Calculating Your Sales Director’s “Executive” Pay

Written by Raisinberry

July is one of the few times during the year that you might actually find out how well your unit is doing. Mary Kay publishes commissions in Applause Magazine, but only for the women at the top of the pyramid.  The vast majority of the 9,000 directors in the U.S. will never grace the pages of Applause, so you can’t find out how much they are making there.

But in July, many of the units announce where they finish at year end. They had seminar goals for certain unit clubs. If you know what the seminar goal was or how far away you were, you can easily figure your director’s paycheck.

The Mary Kay sales director is paid based on wholesale ordering, so any retail figure you see has to be cut in half. If your unit is in the $250,000 Unit Club, figure the amount at $125,000 wholesale.(Of course, we’re ignoring the whole double credit promotion Mary Kay likes to run each year, which just inflates the retail figures.)

Now divide that $125,000 by 12 month to get $10,400 wholesale production per month. Your director gets about 23% of that (if she’s over $5k per month, which means bonus money). She makes about $2,400 per month excluding her personal recruiting commission. You can find her recruiting commission, commonly called a love check in your newsletter (unless she’s hiding from that).

If she is a strong recruiter, and gets star orders this will be a significant additional commission. Usually a Director posts her “love check” in the newsletter and you can see it will range from $100 to $1500 per month. If she only has 4 or 5 recruits for the year, or has relied on her on-targets and DIQs to bring ’em in, this number will be low. Very low.

The listing of Seminar Sales Leaders gives you a picture because you can look at the names, divide the retail in half and total the possible commission guestimate at 10% because not all her months will be at 13%. It’s nine percent (even if she does her own $600 order) if less than 5 consultants order during the same month.

In our example, we’ll say the newsletter shows an average of $250 additional per month. She’s up to about $2,650 in commissions. She also may have picked up some bonuses for recruiting over the year (She gets up to $500 for 5 qualified in a month…haven’t seen this happen much at all).  Add $100 a month for this and we’re now up to $2,750 per month prior to business expenses.

So your Unit Club Director, at $250,000 retail production for the year is making roughly $2,750 gross commission per month. On the generous side. Before expenses. And we know how considerable these are. Easily (twelve months) averaged at $800 to $1,000 a month, and we all have to pay taxes. (Unless you lose money, and most “premier club” directors ultimately do.) In our example, the director is clearing about $1,750 a month after expenses, so she is making $21,000 a year.

Now, how many units are at $250,000 “retail” in all of Mary Kay? As you go to Seminar or your awards night this month, observe how many Units even made it to any type of Unit Club. $21,000 per year is okay helpful money for any home. But it isn’t “executive” by any stretch so if you left your job to pursue it, you’re screwed. Of all the units in MK, how many shine on that Seminar stage in Unit clubs? 500 per Seminar? 600?

Now why would we report on this? Aren’t paychecks kinda personal? In this case, absolutely not. Mary Kay’s marketing plan and “opportunity talk” elaborates on the high potential income of its consultants and Directors. They routinely share their “highest check” at guest events as the main bait to join.

Any consultant can see if she is being lied to. She can do the math on her own unit, and even being generous with bonuses, can get very near a clearer picture as to whether her director has “paid for college with her MK check…purchased her home with her MK check, is making executive income part time from home with her MK check.”

Any guest can verify what she has been told by simply asking the director what is the average wholesale production per month of the unit. She will never expect that question. She will stammer. You should press. She will give you a June number (typically the highest month for most sales directors) because she has to spin it (following the tenets of positive affirmation). Then ask her what March was and January. With those numbers you can figure an average and you will have her.

Pink Truth exists because directors lie and are lied to. Directors “suggest.” Directors “allude to” and we assume. Our first line of clarity involves getting directors to admit and face what they work so hard to deny. They teach consultants to deny as well, by simply not allowing anything “negative” to be spoken. The end product is an entire group of sales people pretending they sell more than they do, and absolutely clinging to that “highest check” as their reality instead of the exception.

It was our assumptions and Mary Kay’s inability to be forthright with information and documentation of financial facts that we relied on, that caused some of us, to make horrible decisions. But Mary Kay doesn’t promote (wink wink) what it makes its directors say. We promote “top” check, not “average” check. We leave out expenses and the fact that the top check was 15 years ago. That’s negative.

Do the math and find out exactly what kind of earnings YOUR director is bringing home, so you aren’t duped into “chasing the dream” that even your own director cannot catch.


  1. BestDecision

    It’s easy math! Because of Double Credit, there are Directors doing $350,000 unit club that aren’t in Cadillacs, so they’re making less than $48,000/year gross income. And then there are car payments that subtract from those commissions, too.

    But, it’s SO easy to figure people out!

  2. MLM Radar

    TLDR summary:

    Any Director in the $250,000 club is collecting just over minimum wage…. before expenses and taxes and copays and money handed back to MK to “top off” unit orders… with no health care benefits and not enough money left over to buy insurance.

    Any Director who can’t reach the $250,000 club is definitely losing money, and would be better off working as a Wal-Mart cashier.


    1. raisinberry

      Damn, MLM, that’s brutal…and so true. If anything you or I have said over all these years can actually wake up the women we are trying to educate, so that they can save themselves from massive debt- and/or- a dive into group think, I can die a happy, clear thinking former mlm-er…

      so question, would you readers here, buy a book , “The sayings of Raisinberry” ? – Knowing full well that only us ( or MK lurkers) would even know what that might mean? I think our member, pink victim, might augment the info from a DH point of view…and maybe others… is it time we went public??? As in mainstream? Thoughts?

      1. ran4fun

        Raisinberry, I could put it together in a snap because I have a file in my computer of every article I’ve read from you! Your writing, logic and perspective is unequaled. I would love to see you and any NSD debate on TV! Mainstream, baby! Get the word out!

  3. Char

    Imagine if recruiters told the truth? No one would likely join – no honest person anyway. The whole system survives on lies.

    If you’re a consultant, are you the liar, the one that is being lied to, or both? Pick one, as those are the only options in MLM.

    *An unwitting lie is still a lie.

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