Hostess Savvy Discernment

Remember how difficult it is to get women to book Mary Kay classes? And if you get tem to book something, how often do they cancel? How often do they not have anyone else show up? How many times has your “big class” turned into an itty-bitty facial? Well you didn’t know it, but it’s all your fault. You don’t have what one Kaybot calls “hostess savvy discernment.” It means the ability to pick the woman who will go along with the plan when it comes to everything Mary Kay.

Now of course, you and I know this is total crap. It’s next to impossible to get women to book and hold classes. Try to be choosy? You’ll find yourself with even less on the books. Just try to get a couple of classes to hold each and every week this year, and you’ll see what I mean.  (The truth is that if you want to hold 3 classes per week, you’ll have to book 6 to 8. Who can book that many?) Then try to be more selective with your hostesses and you might as well shut your doors.

Hello you awesome women!

Have you experienced the hostess who notoriously books then cancels parties? How about the one who practically chases you down twice a year asking if she can host a pampering party, a mom/daughter party, a holiday glamour party…? Do you sometimes wonder if you’d have different results with your bookings if you had a different hostess program or better coaching skills??

Okay – here’s some news I think will be reassuring and helpful to your business. Successful parties have as much to do with HER than with YOU – and that means that you’ll have better results if you simply learn to identify and go with the flow of the different types of hostess prospects. You see, I’ve observed that most consultants believe that if they’re persistent enough and skilled enough, EVERY woman should host a skin care party. However, I think this is wrong and I think that believing it’s true leads to lots of frustrating results in the form of canceled or perpetually rescheduled parties AND hostess prospects who creatively avoid the beauty consultant.

My experience leads me to the analysis that there are THREE distinct types of women when it comes to “hostess prospects”. Figure it out, be smart about who to work with and your success and satisfaction will increase WHILE your frustration and time wasting decrease! So here we go.

Hostess prospect #1 – THE HOSTESS-PRO. This woman LOVES to hostess. She loves to invite. She loves to spend time with people she cares about. She loves group fun. She has parties and gatherings ALL over the place – from Sunday school friends to girl’s night with the co-workers to playgroup with the moms and toddlers in her neighborhood. When she invites, people come – they’re used to having a good time when she’s in charge.

Make the effort to identify these women in your customer base as well as every other aspect of your life (church, school, neighborhood, wherever!) Be a listener. Be an observer. You will EASILY find out who these women are because they talk about their social network and all the parties and gatherings they’re in on!

ANOTHER woman who fits into this category is the extended-family gal. She’s got LOADS of female relatives living nearby and they get together all the time to do fun things. SEEK THESE WOMEN OUT and book a Mary Kay party with them! They will joyfully hostess a party regardless of your hostess program – they love it all! They happily invite LOTS of women, they invite RIGHT away, they can get a table-full of women together easily and they just don’t cancel unless a true tragedy strikes (and I’ve had hostess-pros hold their class as scheduled EVEN on top of horrible news, a personal trauma or a family illness!).

Additionally – hostess-pros KNOW OTHER hostess-pros. It is VERY likely that you will meet 1 or 2 NEW hostess-pro customers at a hostess-pro’s party. Thus, your bookings AND holdings stay reliable and consistent. These women are in your community – they always exist regardless of the times, the trends, the products OR the skill of the consultant! Open your eyes to identify them and the health and vitality of your business will benefit greatly.

Hostess prospect #2 – THE HOSTESS-NO. Okay ladies. This is where we need to have a “wake up and smell the coffee” moment! This woman does not want to hostess ANYTHING. She doesn’t really care what she’d get free, she isn’t extremely motivated to help you meet a goal, she just doesn’t want or enjoy the effort OR the results of hosting gatherings of any type for any reason.

Now here’s the thing with the hostess-no. She can be a nice woman – and because she’s nice, she doesn’t always say “no” with words. She says “no” by booking – reluctantly – then canceling, by booking then failing to invite anyone, by saying she’ll book then not answering the phone when you call to set the date, yada-yada. You know her, right?! The problem is, MANY consultants are running their business on the false hopes created by the hostess-no being “nice”. Don’t do it any more. It wastes your time. The “no” will generally shine through in the end. It makes you feel like a failure and leads to frustration and discouragement – and it’s not even about you!

ADDITIONALLY, IT SCARES OFF WOMEN WHO WOULD OTHERWISE BE WONDERFUL, LOYAL CUSTOMERS. They get tired of creatively avoiding your booking attempts and will typically seek out a consultant who will “leave me alone”. SOMETIMES they’ll be straightforward and just tell you they aren’t willing to be a hostess, but more likely they’ll be “nice” till they can’t stand it anymore and – if you’re not getting the hint – they’ll ditch you. I will grant that the hostess-no is not as easy to I.D. as is the hostess-pro. AND, it’s not always an instant read regarding whether she’s a hostess-no or a (next category) hostess-go!

The deal is, once you’ve seen a couple symptoms that she’s probably a hostess-no, release her! Let her know your primary goal is to be a magnificent beauty consultant to her for as long as you both shall live and that you ARE excited to do parties, etc. if and when she is inclined in that direction! I have had hostess-no women whom I graciously released from the hostess-booking-cycle and that freed them up to become fantastic customers and, sometimes years later, THEY approached ME about a mom-daughter party or a glamour night with sisters or a best friend.

Hostess prospect #3 – the HOSTESS-GO! Here’s where it all matters – your skill, your knowledge, your follow-through, your hostess program, your excitement, your professionalism – it’s in your hands. This woman may be hesitant, but she’s open. She may not want or be able to get 15 women together for a collection preview (the hostess-pro can!), but she’s willing and confident that she can get her sister, her sister-in-law and her 20 year old niece together.

Unlike the hostess-pro (who would reliably host a party even if the consultant was unprofessional, unskilled and uncommitted!), the hostess-go relies on YOU to give her a sense of direction and a sense of confidence – and that comes from your skill and your comfort at doing what you do because you do it a lot and as we all know, practice makes PROFESSIONAL!

She is enticed by hostess rewards and/or FREE products – as long as you have a hostess offering that YOU are jazzed about, SHE will get jazzed about it too! Your coaching and professionalism will be key factors in her party booking, holding AND providing great sales and future bookings. THIS is the hostess prospect that all your training is focused toward.

Now, If I had to break it down, I’d say that about 10% of your hostess prospects are hostess-pro, about 40% are hostess-no and about 40% are hostess-go. If you look at that, you’ll see that a total of 50% are good hostess prospects. That’s PLENTY of prospects to keep your datebook full! THE PROBLEM ARISES WHEN THE 40% WHO ARE HOSTESS-NO ARE THE ONES YOU’RE BOOKING, CHASING, RE-BOOKING AND TRYING AND TRYING AND TRYING TO GET AHOLD OF.

Hostess-no on the books makes you feel like you’ve got bookings – but you don’t. If you have a business based on the promises, the scheduled and rescheduled AND the cancelled parties of the hostess-no gang, you FEEL booked-up, you FEEL set-up and you don’t think you need to seek out other hostess prospects. Let go of the hostess-no, BOOK the hostess-pro (for her 3rd party this year! She’ll love it!) and seek out the 40% who are hostess-go.

One positive about this document: at least this Kaybot says that no means no with the hostess and tells you to stop pestering her. I’ve always heard Kaybots say that no means “not right now” for everyone and you should continue to “layer” them with Mary Kay information. Yuck.


  1. enorth

    “She is enticed by hostess rewards and/or FREE products”

    In other words, the consultant has to give away free products and discounts (bribe them) to hold a party. And she’ll have to keep bringing that up in front of the guests so she can bribe them into having parties, too! (Full circle, right?)

    At that rate, instead of hearing cha-CHING, the consultant will hear a muffled clink-clink.

  2. MLM Radar

    I’d say that about 10% of your hostess prospects are hostess-pro, about 40% are hostess-no and about 40% are hostess-go.

    More MK math. 10+40+40 = 90. Oops.

    Even so, like all the other MK slogans about converting contacts to sales, these numbers are also wildly exaggerated. When you add in all the people who won’t answer the phone, then your percentages are a LOT lower than 10-40-40.

    1. JanRD

      I noticed the fuzzy math as well. Thanks to caller ID and number blocking, many of those calls don’t get a response. And consultants who use the scripted five voice mails can probably count on getting that number blocked.

    1. Changeyourthinking

      Shay, the point is that MK consultants are constantly giving away their profit. After hostess credit, gifts with purchase, giveaways, discounts, sales aids, demos, etc., she isn’t left with much (if she can get the faces and parties in the first place). The rest of her money goes to gas, babysitters, meeting dues, fall retreat, career conference, and seminar. And product she will buy to meet a goal or because it’s limited edition/holidays/ whatever. Thus, in order to make money- the MK consultant MUST recruit. And repeat the cycle. And this makes it a pyramid scheme.

      1. MLM Radar

        In a real business there’s a budget for promotional items, which are bought in volume at a discount. The company pays for the promotional items.

        In MK and every other MLM the consultant pays for E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. You’re told to give away full size products as BOGO, which means you make $0.00 on the sale. And your Director, with $10k and more in expiring products filling her closets won’t give you a single mascara to use for a promotion, because that’s one less purchase by you and one less commission for her.

        For the consultants, MK isn’t a real business. It’s a twisted parody of a business, and real business rules don’t work.

  3. Emmy

    Just because somebody may like to hostess does not mean she will want to subject her friends to sit through a stranger giving them a sales pitch or pressuring them to host their own party.

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