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

Why You’re Failing in Mary Kay

Did you wonder why you were failing in Mary Kay? They don’t want you to think that it’s because of the system. 99% of people fail in MLM because it’s simply a pyramid scheme. You can’t retail enough products to make a living and recruiting is almost always a losing game too.

So one sales director will tell you all the ways you didn’t work hard enough in your Mary Kay “business.” And of course, she inflates the sales figures so you REALLY feel like a loser. And no, it’s not fun to count each no.

I first want to remind you that you are running a business and you have treat it like a business. When a major corporation is not getting their desired results, what do they do? Usually call in a consulting firm to evaluate their business. Do you treat your business like that? Do you call in your Director, a sister Consultant who is doing what you want to achieve, a National Sales Director to help? Do you evaluate your business constantly?

Mary Kay taught us to evaluate your class on the way home and ask yourself…

  1. How many new clients did you gain?
  2. How many bookings did you book?
  3. How much did you sell?
  4. Who is your strongest recruit prospect?

If you fall short in one of these 4 categories then it’s time to make an evaluation and in 17 years of business I can safely say that it falls into one of these categories…

  1. Do you have enough skills? Skills are the difference between a $50 class or a $500. Did you show sets? Did you do a table close? Did you do individual 5-10 min consultations with each guest? Did you give her two options? Did you help her to feel in control of the closing decisions? Just to name a few. Scripts are imperative!!! Skills are completely teachable if you are willing to learn. Start with the Consultants Guide in your kit…. amazing stuff in there!!!
  2. It could be the numbers… average class is now $250…. and for some it’s $350. Did you have a $1000 party last week and the $50 one this week is just keeping your averages in line? Try to prove me wrong 1 out of 4 interviews recruit. 1 out of 3 bookings hold on their original date. 10 new names will be one appointment. Face it… you have to get more no’s then yeses to be a success! Sometimes it’s fun to count how many no’s you can get.
  3. Attitude…did you have an attitude of expectancy or did you know they were going to cancel before you made the call? Your tone can create the expected answer. Consider these two scenarios…”Hi Karen I am calling to confirm our appt for tomorrow at 10.” or… “Hi Karen I can’t wait to see you tomorrow and pamper you with a MK makeover…it’s so much fun and you deserve it… remember it’s at 10 tomorrow and will you be bringing a friend with you?” Confirming appts is a yes/no and chances are they will say no. Or “you don’t want to have a party with me do you?” Enthusiasm sells!!!!!
  4. You didn’t create a big enough “what’s in it for her” She had good intentions but maybe you didn’t bond with her enough and she is too scared to meet a stranger in a hotel for a MK meeting. Bribing works! Maybe she was doing it for you but when she got home and Johnny needs help with homework then helping him became the priority … but she was helping you AND she was getting $20 free products and she needs stuff then she will show up. Does she know what to expect? Did you tell her what was going to happen at the event or at the party? Did you tell her that you have just the product to help her special need after pre-profiling her?

Be about business and use the business skills you may have learned in school! If you didn’t learn them there then call up your Director or National and ask for help!! I believe anyone can do this business and be successful…. if you learn the business and then just do it!!! Which goes back to an old email about respecting the time you need to work.. it’s an investment in your future!!


  1. Char

    “Mary Kay taught us to evaluate your class on the way home and ask yourself…” – Okie Dokie.

    1. Do I realize MK is MLM?
    2. I wonder why 99% fail in MLM? Are all those people really that lazy?
    3. Why didn’t my recruiter keep me as a customer and instead make me her competitor?
    4. Do I feel at peace not telling my friends they can buy the same stuff cheaper on eBay?
    5. Have I taken the time to research third-party info on MLM and MK to protect myself?
    6. What does “fake it ‘til you make it” literally mean?
    7. Is my upline faking me out? Am I faking out others?

    (And this requires some thought. Seriously, think about it….)

    8. If I were to start my own MLM company, what would be most important? Finding new recruits to place big orders from me, or my existing recruits pocketing their re-sell money that I never see?

    Wouldn’t it be better for me to have my recruits find more recruits since all these people are placing orders from me, the founder? Yep. It’s not like I rely on other customers as I already have recruits buying my stuff.

    Now, I just need to keep their interest in placing orders. I think I’ll start by handing out titles……….

  2. BestDecision

    According to the Top Director Trip meeting, it’s all about fixing YOURSELF: “They paid for coaching, they got counseling, they went on retreats, they read massive amounts of books…” (from Kelly Brock’s Instagram).

    Well, isn’t that exactly what we’ve been saying on here all along? We were never good enough or did enough in MK to make it where we wanted to go, and even Top Trip Directors are told they need to fix themselves.

    Ladies, if MK was a legit business, you wouldn’t need fixing. You’d have customers approaching YOU daily, products moving quickly off your shelves daily, and you’d have people asking you to book and sign them…DAILY. You’d never brag about booking off a class anymore, and you’d never hold another interview. You’d never feel sick to your stomach when a chargeback showed up on your report, and you’d not have to please people to keep them.

    I wish I could get all my money back on the books I bought, workshops I attended, and every single Fall Retreat I paid for. Over 10 years of my life consumed by fixing myself when all I really needed to do was wake up and get out.

  3. MLM Radar

    A business owner who is treating her business like a real business DOES NOT immediately recruit her customers.

    A real business owner focuses on building her customer base.

    She only recruits another person for very limited reasons: (1) She has more customers than she can serve. (2) She wants to expand her business to a new area that her current business can’t serve now, and there are enough customers in the new area for her recruit to succeed. (3) She is retiring or moving and wants to sell her business.

    Strike out on all three reasons when you’re a Mary Kay consultant, or any other MLM distributor. (1) Mary Kay tells you to recruit BECAUSE you don’t have enough customers. They know you’re going to burn out soon, and they want YOU to do the hard work of replacing yourself first. (2) It’s no longer possible for anyone to find a place in this country that has enough unserved new customers to support a Mary Kay business. If you’re promoting another new MLM, it’s also no longer possible to find a place in this country that isn’t already burnt out on MLMs in general.

    And the final part: (3) You can’t sell your Mary Kay or MLM business, or transfer your rights to receive commissions to your kids or anyone else… because you don’t really own a business!

    When you’re a Mary Kay consultant or a distributor for any other MLM, you’re just an underpaid, overworked, abused outside sales rep. You’d be considered an employee by every IRS definition, except that you signed a contract saying you’re an independent consultant.

  4. Lazy Gardens

    If consultants did this – “I first want to remind you that you are running a business and you have treat it like a business.” – they would NOT keep much inventory and they would NOT cannibalize their customer base by recruiting them. They would keep tight track of expenses and hours worked and if the business was not making them enough money for the effort, they would shut it down.

  5. Data Junkie

    For those interested, here is a write-up on the mathematical explanation into why every single MLM down-line must lose money as a whole. It turns out that for every direct down-line you recruit, there is a rep in your down-line not qualifying for commissions. The whole notion of “just sign up 5 people who sign up 5 people who sign up 5 people” is such a ruse!

    I will dedicate a post to this topic when I get approved as a contributor on this site. Until then, I thought you folks might enjoy this (nerdly) deep dive into the math that makes MLM fail for every down-line!


  6. Melissa A Herman

    i’m watching “on becoming a god in central florida” on showtime and it is ALL about MLM and these same points…brought back nightmares of my MK days…

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