You Shouldn’t Recruit Your Warm Market

Written by DupedByPinkFriend

When a new consultant begins her Mary Kay journey, she is instructed to practice giving facials and skin care classes with her friends and family.  This sounds reasonable, and seems to make sense, as many women who join Mary Kay have no previous sales experience, have little knowledge about skin care or makeup application, and are a bit nervous about performing in front of a group of strangers.

Little Miss New Consultant is told to “fake it till you make it” and “you can be successful with the right amount of enthusiasm” and “your friends and family won’t mind if you make a mistake; that is the best way to learn”.  In practicing with her friends and family, there is already a sense of trust established.  This is her “warm market”.

It would seem that the new consultant’s recruiter obviously has her best interests at heart, understands her natural trepidation, and truly cares about her budding career in selling the products.  On the face of it, this is true, to an extent.  The recruiter needs her new consultant to experience immediate success, to maintain the level of excitement the new recruit experienced when she first signed up.

What is not so obvious is the fact that the recruiter knows that most women despise being “pushy”.  Women hate the thought of approaching strangers and asking to be allowed into their homes to hold a party, and also asking those women to divulge their friends’ contact information.   The term “cold market” refers to the people who are not known to the consultant.

Initially selling to her warm market gives a new consultant an unrealistic sense of success, reinforces the “Mary Kay sells itself! The products just fly off the shelves!” claim, and most importantly (for the time being), encourages the new consultant to order more products.  Selling to one’s warm market involves the “PPs”:  pressure purchases and pity purchases, and it is patently pathetic to do this to trusted friends and family.

It get worse, however.  Pretty soon,  Miss New Consultant begins to hear:  “Is there any reason why you can’t invite your mom/sister/friend to a meeting?”,  “Wouldn’t she love to be pampered and let us make a fuss over her?”,  “I just know she would love to do what we do!” and  “It’s selfish to not want to share the opportunity!”  If this advice is acted upon, trouble lies ahead because once the new consultant brings guests to a meeting or a “career event”, she relinquishes control over how the “opportunity” is presented to her dear ones. Ultimately,  the recruiter’s goal is to build a team in order to earn the “big girl paychecks” and needs to get *her* recruits to sign up as many women as they can.

In Mary Kay, the recruiting process includes telling half-truths, blatant lies, and avoiding answering questions.  It includes pressure tactics and manipulation.  Recruiters are expressly taught *not* to tell a prospect everything about a career in Mary Kay, because “too much information is overwhelming!”  Once she signs up, only then does a new recruit begin to hear about and experience the realities of the Mary Kay business.  Those realities include, but are not limited to, the fact that most areas are saturated with an abundance of consultants, that once she has gone through her warm market it becomes increasingly difficult to find new customers who are willing to give her the time of day, and that if she really wants to be successful in Mary Kay, *she* must also recruit.

Often Miss New Consultant has not yet learned the truth about the vast number of problems inherent in selling Mary Kay.  She was only presented with “the best opportunity for women” in glowing terms while the true facts were not disclosed.  But, sadly enough, she will learn in time, and so will her own recruits.

When her mother, sister and friends learn that they were not told the whole truth about this scheme, the natural trust will begin to dissipate.  In fact, when they realize that they were delivered into the hands of a cunning, conniving manipulator wearing a smile, those warm feelings will begin to run cold.  It is never worth risking the relationships with those who are held dear, for a chance at “success” in Mary Kay.


  1. Autumn

    It sounds like the insurance scam, you get your property and casualty license and/or you life insurance license and your trainer uses YOUR contact list to train you and once that’s been burned through you are declared trained and have to either start cold calling or get your own recruits to burn through their contact lists and so forth.

    1. MLM Radar

      That’s exactly how the Primerica MLM scam works.

      The goal of the Primerica recruiter is to get you to give them your contact list. That list will be used to “train” you, but you don’t collect a commission on any sales because you don’t have a license yet. If they time things properly, they will exhaust your contact list just before you finish your Primerica license training course and take the license exam.

      Primerica is very slick about getting that list: “You think you can’t succeed because you have nobody you can sell to, but you’re wrong! You know LOTS of people! Family, friends, co-workers, Facebook friends, schoolmates, neighbors, parents of your kids’ friends, beautician, church members, yada, yada, yada… Here, write down the names of everyone you can think of! I’ll help you get ahold of them, so you can start succeeding right away!”

      My former employer’s office was in the same building as the local Primerica office. I’d sometimes find a Primerica recruiter in the lunchroom persuading his next victim to hand him that list.

      At other times I’d find a Primerica recruiter working that list, fishing for new victims to come to a recruiting meeting: “Your friend thought I should call you and give you the good news about a fabulous business opportunity. We’re a nationally known company now recruiting in the area. Friend said you’re a strong person ready to take your career to the next level. I’d like to schedule you for an introductory meeting and interview. You’ll get all the company details at the meeting next week.”

      1. Mountaineer95

        Huh. I’d never heard of this. But it now explains a call I got back in 2012 when I was actively interviewing for jobs as I was moving back to my hometown. I had my resume on several sites, and have extensive sales and corporate recruiting experience. A guy called me wanting to set up a meeting about an insurance job opportunity. I started asking questions and he became audibly pissed off. Like, when I asked him for the name of his company…he didn’t even want to tell me that, and gave me some very generic name (like ABC America or similarly vague). I said “guy, you called ME, I never applied to your opportunity, don’t get pissed at me for asking basic questions” and hung up. Not sure if this Primerica existed in 2012, if not it might have been something similar.

        1. MLM Radar

          My first encounter with Primerica was around 1990. So yes, it’s quite like that call was from a Primerica scam artist.

          What you describe sounds exactly like a Primerica call. They avoid giving you any details that will allow you to do background research before the introductory meeting.

          The refusal to even name the company is a huge red flag. All legitimate employers expect you to learn as much about the company as possible before the first interview, so you can explain why you’re a good fit. They expect you to sell them on why they should hire you.

          Scam artist companies withhold details because they want you to purchase your position. Like Mary Kay, they intentionally avoid telling you key details. They don’t want to scare you off until you’ve handed them a lot of money.

  2. cindylu

    Trying to sell MK using a 1950’s style of door to door marketing is just sad. I was never comfortable schlepping those MK products around. I cringed as I pretended that doing a skin care class was somehow enjoyable. Every single aspect of MK was humiliating. To be told that everyone within three feet can somehow benefit from this scam is delusional. Some of my guests knew immediately that the whole thing was laughable. My voice of reason screamed that all those rags to riches stories were fake, fake fake. I trusted my recruiter and her DIQ. Once my classes failed, my open houses failed, I saw my SD constantly lying, saw my NSD as a cold hearted Narcissist and saw just how cult like seminar was, I finally realized this was fabricated. When I went to seminar and saw those gaudy dresses, sashes, crowns, the throne, pins, ladders etc. , it all just seemed forced. So glad I came out of this embarrassing pink fog, and total waste of time. If you are in MK and on this site believe us when we say to trust your instincts. The market is saturated and with the internet millions of women know this is a lost cause mlm.

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