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

NOs Happen in Mary Kay

Have you heard your Mary Kay upline say “No doesn’t mean no. It just means I need more information.”??? I always hated this concept in MK. No DOES mean no. It’s none of your business why, she said no. And while I understand that overcoming objections is part of the sales process in all industries, there comes a time when you accept the NO and move on.

Mary Kay would have you keep overcoming objections over and over. Because it’s not that she doesn’t want to be involved with MK in any way. It’s that she needs more information. “It takes about 10 nos to get to a yes.” Seriously. If I say no and you keep asking me, we are going to have a problem. Ten times???? Stop it, people.



    It’s actually revolting to me. We spent years getting society to understand that No means No in the context of sexual assault. Can you imagine transferring this BS MK logic to that scenario?

    I want to have sex with you
    Oh you need more information!

    1. NayMKWay

      This is such great insight, and it got me thinking how much Mary Kay (MK) is like a predatory loser (PL) trying to browbeat a woman into an abusive relationship:

      PL: “I’ll buy you nice things!”
      MK: “Executive salary!”

      PL: “I have a fancy car. Think how great you’ll look riding around in it.”
      MK: “Free pink Cadillac!”

      PL: “I’ll treat you right.”
      MK: “Make new best friends!”

      PL: “I’m quite a catch. You want me, you just don’t know it yet.”
      MK: “We’ve been in business for 57 years! ‘No’ just means ‘Tell me more’ ”

      And on and on.

      Then, if she gives in, she soon learns he’ll never let her near his car without strings attached, and that instead of buying her nice things, he’s always hitting her up for money. Then there’s the kicker: if she decides to end the relationship, she’s suddenly not worthy of his time. He says if she leaves him, she can never come back (which is likely a lie). Just like MK says not to return your inventory, or you’ll never be let back into the fold (which is definitely a lie).

      And this is how Mary Kay Ash set up the company from day one.

    2. Not a Bot

      I had the same thought. In college, guys were told that ‘no means no’. That should also apply to trying to hook people into MLMs. If a man tried to repeatedly ask, manipulate, guilt trip, or manipulate one of these MK ladies or their daughters into going out with them and took their ‘no’ as a ‘maybe’ or ‘keep asking’, they would be up in arms. Yet they do this to their victims. Like an abusive boyfriend, they made great promises which don’t deliver, then gaslight their victim so the problem is their fault.

      The technique of wearing somebody down by harassing them until they go against their better judgement is horrible.

  2. Kristen

    This is exactly why women RUN like the female cat in the Pepe Le Pew cartoon when they hear you are a Mary Kay lady. They KNOW she is not going to take no for an answer, which is the very definition of a “pushy sales person”. You know, the person that Mary Kay supposedly doesn’t want (spouted in the script to overcome another no with more information)? More information sounds like arguing to me and yes, it is a lot like the context is sexual assault.

    WHY hasn’t the company realized how outdated this script is? Does it honestly still work? Every woman has heard it and defenses go up as soon as the target realizes that this person, who she thought was a friend, actually is trying to manipulate her.

    I guess the translation is:
    Moral citizen language: No, I don’t want to have a Mary Kay party.
    MK interpretation : Please harass me until I’m too tired to resist or I feel too guilty or I have say yes to get you to leave me alone until I can back out later by dodging your calls.

  3. Char

    “I have plenty of time, and this definitely isn’t about you. No, I don’t want to associate with an endless-chain recruiting product-based pyramid scheme i e., an MLM company like Mary Kay. I don’t support MLM companies or their products, ever. Please do not contact me again about Mary Kay.”

    My advice is, don’t make nice excuses. Nip it in the bud.

      1. NayMKWay

        I’m in favor of breaking out the word “boycott,” as in: “I’ve made a personal decision to boycott all MLMs because their business model is exploitative.”

        My reasoning is that boycotting is taking an active stand in opposition. It says you’ve studied the subject and are unlikely to be swayed, and they’re more likely to leave you be.

        I’ve never had a chance to try it in real life, but I did get some positive feedback from those I suggested it to on Reddit’s r/antiMLM subreddit.

        1. Char

          I like that, and it’s similar to what I was thinking with my response. I don’t disagree with “just say no”; but if you’re in the mood and have the time, slip in a bit of MLM education. It may fall on deaf ears, but at least you put it out there.

          Above all else and as stated, don’t make the mistakes of: I have plenty of makeup, I’m busy, I don’t know anyone etc.. These excuses just leave the door open – to them.

          If I really dislike the person, I’ll use a version of mine. If I like them and they haven’t been completely corrupted by MLM, I’ll use NayMKWay’s. Lol.

          In general, I usually dislike MLMers and can smell them from a mile away. My response reflected that, as I want to both educate and offend them, on purpose.

  4. Cindylu

    Mk knew that most women were trained to be polite. (Especially in the 1960’s and 1970’s). Now we need to train our daughters to be fierce and not be conned by: mlm, cults, abusive boyfriends, their peers etc. Self defence classes let us know if you feel unsafe then trust your instincts. Don’t give in to phone scams, tech support scams, romance scams, mlm scams etc. If you feel unsafe getting on an elevator with a stranger than trust your instincts. Nowadays women are finally pushing back. That’s how PT came to be. We don’t need overpriced Makeup, Knives, Plasticware, jewelry etc. We certainly don’t need fake skin care or other gatherings disguised as girl time or part time income. Fifty plus years of exploiting women in this aggressive bullying sales tactics should end. MK herself definitely was a bully and that’s how she got to the top. She used every sales tactic possible to exploit and force herself onto far too many vulnerable trusting women.

  5. Pinkiu

    Do you know what worked for me? I said, “I’m a long-time contributor to Pink Truth. Let me share some facts with you about MK.” Generally, as soon as I say Pink Truth, their smile fades and now I’m in control of the conversation.

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