Another Former Sales Director Telling the Truth About Mary Kay

Written by Nutmeg

I was recruited by a friend (who quit immediately after ordering her $1800 and never selling any of it). My director (who is a national) had me order full inventory. I have a very large network of friends and happened to be really good at selling the products. I actually paid off my inventory and started making a profit after 4 months. I was prompted to become a director.

I finished DIQ in 2 months. Of course my last 6 consultants to finish DIQ were fake (whose weren’t?) Friends let me use their names and I found customers to buy $400 for $200 to account for the inventory. I was SO happy! I had made it into the big girl’s club. I was going to start seeing HUGE commission checks!! I had a unit of women who were going to work really hard, sell lots of inventory… etc. The director in my area that I graduated DIQ with lost her directorship within 3 months. She told me she was happy to be out and she was over $7,000 in debt because of “buying” directorship. I didn’t understand it because I hadn’t done that. (Yes I did, see above.) My SD told me that she just didn’t want it bad enough.

My first few months of production were all me. Where were all these amazing consultants I had just recruited? I realized that I had to do it all. I definitely recruited a few great women who I love and a lot of not-so-great women. I moved up and became a car driver. The commission checks were nice, but certainly nowhere near executive income. My biggest commission check was over $5,000 and you better believe I talked about that as if I got one of those every single month. I never mentioned that I never saw that much again.

I worked and worked and worked. I dealt with so much. Consultants who were downright scary, 95% of all consultants quitting, so many new recruits running away after buying a starter kit… etc. I was warm chatting (yuck) as much as possible, trying to get new women in my unit, resuscitate some of the old ones, trying to talk some of my consultants into wanting to become directors, trying to get women to try skincare/cosmetics/the opportunity when NOBODY seemed interested.

You see, I had gone through my large network of friends and acquaintances and had to start all over. I thought that after almost 4 years in MK, 3 as a director, it would get easier and I would be making more money. After all, in my past employment, I got promotions and raises for my hard work.

I realized that unlike a lot of directors and consultants, I was not in debt and I was very thankful for that. However, I wasn’t getting anywhere and I certainly wasn’t making any decent money. I considered starting to act like the few successful directors I knew (telling lots of “pink lies” and half-truths), but that just wasn’t me.

Then for the first time ever, I missed production… OMG!!! I was freaking out. I immediately called 2 of my sister directors and they were basically like, “so? everyone misses production almost every other month, then we order a ton to make it the next month. That’s why most of us do queen’s court or sales.”

WHAT?! I always thought they were all so successful. Oh no, it’s all fake. My pink bubble burst. I saw that I had missed car production! I called the company and they told me I was going to have to pay $100 for my car for the next 3 months because I didn’t make car production! WHAT?! I told them to come get the car immediately.

Then I could say out loud what I had been thinking: Sales directors don’t make executive income. We lie and say we do, but we don’t. I was #3 in our national area! Working SO hard, always being “on,” ignoring my kids when the phone rings (after all, it may be a new recruit coming in with inventory)…

In one year as a director, I made $30,901 ($23,682 commission, $630 misc prizes, $6,589 career car income) plus my personal sales of a little over $11,000.

I don’t understand how I have to pay taxes on over $6,000 for the “free car” I earned, it just doesn’t make sense.

I had expenses of nearly $10,000, giving me net income of around $33,000. That’s not executive income. Not even close.

I now know that VERY FEW sales directors make executive income and if they do, they are the exception to the rule. I hated their ideas on how to run a business: deceive and manipulate, act like you’re incredibly successful even if you’re not, be mean to consultants who aren’t producing, ignore consultants who are late to meetings, if someone’s on the phone and they are being negative, say someone’s at your door and hang up on them immediately, etc. They lack integrity.

Guess what I do now that I’m no longer a director? I enjoy life!! I work 21 hours/week and make more than I made as a MK director. I have a customer base that I continue to service (you’d think it’d be bigger after about 8,000 facials!). As I’ve read many of you say, it’s so nice to go into a store, restaurant, any place and just smile and say hello, then walk out. No stalking, no creepy come-ons to women, no getting a woman’s phone number so when you call, she can have that annoyed tone in her voice and treat you like you’re a piece of crap! I’m just a regular person now and LIFE IS GOOD!


    1. Char

      Surely she is not talking about still doing MK. Tell me it isn’t so. Tell me she has a customer base not tied to the scam company she just described.

      If so, what the heck is wrong with people? Are they just greedy, ignorant, immoral, delusional? Please someone explain this phenomenon to me.

  1. Michigangal

    Good job on not getting into debt! I think that is the biggest mistake that Mkers make. There is a MK lady in the office upstairs from me and I can always tell when she hasn’t made production — two or three big boxes of inventory arrive.

    I tried MK for a while. All I wanted to do is have a little retail business but after complaining about how demeaning the directors were to consultants at an MK event, that didn’t make a certain production goal, they kicked me out. LOL They took me off the Facebook group so I didn’t know when the meetings were etc. So I was out. Returned the inventory and moved on with my life.

    I did not want to be a part of an organization where someone who sold more than you gets to pass you in the bathroom line. Can you believe that? One of the things at that conference was if you were in line for the bathroom and someone who sold more than you wanted to go, you had to let them go first. Really? Oh yeah and only those at a certain production level got food. The rest of us had to watch the others eat a nice big juicy cinnamon roll while they turned around and would say yum like taunting everyone. Then the NSD said from the podium “well if you don’t like this, then work harder!”. Like that is motivating or something. I got up and left. I was done. Couldn’t you imagine a company like Merrill Lynch doing that to their employees? LOL

    1. MLM Radar

      Do you remember who the NSD was?

      So, only Directors with closets full of unopened inventory got to sneer at you over a super-sugary sticky bun? That’s budget motel low-class breakfast fare. And everyone else starved? All that really shows is how cheap and petty the NSD is.

      Any decent training conference serves eggs, bacon, potatoes, waffles and fresh fruit to everyone for breakfast, no restrictions. Because, at a decent training conference, you want everyone in the room paying attention to the training classes. At a MK conference they don’t care if you starve, because they don’t really have anything to teach besides cruelty and envy-baiting techniques.

      At my company’s annual conference, during afternoon break, everyone got cheesecake and gourmet mousse with luxury brand chocolate wedges. I’m guessing that didn’t happen at the MK conference. Or maybe it did, but just for the NSD and the elite executive SSDs, who also had their own private bathroom.

  2. cindylu

    Fear and guilt tactics. So many emotional highs and lows. Any problems attributed to the inadequacies of the IBC’s or directors. The emotional blackmail puts a huge burden on the sales force. This horrible tendency to punish or shame others for not following a flawed marketing system is abusive. Critical thinking is definitely discouraged. Naturally we had to be smiling, happy and promote a company that has a saturated market, mistreated women and gives absolutely NO where to advertise. Then there are the ongoing repetitive meetings, conferences etc. Complete with lying about executive income, how the founder and company cares about the sales force like daughters. The Christian philosophy “Faith, Family, Career” misused to suck us in. “The don’t break up the basic”…ya right. Absolutely no one wants or can afford the entire set. Anyone who dares to bring in a reality check about: ever changing products, front loading, MK being an mlm and that most directors are not making executive income are dismissed and even shunned. There is zero tolerance for criticism. The goal is recruiting and not sales. When I was in absolutely no one could teach glamor properly. My director after fifteen years knew little about make up artistry. It was embarrassing because she did the make up of brides and bridal parties. We were encouraged to act against our own better judgment: lie to our husbands, ignore our children, front load etc. For ignoring our own values, we are rewarded with useless awards: trinkets, sashes and our names in an internal flyer. We were to believe in the founder and fake it till we make it. Slogans were used often written by MK herself: “Don’t limit yourself, when you reach an obstacle turn it into an opportunity, The speed of the leader determines the speed of the gang” etc. The endless titles NSD, Star recruiter, Future Executive Senior, Executive Senior Director, Executive Senior NSD etc

    1. Still Breaking The Basic

      “Any problems attributed to the inadequacies of the IBC’s or directors. The emotional blackmail puts a huge burden on the sales force.”

      This is so true. Each level is taught to berate and demean the lower level because they’re to blame when things go wrong. It never stops with their endless list of ridiculous titles:

      Executive National Sales Director
      Senior National Sales Director
      National Sales Director
      National In Qualification
      Elite Executive Senior Sales Director
      Executive Senior Sales Director
      Future Executive Senior Sales Director
      Senior Sales Director
      Sales Director
      Grand Achiever
      Director In Qualification
      Future Director
      Team Leader
      Red Jacket
      Senior Consultant
      Independent Beauty Consultant

      My ex-director has been a “Future NIQ” for 15+ years. Sounds like 15 years of failing to turn an obstacle into an opportunity. Or the perfect definition of insanity.

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