New Mary Kay Consultant: Start Recruiting Right Away

You’re a new Mary Kay consultant, and you’re just learning the ropes. You’re excited, but a little scared about all the things you don’t know about your business. Your director is encouraging you to start recruiting. You want to get your feet under you first before you will feel comfortable bringing others into the business.

But your director keeps pushing you about recruiting. She suggests you’re just going to do “practice interviews” or some other innocent sounding thing. She keeps coming at you about recruiting. Why?

  1. Recruiting is how your director makes her money. New people mean new inventory orders, and that’s where the sales director makes the bulk of her income. Mary Kay Cosmetics encourages large initial inventory orders because that is the single largest amount most consultants will ever order. With tens of thousands MK consultants quitting the company each month, a new supply of orderers is constantly required.
  2. Your director needs to get you to recruit before you realize what a loser business Mary Kay is. If she lets you wait to see how hard it is to sell the products, you’ll be discouraged, and you won’t want to set others up for the failure you’re experiencing. Eventually you’ll figure out that 99% of people who get involved with MLMs lose money, and if you have scruples, you won’t want to bring others in to lose their money too.
  3. Your director wants you to recruit before you figure out that you make more money by NOT recruiting. The best target for a potential recruit is someone who likes the Mary Kay products. If a woman is buying products from you, you have the opportunity to make a gross profit of 25% to 50% of the retail amount she buys from you (depending on how much you have to discount the products or give away free products as incentives to buy). If you recruit that customer, you suddenly make only 4% of wholesale on her product purchases. And you’ve also given yourself another competitor, which is especially bad if you have many of the same family members and friends.
  4. By getting you to recruit, your director has helped you feel successful, and your excitement makes you more likely to order more products and continue on in the business. Even when you are not making any money. You have a couple of recruits, and suddenly your director tells you that you’re “on target” for something, and that you only need to order $xxxx more to get to a higher commission level or qualify for a prize. You’re probably going to place that order, even if you don’t need the products because you want to keep your momentum going. Another order means more commission for the sales director.

After more than 50 years in business, Mary Kay has perfected the bait that is needed to lure people in and get them to order more. They know exactly which kind of “contest” or cheap prize will bring in more orders. The ribbons given out at Career Conference and Seminar cost pennies, but consultants are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on orders to get those silly ribbons.The same thing goes for the star consultant prizes and other trinkets that Mary Kay gives to orderers during special promotions. The company knows exactly which kind of positive reinforcement leads to more orders, and getting you to recruit right away is a brilliant part of the plan.


  1. MLM Radar

    If your friend is a customer, your Director gets 13% of whatever you buy that you re-sell. So when your friend makes a $50 purchase that you have to order, you get $25 and your Director gets $6.50. If you sell your friend $50 from your inventory (the best choice for you) you still get the $25, before paying other expenses, but your Director gets nothing, because she already collected her commission months ago when she pushed YOU into buying a large inventory.

    BUT if your friend is talked into becoming a recruit and places her own inventory order ($600 basic order) you get only 4%, which is $24. Your friend has to buy 12x as much for you to get the same as if you’d sold her one $50 kit. That also means that there’ll be no reorders coming your way anytime soon.

    However, for recruiting your customer, your Director’s cut goes from $6.50
    to at least $78 (13%) plus generous bonuses for Star order, and ordering inventory right after signing, and car credit, and maybe total unit quota order bonus.

    Now what happens when your friend-customer brings you another friend to be a customer? If she buys $50, you get $25.

    But, If your friend-recruit also recruits a friend, you get NOTHING on the granddaughter recruit’s purchase. You’re not a Director, so you don’t qualify. But your Director gets 13% plus bonuses.

    Then, when you get frustrated and quit because you can’t build a customer base, now that your former customer is now your competitor, guess what happens to your Director? Big generous things! Your friend-recruit moves up to being a first line recruit under your Director, meaning she now gets 26% of whatever additional your friend-recruit orders!

    The game is rigged. The only way to win is to refuse to play.

    1. MLM Radar

      Correction: on your friend-customer’s $50 purchase your Director only gets $3.25, not $6.50, because your Director’s 13% commission is on the “wholesale” price you paid.

      Your customer = $3.25 to Director.
      New recruit = $78+ bonuses to Director.

      Flip a coin. Heads she wins, tails you lose.

      1. MLM Radar

        Clarification: Your Director gets her commission when you buy inventory, not when you sell it. Her 13% cut on what you sell from your inventory was paid to her months ago. She only gets more commission if you have to place an order for something your customer wanted but you didn’t have on hand.

        And, of course, she gets paid every time you place an “activating” order or you let her push you into placing an order you don’t need to “help the team.”

        But just like you never get to drive “our” unit car, you don’t get any real benefit from S T R E T C H I N G to be Consultant of the Month either. (Hhiisssss. Don’t worry, you’ll sell it. Hhiissss.)

        Sure you will. You’ll sell it all – right back to the returns department.

  2. cbbgreat

    This is just another very good example of why MLMs are not real businesses, why no one makes money – the screwy ins-and-outs of who makes money when and the many exceptions to getting commission at which level. Thanks MLM Radar – I’ll take my steady job with a regular paycheck, insurances, paid vacation days, and freedom, over an MLM any day!

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