Culture & ManipulationOther MLMs

Who Says Mary Kay Isn’t Like Amway?

A few years ago, I would have been surprised to find out that Mary Kay was exactly like Amway in certain ways. I knew that they both use the multi-level marketing business models, so there were similarities, but I wouldn’t have expected exact duplicates in techniques.

Add to that the fact that Mary Kay consultants and directors go out of their way to say that the company is “not like Amway”. Sure it is. It is dependent upon an endless chain of recruiting, just like Amway. And so many of the techniques are the same.

Eric Scheibeler’s book, Merchants of Deception, details his involvement with Amway. And there are so many similarities between Amway and Mary Kay.

When I was in Mary Kay, I was taught to use the “feel, felt, found” method of overcoming objections. Naturally, objections to joining Mary Kay were simply requests for more information.

Apparently Amway uses the same methodology, although I don’t know who started it. From the book:

At the end of the meeting, Zack invited Kathy and I back up front to share about the future that we saw in The Business. Once again, we knew what to say from the “Getting Started” literature. Nothing was left to chance. The guidelines for speaking after the meeting were as follows:

A. After the presentation of the plan, the speaker will invite you, as the hosts, to briefly share what you like best about the opportunity and let everyone know what you expect to accomplish with YOUR BUSINESS.

B. It is important for the hosts to guide in keeping the conversation on the positive aspects of the business. Keep the questions on the positive side i.e.: “What did you like best?” “Looks real good, doesn’t it?” “Now you can see why I’m excited!” Objections are positive signs of interest. Here are three proven ways to handle them: Using the feel, felt, found method. “I know how you feel. I felt the same way, but this is what I found.”

That seemed simple enough. All we needed to do to succeed in our Amway businesses was learn the pattern and teach it.

Ah, yes. Recruiting from guest events. Overcoming objections. Getting them signed up while they’re excited. How I miss the days of recruiting Mary Kay consultants!

I also chuckled at the reference to being “excited.” I was often encouraged to say that I was “so excited” about a new product or a new promotion or a “challenge” from my director. I was also taught to say, “Can you get excited about XYZ…” when trying to recruit new beauty consultants.

Yes, MLM thrives off excitement and getting people hyped up to join, which is one reason why Mary Kay Inc. doesn’t want to see the FTC’s proposed Business Opportunity rule enacted. It would require a waiting period before recruits could sign up.

But Mary Kay isn’t like Amway. And the sky is green.

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