Facts, opinions, and the real story behind Mary Kay Cosmetics.

Gambling on Mary Kay: Never Give Up!

Written by Lazy Gardens

Just like the hook of gambling, Mary Kay wants you to keep trying again and again… hoping this will be the time you win big!

“Never give up, because you never know if the next try is going to be the one that works.” ~ Mary Kay Ash.

”You want the player to have the feeling, ‘I almost picked that one; I’ll get it next time.”’ ~ Randy Mead, slot machine designer.

“If that tenth person says yes, you can’t wait to make that next call to talk to somebody else! That’s how success inspires you.” ~ Mary Kay

“You can see it on their faces every time. They feel they came soooo close. They’re ready to try it again, because next time they’re going to get it.” ~ Anthony Baerlocher, slot machine designer.

Slot machines and NSDs both rely on a powerful human feedback mechanism, something behavioral scientists call ”intermittent reward” to keep the money rolling in.

The proverbial lab rat, pushing levers for its food and water, will push levers a lot less if it is rewarded every time. If the reward comes every time, it will only push levers enough to satisfy its thirst and hunger. If you want to see a lot of lever pushing, reward the rat only part of the time.

After an initial training period, where lever-pushing is always rewarded, you can switch to intermittent rewards and get lots of activity from your rats for very little reward. As a paper about the changes in rat brain chemistry that happens in an action/reward program said, “It’s about anticipating the reward. It’s about mastery and expectation and confidence. And the rat is thinking positively, “I know what that light means; I know the rules: if I press the lever, then I’m going to get some food. Hey, I’m all over this. This is going to be great.” And a surge of dopamine – a bran chemical that produces pleasure – is released by the rat’s brain just before it pushes the lever.

Expecting success becomes what triggers the biochemical rush of dopamine, not the actual success. Hence the intense focus on various ways to heighten expectations in Mary Kay to keep the lever-pushing IBCs from losing interest. Positive affirmations, seminar glitz, motivational tapes and CDs, posters, charts and stars, even the trashy tiaras all work to keep the dopamine flowing whenever the thought of Mary Kay crosses the consultant’s mind.

NOTE: The intermittent reward method is not the problem, it’s the outcome of it when applied by unscrupulous people. The same methods can be used to keep a police dog working, a surgery patient on an exercise program, or a toddler on the track to potty training. The key in Mary Kay is exploiting this method for all the wholesale orders in the world.

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