Inventory & Selling

104 Ways to Humiliate Yourself in Mary Kay

This is what masquerades as “training” in Mary Kay. Unfortunately no amount of clever (or in this case, not-so-clever) ideas will get women to book and hold Mary Kay skin care classes with you. Sure, these are ways to run into more women, but they’re mostly silly and insincere. They create excuses for you to talk to women who are unlikely to want to participate.

104 BOOKING IDEAS by Deanna Spillman

Okay…here is your solution for any booking problem you may have. Booking really is an attitude. If you think you can – you can. If you think you can’t – you won’t.

Booking Approaches:
1. Friends, relatives, neighbors, people you work with, people you once worked with, former classmates, people from your husband’s job or organizations, recreation contacts – this is a way to get started. Use Booking Dialogue “How to Book Your 1st Eight Classes.”
2. Promotion – Dialogue “How to Book Your 1st Eight Classes.” Change to say you are getting a promotion to Star Consultant, Star Recruiter, Team Leader, etc. Use with family, friends, former hostess, etc.
3. Portfolio – One of the most successful ways to book appointments. All women love to be a model.
4. Second Facials – to everyone who buys the basic set.
5. To Win – for those customers who couldn’t afford the entire product they wanted.
6. Selective Approach – people you just like.
7. Hostess Contest – Rebook hostess – having a contest and just thought about you.
8. Tentative Date Approach – use when a hostess is unsure of the date.
9. Facial Boxes – put in businesses, doctor’s office, restaurants, florist, cleaners, dress shops, etc.
10. People in your neighborhood or apartment complexes. Send a flier or use the Introduce Yourself Letter from the Company.
11. Telephone Book – use a survey.
12. Welcome Wagon, New Comers to church or neighborhood.
13. Beauty Books – Leave everywhere – Doctor’s/Dentist’s offices, beauty shops, laundry mats, store bulletin boards, reception areas, large buildings’ bathrooms, mall bathrooms, restaurants, etc.
14. Warm Chatter – Use a survey or portfolio booking approach.
15. Book to look – have basket in center of table and when they book, they get to draw for an extra hostess gift.
17. Glamour Classes – invite preferred customers to your home where they can learn a new glamour look. Great to do when we have new glamour items in the fall and spring.
18. People who have postponed or canceled.
19. Mother’s Day Class – all of your customers for a Mother’s Day Gift from you.
20. Birthday Class – all of your customers who have a birthday in the same month.
21. Clubs, Organizations, Drill Teams, Cosmetology Classes, Home Economics Classes, Physical Education Classes – offer to do a special talk, do two models, get names of everyone attending and follow-up for individual consultations.
22. 1/2 Price Sale – for anyone who didn’t buy the basic set. Call and offer basic set at half price if they share a facial with three ladies you haven’t facialed.
23. Offer a special gift for having 6 people at a skin care class.
24. Mini Class – use these words when someone says they don’t want to invite friends over for a skin care class. Have them only invite 2 friends for a mini class.
25. Business Cards – spray with cologne and insert when mailing a bill, making a bank deposit, giving a check, paying with cash or a credit card.
26. Wear Mary Kay Pin Upside Down – people will tell you that it is upside down. Thank them for telling you and offer to give them a free facial for being so nice.
27. Give your hostess an extra special gift if she has three bookings before you arrive to do her class.
28. Wedding Parties – look in the local newspaper and call the brides from engagement announcements and offer to do their wedding party.
29. New Mothers – look in the local newspaper and call the new mothers and offer to do a free makeover.
30. Contact Bridal Shoppes, Photography Studios, Catering Services – offer to be a part of their wedding or advertising package.
31. Fun Packages – make up packages of product or use a beauty book and have special customers sell a certain product for you. Example: sell 6 lip-glosses – get one free. This approach is great for teenagers.
32. Surveys – everyone loves to give their opinion. Do in the mall, use your neighborhood directory, church directory, or go to the library and use the Criss-Cross Directory that has a list of all the people living on each street in the city.
33. Nail Care, Boutique, or Gift Classes – have special classes with your customers or your potential customers where you just show nail care, body care, hair care, or fragrance items.
34. Free Basic – give a free basic to a customer if she will have three classes within a two-week period with four fresh faces at each class.
35. Booking Game – use at classes. While the masque is drying have them write down the names of their friends and phone numbers for referrals for booking. Give a small prize for the most names. Example: an eyebrow brush.
36. Penny Booking Idea – use at classes. Put a penny on each tray. When the customer asks about the penny explain that when they start with at least the basic set they can use their penny to purchase one item when they share their second facial with three friends.
37. Promotions or Transfers – watch newspaper for ladies who receive a promotion or transfer. Call them and congratulate them. Offer them a free facial.
38. Teachers of Your Children – Don’t forget to do something nice for them.
39. Chamber of Commerce – most cities have a book you can buy with a list of all clubs and organizations. Follow up by calling the program or social chairman requesting the opportunity to teach skin care at one of their meetings or coffees. Tell them there will be no sales that day.
40. Ministers – these people know women who may need some help with self esteem and also who may need to work.
41. Men’s Wives and Girlfriends – think of the men you come in contact with each day – insurance men, repairmen, husband’s friends, postman, UPS man, etc. also men with whom you work. They all have wives or female friends. Don’t forget them.
42. While vacationing – remember we have no territories. Always take your case and mirrors with you on trips. You can get lots of business and recruits. It is relaxing, fun and deductible.
43. Nursing Homes – these people need attention and can become your best customers. They will love it.
44. Business, Modeling, or Beauty Schools – wonderful source for skin care and glamour presentation.
45. Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Employees – contact the manager. They love for their employees to look their best.
46. Conventions – ever think about what the wives have to do at conventions? Find out who the manger is of the hotel for these events and you can often have a room to give facials to the ladies.
47. Referrals – always ask for referrals from each person you come into contact with. Make this a habit.
48. Fashion Shows – offer to do the models or set up a booth and offer a drawing.
49. Miss Teen Contest, pageants, etc. – offer to do a model or set up a booth and offer a drawing.
50. Drama and Theater Groups – these people must have makeup. 51. Tupperware, Home Interior Sales People – they like to look their best and may share their names.
52. Preprofiled Guest List – any guest you have preprofiled that was unable to attend a class.
53. Sample Booking – staple samples to your business cards. When you meet someone you would like to book – tell her you’re doing a “customer acceptance survey” and would they test your product for 24 hours. Then call them back and ask how they liked the product and ask for her opinion of our skin care and book her a skin care consultation.
54. Halloween Booking – give out a small facial certificate to all the children offering their mother a free facial.
55. Ads – place small company-approved ad in your church, subdivision, or local newspapers. (Check with your Director for approved advertising).
56. Bookstore Booking – call bookstore and offer to do a promotion on Mary Kay’s books by setting up a table and displaying their books.
57. Beauty Salons – call and offer to do facials on their customers.
58. Reorder Bookings – offer customer a chance to win their reorder free by booking a class.
59. Fundraising Groups – Women’s Clubs, Churches, etc. – offer a percentage of sales for their great project. Example: let them sell lip-gloss, sunscreen, etc. and give them 25% to 30% of everything they sell.
60. Photo Mat Sales People – drive up and look at photo albums for your portfolios. Tell them what it is for. Offer before and after makeover for her.
61. Telephone Solicitors – listen to her sales presentations, decline politely, tell her you are in a contest to give away free makeovers to the next 10 women you talk with and she is a lucky winner.
62. Anyone who sells you something – your way of thanking them for being so nice.
63. Booths – you can set up booths at arts and craft festivals, bridal shows, or any place you can display your product. Remember you are not allowed to sell from a booth. Only take booking leads.
64. $ In Product Credit/Customers
65. Sororities and Frats – Contact College Sororities and Frats
66. Graduates – Schools, Back to School
67. Lip on Card – See Sheet on Demo Lip color On Your Business Card
68. Portfolio – Before/After Pictures
69. Hot Lip Parties – Model Class At Meeting
70. Glamour Shops – Introduce New Spring/Fall Colors
71. Scavenger Hunt
72. Farm System
73. Silent Shows – Fun Packets
74. Preferred Hostesses – 20 Customers, 3 Shows/Yr., Priority Seating, 50% Off Fragrances
75. Facial Thru Mail – Send Foil Samplers with Beauty Book to try for several days, then call back!
76. Mother/Daughter – Mother/Daughter Before and After Pictures
77. Holiday Glamour – Using Special Holiday looks
78. Nails – 85% Use It – Nail Care Class
79. Monday Night Model – Earrings as gift from Director
80. Season’s Best – 1 Product Highlighted.
81. Gift Certificates for Makeover/Holidays.
82. Color logic – Using Colorselect to book second facials.
83. Pool Party – summer looks around a child’s pool.
84. Cards with Husbands – Tips – When husband goes out for lunch; he leaves your business card with his tip.
85. Gift Giving Service – Executive Shopping Letter.
86. Open House – Send out invitations, make appointments.
87. College Dorms and High Schools – business clubs, DECA.
88. Country Clubs – Program for Women’s Club that meet there, or program for the women are members.
89. Anniversaries – Offer to do makeover before dinner.
90. Sun Care Shows – skin wellness program with slides and commentary.
91. Cold Weather Shows – Time to reprofile for winter.
92. Day Care Centers
93. Lunchtime Facials
94. Paper Clip on Profile – 6 Months – Facial, Nail Care, Body Care, Foot Clinic, New Colors
95. Take Hand Facial – Satin Hands
96. Model of the Month – Before and after pictures taken with own camera. At end of month, one is chosen and receives a gift.
97. Fragrance Clinic – Show the layering of fragrances.
98. Brush Clinic – how to use brushes.
99. Inside Beauty – Pick one look out of book and promote for a month.
100. Eye Clinic – Do eye looks on half of face only.
101. Glamour Clinic – for women who wear glasses.
102. Oily Skin Clinic – Teach “How To” for oily skin customers, skin supplements.
103. Dry Skin Clinic – Teach “How To” for dry skin customers, skin supplements.


  1. Oh my goodness!

    I always felt a bit uncomfortable when I was in Mary Kay to use almost all of the suggestions that SD/NSD gave to book classes, get guests to events, recruiting interviews, etc…

    The one that particularly sticks in my mind (that I NEVER used) was to warm stock women and tell them that “I had been given a challenge by my SD to …….” This always seemed so childish and unprofessional. I don’t even think kids selling stuff from their schools use a BS line like that.

    Ugh, I still can’t believe I ever signed up to do Mary Kay. It’s “training” tips like this that brings the embarrassment to the forefront.

  2. 61. Telephone Solicitors – listen to her sales presentations, decline politely, tell her you are in a contest to give away free makeovers to the next 10 women you talk with and she is a lucky winner. <—– OH COME ON!! That is so incredibly pathetic.

  3. So, in summary:
    Stalk people who made a pity purchase.
    Stalk people who refused to make a pity purchase.
    Offer to give stuff away.
    Leave Look books and samples lying around.
    Try to use legitimate business as a place to promote your “business.”
    Pretend you can train people at fake clinics when you have zero training in what you’re teaching.
    Invent fake contests and promotions.
    Keep lying.

    • Yup! And yup! How many ways can you lie creatively? None of those ideas really work. They look better on paper then in practice.

  4. “New Mothers – look in the local newspaper and call the new mothers and offer to do a free makeover” – YIKES that is creepy. Cold calling people?! Who thinks that’s ok?!?!

  5. Now I’d like to know how anyone thinks you are not working 24/7…way over the “executive pay for part hours” claim, just to employ this list?

    When we say you are never “off” in Mary Kay, particularly at the upper levels, we need only provide this list… welcome to your stalking the world life.

  6. No kidding I tried them all. I thought I could. I got names, but most were fake, got bookings but most rescheduled, got the rescheduled but then they cancelled.
    Repeated cycle and I’d get one booking that held, purchased, which kept me going in the cycle.
    False hope is very powerful, I wanted it to work. I was so wrong.
    Twenty seven years going in the wrong direction. Whew.

    The primary purpose for all the 104 ideas is for the Sales Director, who is really the customer in MK, to generated HER product purchases as large as she can, even to the point of deceptively using others, just like the MKCC is using her, so she will only have to make her required purchase to receive her pittance commission and keep her faux customer title!

    I said all that in one pissed off thought. 🙂

    Isn’t it sad MKC has to corral deceiving their customers to stay active in order to buy their products? No, not at all, it’s designed into the scam. It’s working perfectly for the Multi Level Company.

    They make so much money they designed a commission scale to give to their BEST customers, very much like a Gift With Purchase, so they can write it off.

    The free leased cars MKCs promote to “win” with insurance paid are write off. Even with the lease write offs for the company, when a SD’s production is not earned, she is still required to make the 500. to 900. dollar car payment that they have already used as a write off. Their lease payment is small because they lease the cars in bulk. So it is to MKC advantage when a SD doesn’t make production, multiply that by all the productions missed. When the car is picked up, it is considered a loss!

    MKC designs so many product changes, product sample packages, Gift With Purchase trinkets, new Look Book mailings, new samples, new style kits, change in compacts to make money by selling all the above to their customers, who are made to feel obligated to purchase.

    MKC writes off all the above expenses they designed in order to have expenses to write off. They make so much money but using so many wonderful innocent women.
    The Direct Selling Association and IRS abuse so many Americans.

  7. Ugh, FLASHBACKS!!! I cringe when I think about how much time I poured into so many of these booking approaches.

    Lurkers, isn’t it obvious that MK is not a viable business model when you have to dream up 104 ways to twist someone’s arm to try your product?

    And as an aside, can anyone explain #72 – Farm System?

    • No clue about “farm system”.

      I live on a farm and can only cringe at the way MK would want to specifically target me!

      Maybe a spa treatment for my horses?? Yikes

    • Googling “farm system” got me this:

      and this:

      Now, the manure seems to fit in nicely with the whole MK plan. :p

      However, the Farm Team seems a little more likely to be what Ms. Spillman was talking about, but it seems to be missing some details. I’m guessing that either you’re supposed to cold call all the wives of the local farm team, or it’s a generalized version of #31 and #59, where you’re creating your own team of very unofficial beauty consultants.

    • I think it means you plant free samples all around you, then follow up to try to harvest sales and recruits.

    • UGH, Flashbacks is right!! I was recruited after my son was born via number 29. :/ UGH. So, so embarrassing. I thank my lucky stars that I’m OUT and regret so much all the wasted time and effort.

  8. Oh God, this is the stuff that gave me nightmares… None of this ever works. They forget to tell you that part. I was cruising facebook the other day, and one of my former bff’s, a director, was advertising for a “Christian” office assistant. As opposed to heathen? Jewish?

    • Does that woman not realize she’s violating federal and state laws by specifying religion for her employees.

      Only churches can do that.

  9. Some of these are really shady. I thought they weren’t allowed to actually apply the makeup to people – so how are they going to do a wedding party or some poor model at a fashion show?

    Also, what the heck does #72 (Farm System) mean?

  10. i never have and never will do parties. People know that I will do it if THEY ask (example: a friend who considered it for her teen’s birthday party). I don’t chase after people. I offer one-one-one but that’s only if they make the first move.

  11. #43 (Nursing homes) makes me so angry. My grandpa got targeted by a lot of faux charities when he was in a home and when he passed away we realized how many people were taking his money. I can’t picture being so bent on selling some lipstick that I’d prey on a senior citizen, particularly those who might not have all their mental capacities.

    • My first thought was women going into a nursing home, finding lonely old women who don’t have enough visitors, and leaching onto her, giving her attention, admiration and a feeling of being loved and cared for….But only as long as she keeps forking over what little money she has. Makes me sick. People in nursing homes are often lonely and don’t get company….don’t take advantage of them, making them think you actually want to be their friend. 🙁

  12. Let’s say MK rep wanted to carry all these ideas to try to sell product. Work 70hrs per week for 1 year, you could only spend 32 hrs on each topic.

    These are by suggestion and not cultivated from a sales perspective. Too much all over the place with no substance. A viable sales organization would not have 104 “potential ways” to make a sale.

    This vast list implies an instability (in sales) over time (the long haul). Counters the inertia that a MK rep is trying to overcome to be successful at sales is pushed at a very quick pace, this list is actually working against that quick pace re gaining customers. A kaybot would welcome all the wonderful tips the more the better!

    Whether intended or not this list is manipulation, to keep ordering to keep striving for sales.
    That is why recruiting and being a director is so much easier…….eye roll.

  13. Manipulation seems to be part of this mlm company’s philosophy from the beginning. Praise women to success (for every little thing they do) with silly pins, cheap prizes, ribbons, rides in the pink cadillac and getting to sit in a special area. False praise to potential customers or recruits. Using fake flattery is the norm to ensure either the consultant, director or potential recruit continue to buy product for this company. It is all about profit for corp. We are numbers to be used. So the 104 ways to make sales or recruits haven’t worked in 35 years or more. Women resent being used by mlm’s for profit. Women now have the internet to determine if MK is worth bugging their friends for a silly skin care class or attending a fake guest event. Women are just too busy to waste time and money just to get a few over priced MK products. The no soliciting in malls is there for a reason. Too many mlm’s including MK have been warm stocking women for decades. I always dreaded warm stocking. When I did find interested women, they were instinctively doubtful of my SD and the other lying directors. Their 6th sense warned them against the silly rah rah guest nights, the skin care class and the phoney promise of executive income. I sensed early on that MK had a tremendous potential for evil. Little by little I was let down: no free training, the MK story wasn’t real, products were near impossible to sell, no one was interested in joining MK or selling cosmetics. The 104 ideas are ridiculous and haven’t worked since the 1970’s when there were stay at home women.

  14. 44. Business, Modeling, or Beauty Schools. I am sure that is exactly what a beauty school wants. A Mary Kay lady teaching their students skin care and glamour.

    • I can’t figure out what interest a business school would have with MK? Beauty or modeling school at least have a weak connection but business school makes no sense.

      It’s almost like whoever came up with that list had no idea what they were talking about.

  15. I can’t imagine any business, beauty salon, etc. would want an unlicensed person doing “skincare” on their premises. Also, I agree that the nursing home idea is absolutely deplorable.

    I also love the business card in a bill. That is almost completely automated anymore. If you you even still mail your bills? Hello online payments.

    I think too, how funny that you can’t even sell product from a booth? This company sets you up to fail miserably!!! At least if you wasted time at a bridal show bothering the attendees you would get a couple of impulse/pity purchases. lol

    • Back in the day, I actually volunteered at a nursing home doing makeovers for the women there. They had a photographer doing glamour shots, and the recreational aides there brought in fancy hats, scarves, jewelry, etc. It was a BLAST, and I applied the makeup for the women (MK be damned).

      I never, ever asked the women to buy anything, and if they had, I wouldn’t have sold it to them. It was strictly for the joy of seeing how beautiful they felt when they were all dolled up and a photographer was fussing over them. It honestly brought tears to my eyes.

      The nursing home posted the pictures of these women in the lobby, and apparently the male residents there LOVED it!

  16. By handing over the list to impressionable new recruits, the SD is handing over the illusion that there is a VAST untapped demand for product and that the newbie now has the key.

    The reality is … too many recruits all scrambling over the same ideas, exhausting the leads AND the patience of the people they are trying to sell to.

    Ask ANY nursing home manager how many times a week they get a call from someone wanting to ____ for their residents. Unless it’s “drop off some large print books” or “play piano an hour a day” they have heard it ALL and don’t want to keep hearing it.

  17. These are all pretty awful, but my eyes bugged out at these:

    40. Ministers – these people know women who may need some help with self esteem and also who may need to work.

    43. Nursing Homes – these people need attention and can become your best customers. They will love it.

    84. Cards with Husbands – Tips – When husband goes out for lunch; he leaves your business card with his tip.

  18. The sickest one was to prey on lonely old woman stuck in nursing homes. “They need attention and will become your best customers, they will love it.”

    Here’s an idea. If you care about lonely old women in nursing homes, don’t become their fake friend who just takes their money. How about actually just visiting nursing homes with no angle for yourself?
    If you want to do the Golden Rule and all that jazz, why not start a little group that visits nursing homes to provide entertainment and companionship?

    The worst part of all is knowing that when these little old ladies buy from you, they’re really just doing it because they’re lonely and want you to keep coming bad to spend time with them. How low can you get??

    The other one that stuck out as being smarmy was to talk to pastors to see if they can help you locate women who don’t have self esteem, or who are broke, so you can “help” them.

    The telephone solicitor one was just laugh out loud funny. Who is going to listen patiently to a telemarketer and then say mmmhmm, I won’t be buying your product but thanks for calling, by the way, even though I’m just talking to you over the phone, I can already tell that you have beautiful skin, Would you like to come over and meet me? OMG!!! Is this for real??

    I think it’s funny they said to go to a beauty pageant….I used to compete in beauty pageants…I’m not saying pageant girls won’t use mary kay but I will say that most young women think of Mary Kay as “old lady stuff”. Like for grandmothers.

    And teachers, remember you’re doing something nice for them. I’m in school to become a teacher and if a child brought me his moms makeup products and a business card or a “certificate” that I “won” something…well, I would ignore ignore ignore. I mean I would send a thank you note home with the child, since the products were given to me and it would be rude not to thank the child.. but I would NOT do or say anything about purchasing products, I would ignore the business appeal for the parent. I would find it awkward, really.

    Welcome wagon approach seems icky to me, too. Someone is new at your church, and your first contact with them is to try to sell to them. Actually, you give them free products as a “welcome to the church” gift, but, along with that comes your sales pitch and constant hounding. I know I’d feel very welcome if I joined a church and immediately was marked as a customer. :/

    I know my comment is super long, sorry…I’m new to this site and find it fascinating. Ok one more thing- one piece of advice says to leave the beauty book “everywhere” (even bathroom stalls). So, do the consultants have to buy these beauty books? I’m wondering if there aren’t really many sales resulting from the beauty books but they have to keep buying them to leave “everywhere”.

  19. I know I’m a little late on this one, but as someone who’s worn glasses since I was eleven I found it absolutely hilarious that there’s an entire special approach for women who wear glasses… and it’s coming in at number 101. Oh, wait, some women wear glasses, damn (and apparently they don’t also have friends, go to work or the shops, attend church, take holidays, or get married). Um, maybe it’s just me, but I’d like to think I already know how to apply make-up what takes the fact I wear glasses into account, even if I have only been doing it for 22 years.

    • Oh god. I completely missed that one and had to go back and read it again. For real? Women who wear glasses???

      Uh, I’ve only needed glasses most of my life; I’m pretty sure I’ve got basic life skills while wearing them down.

      Oh this list makes me curl up a little away from it. Yuck! And didn’t we have to buy packages of look books?

  20. Can we talk about how utterly offensive #46 is? What do wives do at conventions? Um…are we still pretending women don’t have jobs or what.

    Golly! I would be so grateful to have someone pretty me up for my dear husband while he’s out doing important business-y business stuff all day and I’m just sitting in my hotel room alone pining for him to return. Someday, maybe I will be beautiful enough to get a lady job of my own – like a typist or a telephone operator. *sigh* dreams can come true.

  21. I’m just wondering where the person is getting all these phone numbers from (for the brides announcing their engagement in newspapers – do people still read newspapers? or from new moms), since so many people no longer have land lines and just have cell phones.

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