The Dozen Deadly Sales Director Mistakes

A national sales director offers more “advice” to sales directors, even though we know that little of it really makes a difference when you’re working in the no-win MLM system. This little gem comes from a Mary Kay national sales director who has been begging her area to increase her personal income for years. She wants to make more in commissions, so she needs her downline to step it up! From her sales director newsletter:

I believe I’ve come up with a TOTAL AREA WHOLESALE number that will take us to DIAMOND CIRCLE (my commissions=$200,000) and INNER CIRCLE ($325,000) Let’s shoot for Diamond Circle this year as a stepping stone WHILE WE BUILD to INNER CIRCLE!!

Then she goes on to detail what her income will be at different area wholesale levels, and what her actual income has been. Have they no shame? This is supposed to be a consultant’s own business, not one in which they worry about whether they’re giving enough money to their upline. But we know this is typical.

The newsletter goes on to tell the sales directors the 12 things they are doing wrong (which are keeping them from making more money for her!) What this listing fails to account for is the fact that the majority of sales directors are working like dogs and still making the equivalent of minimum wage. It is not about the work in MLM. It’s about so many other things… when are they going to acknowledge that??? (Well, never, of course. That would require them to acknowledge that Mary Kay is a pyramid scheme.)

Nonetheless, she says Mary Kay sales directors should avoid these twelve mistakes:

1. You quit working on attitude – affirmations – dream list. I wanted to visit 50 states before I was 50 – people want to be a part of your dream. Think of the animal the Impala; it can jump 20 feet up and 20 feet out; it won’t jump if it can’t see where it will land.

2. You stay small too long.

3. You cut back on personal activity after becoming a Director.

4. Not working on Leadership skills: read John Maxwell books. Your goal is not to make a mini you. Build people up in THEIR strengths. Think servant hood. Pray for wisdom – patience – love – heart stuff. Not for Cadillacs etc.

5. Working with the wrong people. We look at the external factors. She has to bring desire and willingness. We can breathe belief and care into them.

6. Poor time management. Think like a rich person – delegate.

7. Poor money management – in six years her income went up $160,000. Don’t cut the wrong things i.e. Seminar, Career Conference, Retreats! Budget/control your expenses – make more money!

8. Proactive versus Reactive Be the thermostat – not the thermometer.

9. Fuzzy Focus – lack of sustained focus. Three (3) “V” your goals… Visualize – Verbalize – Vitalize. Don’t be jumping from box to box.

10. Don’t Diversify – need to develop your weak areas.

11. Long Pity Parties – regroup – back off – think it through

12. Not thinking enough OR thinking too much!

Is it really that simple? Of course not! MLM relies on constant recruitment of new people, and getting those people to buy big initial inventory packages. The amount of new people you need to meet in order to churn enough of them through the process in order to get a few to sign up is astronomical, and therefore nearly impossible to do consistently.

There is nothing actionable in this advice that will lead a director to success. Just like everything in Mary Kay. They tell you to go out and sell, but they can’t actually give you action items that work on a long-term, consistent basis to generate new customers and recruits.

3 Comments

  1. Autumn

    Wow, if I was one of this woman’s directors I’d want to organize a revolt! I’m supposed to work my butt off so she can earn 200k?

    It really lays bare how much of a scam it all is.

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  2. NayMKWay

    A few lowlights from this list:

    1. You quit working on attitude – affirmations – dream list.

    Well, yeah, they’re a waste of time. This whole “daily affirmations” crap has been around for many decades. Sure, it’s a great way to make money if you’re writing best-selling books about it (Think and Grow Rich, The Power of Positive Thinking, The Secret…), but for the books’ buyers, not so much. Trying to think like a rich person won’t necessarily make you rich, any more than draping a stethoscope around your neck will make you a doctor.

    4. [ends with] Pray for wisdom – patience – love – heart stuff. Not for Cadillacs etc.

    …says the woman begging her downline to make her more money. Wow.

    5. Working with the wrong people. We look at the external factors. She has to bring desire and willingness. We can breathe belief and care into them.

    Oh, barf. We all know very well that the “wrong people” are the ones unwilling to spend money on inventory they don’t need. The only “breathing” going on is begging the more-easily manipulated ones into s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g (placing orders) to help “the team” (you).

    8. Proactive versus Reactive Be the thermostat – not the thermometer.

    Not only is this vague and dumb, it’s backwards. This is supposed to be a list of mistakes, remember? This whole thing is sloppily written—redundant and self-conflicting multiple times. Just a muddled mess.

    10. Don’t Diversify – need to develop your weak areas.

    Again, muddled. Is this writer trying to encourage diversification by adding new skills, or trying to discourage adding new skills before weak areas are strengthened? I’m betting the writer isn’t even sure what she means, and is just parroting something she heard.

    12. Not thinking enough OR thinking too much!

    Clearly, this is just nonsensical filler to give the list an even dozen items.

    In summary, this “newsletter” clearly identifies this person as unqualified to be in a position of leadership. It is the opposite of motivational (“Work harder and make ME more money, y’all!”), riddled with “advice” that is pointless and conflicting, and very, very poorly written.

    0/10 would not read again.

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  3. Cindylu

    All I hear is yada yada yada or Blah, Blah Blah. Also the teacher in a cartoon saying: Wah wah woh wah wah. Sadly MK whether it’s the 12 mistake list or fake training is just plain stupid. Ugh.

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