gave them, patting themselves on the back, for being those Directors who expect the “Risks of Leadership” and who never once question the validity of the charges against MK.

You ladies are good.


  1. MLM Radar

    The indoctrination starts early. From the beginning you hear that the ones who quit when you started were lazy, didn’t believe, didn’t do things the company way, didn’t “work their business” hard enough. Being new, thinking the Director was as successful as she looked, you probably just accepted that. After all, you kept hearing “Anyone can do this!”

    Your “it’s not working” objection was shut down before you started.

    Later, when you were surrounded with unsold inventory and credit card bills, it was an easy step for you to answer your own objection. The reason must be because you were lazy, didn’t believe, didn’t do things the company way, didn’t “work your business” hard enough.

    The answers you were taught to give about others became self-condemnation.

    1. ThinkPinkThinkAgain

      This. TOTALLY accurate.

      As I write this, Leadership 2019 has just ended and against my better judgment I spent some time looking at photos on a friend’s timeline. This friend came in at the same time I did and eventually earned a car and became a director. Right as she was finishing DIQ, I quit.

      I hate looking at the photos of my friends (former friends? I have heard crickets since I quit) and knowing that they have internalized this message about me–that I was lazy, I didn’t believe, I was weak, I didn’t work hard enough. It makes me not want to contact them either, which is a shame because no matter how much we now disagree about MK, they were in my life for five years. They met my now-husband before my parents did.

      But I was done with the credit card debt, done with that niggling feeling that I should book for MK every time I talked to a stranger in the grocery line. Done with the product changes (lest we forget, two entire skincare lines AND half of the makeup in 2018 alone!). Done with the prosperity gospel that so many leaders preached. Done with feeling guilty for wanting to spend weekends at home. Done with being in and out of my red jacket. Done with driving to appointments where I’d sell very little. Done with being conditioned to want leadership in MK–when my deepest desires have nothing to do with MK. Done with expired and unwanted products on my shelf (remember when MK sold Cellulite Gel Creams to consultants at a big discount and after they’d cleaned their shelves said, “Oops, sorry, we’re discontinuing this!”). Done with watching women come and go and come and go because they wised up long before I could bear to.

      It’s been five months since I officially quit and one year since I first started exploring other makeup brands. I have learned so much about makeup that was never taught in MK just by watching YouTube videos. (One quick example–maybe because MK has brushes to sell, I never once heard a director mention applying shimmers to the eyelids with your finger. It’s my favorite trick now!) It’s been a hard year in some ways. But as I told a coworker this week, of all the life changes I made in 2018, I am proudest of my decision to walk away from MK. I am a better person for it.

  2. enorth

    Take a look at NSD Roya Mattis’ website under the Testimonials tab. Lots of testimonials, but you won’t see much about sales or business.

    Instead, you’ll see that Roya is a “sovereign warrior” who has apparently helped with everything from enhancing marriages to improving sleeping habits and social confidence to healing the child within.

    The quotes may be from different people, but were edited so much that they all sound the same.

    Someone said, ” I recommend her services to anyone…” Her services?

    Her FB mentions she “studied at Tony Robbins Platinum Business Mastery.”

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