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

Manipulation in the Recruiting Process

mary kay recruitCheck out this recruiting script. It has all of the manipulative tactics you have come to expect from Mary Kay recruiters. (Really, recruiters for any MLM will use these.)  There is the body language and the false flattery. Then you inch forward in the process. Watch the video in the next 2 days. Then have the director present for the call or coffee meeting. We’re not messing around anymore. 

Notice that even if the prospect says no…. the manipulation continues with more attempts to get her involved in the process.

Look at your customer and lean forward some; try to get lower than her so that your head is lower than hers, even a little!  Look her in the eyes and say, “I have a question to ask you.  After watching me today, could you ever in your wildest dreams see yourself doing Mary Kay either part time for extra cash or for extra fun?  I think you would be great and the reason I think you would be great is I watched you today and…”  Give her a sincere compliment.  She’s sharp, she’s fun to be around, people are comfortable around her – whatever it is that you picked up about her, tell her in a compliment!  No one gets offended by a sincere compliment!

Once you finish telling her you think she would be good followed by the compliment, then button your lip and let her respond, because that’s when we lose it – when we talk!  She then will say something that isn’t a flat no, she stammers a little, or she just might say,  “Yes, I think I could.”  You will then offer the information to her that is necessary to give her so that she is more informed in order to make a decision.  “Great!  I would love to send you home with some information.  I have a video that will really give you all the information about our company in a fun way.  This is a video of one of the top women in our company at an actual guest event and she shares how she got started and moved up in the business.  It’s really great.  In fact, after many people watch it I find that they watch it 3 or 4 times more because they like it so well, I really do find that!  I’ll tell you what, after watching it this may not be for you, but at least you will be well informed and you will know what you are saying no to!”

Once you have given her the information you will say, “By the way, do you have 45 minutes in the next 48 hours to watch the video?  Great!  Let’s plan on talking on X date; is there a time that is better for you that we can get together for coffee or talk on the phone, which works better for you?  Great!”

Remember do not leave her without a specific time scheduled to talk about what she has watched.  It is also better to do this on neutral ground – such as a coffee shop, and away from home interruptions.  Say, “I also want you to know that I am moving up in management in my business and part of my training is to get women’s opinion of this video and to work closely with my director for training.  Do I have your permission that my Director join us? (keep talking!) I would love for her to meet you and part of my training is that she will ask questions to get your opinion, while I listen and learn.  I know you will give us your honest opinion and that is what we want.”

Having your Director join you all depends on where you are at with your training in your business.  By asking your prospect “45 minutes in the next 48 hours,” you are going to help her to visualize in her mind her schedule and when she is going to do this.   She is going to respond with a definitive answer so that you can schedule in the next 24-48 hours to get back with her on the video.  “Yes, I think I could watch it tomorrow.”  “Great!  I will see you (or call you) on ________” (important to repeat the date and time).

You ask her the questions for her opinion rather than giving her a questionnaire,  this creates the dialogue, which is so important in a Marketing appointment/interview for building the relationship.  After you talk with her about the video, if she has more questions or needs more information, invite her to the Success Night Unit Meeting.  Of course if her interest is very high and she is very eager, invite her right away to your Unit Meeting — the sooner the better.  It is better to refer to Unit Meeting Night as your Success Night, rather than a “meeting!”

If the person you are speaking with does not sound like they are interested at all in learning more about our Company then you might say, “I have to tell you, when you say you could never see yourself doing this I can understand what you are saying.  I know how you feel, because I felt the same way when I joined this company 10 years ago.  But, I decided that it would be better to listen to the facts before I said no so that I knew what I was saying no to!  I promise you if after listening to the information you still do not see yourself doing something like this I will not bother you again!!  I also promise you that you will be in shock when you hear what our company has to offer.”

Happy Recruiting!


  1. Char

    (The conversation continues)

    “Happy Recruiting!….Always say ‘recruiting’ instead of pyramid scheming. You will want to do this when you get to the position I am in – teaching downline such as yourself how to ‘recruit’.
    You’ll notice I am teaching you how to manipulate other people, but I don’t want the people I am teaching (you) to feel manipulated. The most important thing to remember is you never want anyone to recognize they are being manipulated – yourself included when you become me.”

    I wonder, how many lurkers’ heads did that go over?

    1. So I described myself as a “lurker” in an earlier comment I made—forgot what post it was—totally thinking it just meant blog reader who hasn’t interacted in the comment section and who isn’t familiar with working in MK. Oops—not a lurker, just an intrigued observer fascinated with the facts about MLM’s, and arming myself in case those I’m acquainted with try recruiting me again (maybe I can save them ? but probably not).

  2. raisinberry

    Char…this is EXACTLY what sales manipulation produces. This is old school Tom Hopkins, David Cooper, et al. Every one who learns it, feels empowered because it works…and the target really has no chance of escape…but then the day comes, when you suddenly realize that YOU, YOURSELF, were “handled” exactly the same way… and it becomes cheap and abusive, and appeals only to those who can harden their souls and press on to WIN at all costs. Further manipulated by ribbons, stage walks and head table seating, the master recruiter can numb their own conscience, justifying that they are enriching women’s lives…but they are not. They are enriching their own, at the EXPENSE of other women. All you need to do to know that that is true, is track the wholesale ordering against sales in the Unit, the turnover, and the “Step Downs” of the 2% club.

  3. TRACY

    But regular businesses recruit employees all the time! Haven’t you heard of headhunters? Recruiters? There’s nothing wrong with it!

    Except that’s different. Because people are being recruited to fill an open job (i.e. a person is actually needed) that will pay wages to someone.

    In MLM, you’re recruiting people to become your competitors and you’re letting them pay for the “opportunity” to do so.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      I’ve never had a headhunter say: “I have a question to ask you. Could you ever in your wildest dreams see yourself working for __big company name___ for extra cash or for extra fun? I think you would be great.”

      Usually it’s along the lines of “__big company name___ is offering $55/hour for a 7-10 month contract. Can you start Monday?”

      And every week of my 9-5 drudgery they hand me my check for $1800 after deductions and I go play for the weekend. … being a wage slave is such a sweet deal.

  4. MSgtK

    I laugh at all of these sorry recruiting tactics! As a former military recruiter and personal use consultant, I can tell you only sorry military recruiters use these tactics….lol@ Not good, professional recruiters. I am humored by the parallel between MK , Marine and Army recruitets!

  5. Mickey2942

    What I have noticed is that in the last 20 years, the caliber of MK consultants has changed. The demographics, and income level. MK consultants used to be quite well off women, doing MK for discount on makeup they would purchase anyway.

    Now, it seems like hardcore MK consultants are looking for any warm body to build their pyramid team. Seducing and manipulating minorities and lower income women, with outright lies. It is beyond corrupt.

    1. Char

      With all the information now available on the internet, the jig is up for Mary Kay with most affluent women embarrassed to use it. It is known as an MLM brand, old lady brand, and certainly not a prestige brand.

      I believe the lower income demographic is so desperate to make a better life for themselves, understandably, that they are more easily influenced by lying MK MLMers. This is where the “fake it til you make it” and all the cheap jewelry with real diamond “chips” work their magic.

      It is so sad and infuriating that good, hard working people who struggle to put food on the table are targets of MLM.

      Statistics show 99% lose money in MLM, and 1% acquire it by lying and scamming their way there leaving a path of increased financial distress. Which one are you Christian lady MK lurker?

  6. Juliet

    Not sure where it comes in that the notion is presented of ”you are a business owner”, if it’s before this script or after. But if the script is followed exactly, these sentences ought to be blazing red flags, how do the SDs not see that?
    “Say, “I also want you to know that I am moving up in management in my business and part of my training is to get women’s opinion of this video and to work closely with my director for training. Do I have your permission that my Director join us? (keep talking!) I would love for her to meet you and part of my training…”
    I am a business owner who is moving up in management – who is above you? You are an owner, do owners have directors? Getting education to expand your business knowledge, never have I heard anyone refer to that as ”training”.

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