Written by SuzyQ
If you’ve just joined Mary Kay, please start here. This will give you a bit of information on what to expect in Mary Kay, and how Pink Truth may fit into that.
Dear New Mary Kay Beauty Consultant
Welcome to the world of Mary Kay Cosmetics. I have been a consultant with Mary Kay for 9 years and a director for over 8 years. I was one of those consultants who moved up fast. There are some things I want to share with you that your director or recruit may not.
My guess is that your spouse, parent or significant other isn’t sharing your excitement about making your dreams come true with Mary Kay. Your director will tell you that this person doesn’t really understand how Mary Kay works and that this person (or people) doesn’t want you to get hurt. That this negative response is totally understandable, and you can have a little fun showing them that you can make money with this business.
The truth is that you can’t. By this time you are probably dreaming of being a Star consultant, having a full store and racing up the career path. (And that probably includes visions of driving a free car!!) You were told many things during your interview (marketing plan, Fun Fast Facts). For example:
1. We are looking for women who aren’t the “sales type”. You will be expected to sell cosmetics, and you will be expected to recruit. If those two activities don’t require selling, nothing requires selling. Selling is the heart of this business, no matter how anyone glosses over it.
2. We are looking for busy women. Busy women are good at delegating. This means that you will have to add at least one Mary Kay activity into your life each week. This can be in the form of a success meeting, a class, a facial or phone calls to book guests for meetings, customer orders, and appointments with you. In reality, you should plan on at least 5 hours per week. You are told you will have flexibility with your hours, that you are your own boss, that you are in business for yourself but not by yourself. There is flexibility, but if you don’t put the hours in, you will not make any money. Something has to give. There is no balance.
3. You have more month than money. This is when you are told that the products fly off the shelves and practically sell themselves. You are told that you will make 50% profit on every product you sell. You were reminded that you loved the product and bought some. So will all of your friends, family and customers. This is patently not true. You do not make a 50% profit, because some of your “profit” will be used to buy supplies, samples, mailing accessories. You will be encouraged to enroll in the Preferred Customer Program, buy business accessories including a website, to discount products or to give products away or heavily discount the products as a booking tool. You were probably told the worst thing that could happen is that you would get your products at 50% off for the rest of your life. Your 50% discount lasts only 3 months – the month you order and the next two months. You will be required to order at least $200 wholesale at the end of that 3 month period to earn you discount again. It will take a long time for you to show a profit if you ever do.
4. You don’t know anybody. You were told that this wouldn’t be a problem, and to reassure you that once your natural market is gone (your circle of friends and coworkers) you will develop real customers (women who will pay full price for their products). If you asked where these customers are, you were told this topic will be covered in your “free” training. The bottom line is that once you run out of family and friends, you will be turned loose on strangers and told to “give them a sincere compliment” in order to start a conversation, and hopefully talk them into holding a Mary Kay class. When you’re out of friends, you will haveto scrape and scrounge to find new people to (hopefully) buy products from you.
5. You will get free training. You will more than likely be asked to pay a weekly meeting fee to your director ranging from $2-$5 per week. You will also be encouraged to attend company and area events as part of your free training. Career Conference is in March and costs $75. This cost does not include travel, hotel, or meals. You will be told the free product we receive from the company will more than cover these costs. It will not come close. Seminar is in Dallas in July and August. You will be told the only reason to miss Seminar is that you are dead or dialating (about to give birth) You will be told that this is where you get the big picture of the huge dreams you can build and make come true with your Mary Kay business. The cost is $175. There will be additional costs that vary wildly for your area banquet, hotel, some meals, transportation, evening dresses and accessories, and other expenses. There is no “free” training. You will be told these are business expenses and can be deducted for tax purposes. Some are, some aren’t, you will not be told the difference.
6. We are looking for decision makers. This is said to empower you. We would prefer that your agreement be signed as soon as possible so that no one will talk you out of signing your agreement. If the deal is that good, it will still be good a week or month from now. There will be, or there was, extra pressure to have your agreement submitted to the company if you had your interview towards the end of the month, or before the 15th in March, June, September or December. This in when the quarter ends, and your recruiter will earn extra money and prizes and move up the career path if you sign before the quarter ends. Your director will earn a bonus if you come in before the end of the month.
7. We are looking for women who value their families. You will be told your children are your reason, not your excuse. You will learn that children are not welcome at 99% of Mary Kay events, and that if your child becomes sick, you will still be expected to attend events and meetings. Mary Kay comes before all family events, children’s birthdays included. You may, indeed, be physically present in your home, but more than likely you will be on the phone or packing for a class or a facial or a delivery. You will need to pay for a sitter, and they do not like to be paid with Mary Kay products. They want money to buy their own (non-Mary Kay) makeup.
Some random thoughts:
- Mary Kay does not know what you sell, only what you order. You – the consultant – are the end consumer in eyes of the comapnyh. Mary Kay is not and has not been #1 in skin care and color cosmetics for the last 13 out of 14 years. This statistic has been skewed in the surveys. Mary Kay sells ONLY to consultants, and THIS IS HOW THEY MAKE THEIR MONEY. THEY SELLTHE PRODUCT TO CONSULTANTS.
- The “Star Consultant” program is a way to help directors talk new recruits and other unit members into ordering more product. The prizes at the $1,800 level are really worth about $15 to $20, at the $2,400 level the prizes are worth about $25 to $30, and so on. Every additional $600 wholesale level adds about $5 to $10 in value to the prizes. The “value” that Mary Kay shows consultants is the retail value. The company actually purchases them for far less.
- The focus of success meetings is recruiting. Your director may even offer a prize when you bring a recruitable guest. You will see women receive recognition for “sales” and for “recruiting.” Your director might offer to help you earn your “Pearls of Sharing.” You may be asked to give her the names of 6 women you know who would be willing to do a “practice interview” for your training. Keep in mind your director’s goal is to recruit these women (for you) and you will lose these people as customers if they decide to join Mary Kay, too. Your friends become your competitors.
- Your director’s income is inflated. She tells you the largest commission check she’s ever gotten, and she does not deduct her expenses. The time she says she spends working in her business is inaccurate, she works more and earns less than she admits. She does not earn an executive income. If she has a “free” car, she may be making payments if her unit is small.
- Your director may offer a prize for placing a minimum order by the 15th of each month. This is to ensure that her production is at least at $1000 by then so she can get a commission check from your orders on the first of the month.
I wish I could tell you that Mary Kay will work for you. It is unlikely you will make any money. It is very likely you will be manipulated into ordering more than you sold at any given time. Mary Kay is NOT a dual marketing plan, it is a multi-level marketing company that makes money for those at the top of the pyramid on the backs of women just like you. You will not go up if you show up. You will eat into your limited profit margin. You cannot control the amount of money you make, or move up, give yourself a raise or promote yourself whenever you want. Your business is built on people and people cannot be counted on to come through for you.
Those negative people in your life are the ones who speak about reality. Your director and recruiter are lying to themselves and to you about this “opportunity.” They are not your friends and they do not have your best interests at heart. They are trying to earn some money from your belief in this dream. You need to protect yourself. Spend some time reading on www.PinkTruth.com. It is known as a negative site to those in Mary Kay. It is known as a lifeline for those of us who walked the path you are now on. Get out now, and get to know us on Pink Truth.
Another Mary Kay Sales Director