This is a topic that we discuss a lot because it is so important. How often have you heard “my friend makes good money as a sales director in Mary Kay”???
Except it’s almost certainly not true. All the evidence suggests otherwise. Mary Kay won’t publish hard numbers because it’s such an indictment of this scheme. So we have to figure it out on our own.
In January, Kristin Sharpe let us know that there are 9,000 sales directors in the U.S. That’s a far cry from the 14,000 directors they had in 2007, shortly after we started this venture known as Pink Truth (formerly Mary Kay Sucks).
Applause Magazine lists the top 400 sales director commissions (100 from each of the 4 divisions). The very top sales director in September 2018 made $16,000. The number 10 director made just over $12,000. Director number 400 made just over $6,000.
And 8,600 directors made less than $6,000 for the month. So 95.5% of directors make less than $72,000 gross commissions (before all the business expenses) per year.
Can we figure out how much they really make?
There are supposedly 1,100 pink Cadillacs on the road. (We can safely assume that 200 of those are NSDs, with the other 900 being sales directors.) Cadillac production is $51,000 per quarter, or $17,000 per month. Using an average commission rate of 20%, that’s $3,400 commissions per month, or $40,800 gross commissions per year.
So now we know that 8,100 sales directors make less than $40,800 per year. (9,000 total sales directors, less the 900 who are in Cadillacs.)
Most recently, the Mary Kay Inc. reported 4,100 career cars on the road. That means 3,000 non-Cadillacs are on the road. We don’t know how many of those are “grand achiever” versus “premier club,” or how many of those are sales directors versus consultants. But let’s look at this in the most rosy way possible. Let’s assume they’re all sales directors.
Do you realize this means that over 5,100 sales directors don’t even qualify for ANY car? (That’s 4,100 total cars less 200 NSDs in cars = 3,900 cars that sales directors could possibly be in. 9,000 total sales directors less 3,900 = 5,100 aren’t in a car.)
The lowest level (grand achiever) requires $7,000 of wholesale production per month. That’s commission of $1,400 per month if we use our 20% estimate. That’s annual gross commissions of $16,800. (Before expenses!)
Let that sink in…. at least 5,100 sales directors (56.7% of them) in the United States make less than $16,800 per year.
I’ve told you before that at least half of them can’t even make the minimum production of $4,500/mo on a consistent basis, which would give them commissions of $900 per month ($10,800 per year).
Let me summarize for you. Of the 9,000 sales directors in the U.S.:
- 400 of them make $72,000 or more per year – that’s 4.4% of directors
- 500 of them make $40,800 to $72,000 per year (this is the 900 sales director Cadillac drivers less the 400 in the top tier, shown in Applause) – that’s 5.6% of directors
- 3,000 (at most) make $16,800 to $40,800 and qualify for a career car – that’s 33.3% of directors
- 5,100 make less than $16,800 per year and do not qualify for a car – that’s 56.7% of directors
And in case it’s not already clear, take a look at the bottom two bullet points. 90% of directors make less than $40,800 per year in gross commissions. Deduct all your business expenses, and what do you have left?
Being a director is supposed to mean you finally make the big money. Except almost none of them ever will.
Yes exactly!! When I was a DIQ my commissions were $560 per month and my sales if I worked 65 hours a week were averaging $500 per month and the pace was not sustainable.
So glad, that last DIQ experience took me out of the fog.
They promote the idea that the “big money” is at sales director. If that’s true, why do nearly all of them make so little?
And these abysmal numbers only represent directors. How many consultants are there below director nationwide?
Seems to me that MK represents just “joining” MK will be a decent money maker. (Remember this for my closing point *)
If 4.4% (400) of the 9000 directors make 72,000 or more, what percentage is that factoring in the total number of consultants?
*As always, it’s important to realize HOW these directors achieved this income even though low. In MLM, you must LIE or repeat a lie to get consultants to join. You must present MK as a great opportunity and omit the very information in this article. See how this all ties together.
There are about 500,000 consultants in the U.S.
So those 400 directors represent 0.08% of all directors. (Eight one-hundredths of one percent)
1 out of every 1,250 people in Mary Kay will make $72k or more gross income (before expenses).
Do I have this straight?
9000 of 500,000 means only 1.8% are directors in MK. And OF THAT 1.8%, only 4.4% make more than 72k. It is not 4.4% of the entire sales force. (“Sales force” cracks me up) It is only .08% of all consultants. Point Zero Eight.
3900 make more that 16,800 leaving 496,100 making less. (496,100/500,00) =
99.22% of consultants in this “opportunity” make less than $16,800 (minus expenses). This includes 5100 directors who are promoted as successful and are trained to lie or repeat a lie. YIKES! Even lying doesn’t work that well. It is MLM after all.
Don’t some people who “earn” the car choose the cash instead? Given all the hype over the cars when recruiting, how many people who join and do end up “qualifying” for a car would pick the cash over the car?
It is rare for a director to choose cash over car. They will twist your arm to take the car because it’s a “trophy on wheels” that helps with recruiting. No one can see the cash compensation, so it doesn’t help recruit people.
As far as my calculations go, some of the people in the car numbers are actually consultants, which makes my qualifying director number overstated. But the number is understated for the qualifying directors who take the cash. So basically, it’s likely a wash and the numbers are pretty close to actual.
Your friend needs to pony up with her 1099, else I won’t believe a word of it.
When I work, I expect money to pay my bills, to save for the future, and to invest to make more money.
I don’t want silly prizes or over-hyped trips with other consultants. Those things are only good for photo ops.
Does anyone else see the photos and think of a bunch of people who don’t have much experience with the corporate world from the inside (like, less experience than even an office temp) playing “business” and playing dress-up?
You hit the nail on the head. Everybody plays dress up. People strut around acting like they have the magic potion and are doing better than they really are. It’s only when you stop and look at the numbers that you figure out they’re full of it.
Bottom line: If you’re not in a Cadillac, your commissions are less than $48,000/year. And then you have expenses to subtract from your bottom line.
Some women truly like the products and really believe they can make money by selling them.
But many are young. Disillusioned. Desperate. They don’t like working at the local diner. Changing diapers is not glamorous. College is hard.
Suddenly, they are being gushed over by a well-dressed, “successful” MK woman. They believe what she tells them. Fun, friends, and financial freedom! Prizes, cars, trips, handbags, and jewelry! Walk across the stage wearing a sash and a crown! Be your own boss! Unlimited income!
The ruse will continue as long as women keep falling for it.
I’ve been to a few different SD’s homes and I was floored by how out of date and shabby they were. I could tell that the “executive income” wasn’t happening for these Sds even though a couple of them were car drivers. Made me wonder what each were doing with their big MK bucks but of course, they all had a large inventory at all times and probably car copays.
I don’t know what’s worse, the Sales Directors who live beyond their means with the huge fancy house pretending they’re making it big or the ones who don’t even try.
I just want to reiterate this point for the sake of anyone saying that $40,000 to $70,000 is still “good money”…..
this is BEFORE EXPENSES and TAXES and with NO INSURANCE or RETIREMENT PLAN!!!!!
(I used caps and exclamation points so they might understand it better)
So there used to be 15,000 of us Directors and now only 9,000? Ship really is sinking!
As a former Director, I made ZERO money from MK. ZERO!! I was great at selling BUT was encouraged to take every bit of that profit and put it back in the business. I stepped back because of 2 reasons. 1) I wasn’t making any money and 2) I was UNWILLING to add to my unit if they weren’t going to make money either. I am not stuck with thousands of dollars of inventory that I can’t return because I am not going to get any where nears it’s value back. I use to love the products and would go without other things to use the products, now I have switched to something totally different .. which doesn’t help the thousands of dollars of inventory on my shelf.