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

Sneaky Recruiting Tactics

pink-sneaky-mary-kayWritten by The Scribbler

I used to work with a bubbly, perky 20-something in our church nursery. She and I laughed together, chit-chatted together, and I thought it could be the beginnings of a terrific friendship. She invited me out for coffee and said she wanted to get to know me better. “How nice!” I thought.

But in the back of my brain I recalled that she was into MK. When I met this gal for coffee, she was decked out in full MK regalia, right down to the shiny black high heels and fashionably tied pink scarf, her bag o’ tricks spread out on the table in front of her.

I sat down, and as I was about to engage in the type of conversation that one would when getting to know a friend, she whips out the Starter Kit Pamphlets.

“Are there any questions you have about Mary Kay?” she chirps with a grin that would rival that of the Joker.

I’m irritated by this, because clearly this whole cafe meeting isn’t about making a new friend after all. I feel betrayed. On the upside of all this, I’ve done my homework, so I figure I’ll see if she faithfully follows her script. Heck, she paid for my java, so I might as well enjoy it.

“I got a question. Doesn’t it bother you to know that in order to reach NSD (her ultimate goal, big shocker there), you have to recruit people along the way?”

She looks at me as if I’d just turned into Satan. “I don’t recruit,” she said quickly.

“You’d have to or you wouldn’t be a Director now,” I replied. I recited the first three ranks of the MK hierarchy and the recruits required for each. “Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I could sleep at night knowing my ultimate success depended on pulling other people in with me. I mean, what if you’re throwing someone else’s true life dream off course by yanking them into Mary Kay?”

She stared at me a long time before her phone rattled the silence. She quickly accepted the call, covered the receiver, and mouthed to me, “Thanks for coming!”

I left the pamphlets in the same stack she’d arranged them in. Man, talk about an abrupt send-off; you’d think I had the flesh-eating bacteria or something.

Now given all that, when I worked with this lass in the nursery this Sunday, she was NOT the same bubbly, cheery girl she was before I’d gone to coffee with her. She was quite distant, forcing a laugh here and there but for the most part, keeping her distance and not looking me in the eye much. Something was verrry different and for me, it hurt.

Anybody else had that happen to them… had a person in your life you thought was a friend but once the MK Pesticide was introduced (and you told them you weren’t interested/challenged the system) they promptly tossed you aside like a freshly-filled diaper? If so, how did you handle it, or did you handle it at all? Maybe this gal is mad because I called her out on her pink lies, but still, it is a terrible shame to see this happen.

In the years following this encounter, the gal divorced her husband, turned down my invites to her for casual lunches (she would cite “work” as the reason; yay for family/friends second and career third!) and lost her directorship not once, but TWICE. Her mother was also in Mary Kay and was sitting at Senior Sales Director for quite some time, but then got demoted down to entry-level Sales Director (SD). Sounds like the family needs to brush up on their recruiting tactics.


  1. Kristen

    Interesting to think about the woman the MK lady is blindsiding. MK presents these scenarios (as we’ve seen over the last few weeks) like, “which starter kit would you like to order?” Assuming everyone is so eager to hear about it and dying to join. But it’s so manipulative and hurtful. How do these stupid recruiting suggestions even work?

    1. Brainwashed no more

      You’re taught to offer them choices, not “yes” or “no” questions. It seems like they have a choice.
      Its all a part of the manipulation. Ask them questions that go with, “is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to join us?” It’s like a parent offering choices to a toddler. It looks like a choice but it’s really what the parent wants.

  2. ihatemk

    Yes, I ALWAYS hated the trickery thing where when they were trying to recruit you they would be like I have Wed or Fri open, which would suit you better? Uh, I have NO DESIRE to do this and DO NOT ASSUME THAT just b/c u r giving me a choice I am interested. I know it is a ploy to make you want to do it, but I don’t want to do it at ALL!!! MK so full of crap!!

  3. Cindylu

    Sadly when they quit MK, they now have to reintegrate back into society. All the family, marriages and friends that this 6 foot MK rule has ruined. It’s just pathetic. This is why Churches and other groups should have policies to prohibit these mlm’s.

  4. raisinberry

    The real shock is “Thanks for coming”…Kinda like don’t let the door hit ya on the…well you know.

    That was a helluva major BAIL!. No attempt to cover objections? No, “that’s exactly why you need Mary Kay?”

    Guess she figured any woman who does her homework, can not have her objections overcome!

  5. Destiny Angel

    I’ve been talking to a Herbalife or Itdoesn’twork hun about eating healthily and supporting local/small businesses. My support for several female run family farms in my local area is BAD!!!!

    I just need some dehydrated crud rather than all the yummy fruits and veggies and cruelty free meat and I’ll loose a gazillion pounds of toxic waste overnight.

    I’m still declining.

  6. KaybotSibling

    I have to wonder…do all these women know they’re being manipulative? Or do some of them just think “this is the way I was taught, this is how it’s always been done. ” there are so many scripts and a new consultant’s brainwashing starts at their first “practice interview” phone call.

    My sister, who’s a brainwashed Kaybot, always sounded like a catalog whenever she’d post about Mary Kay. She didn’t have an independent thought. She was assimilated into the collective of Mary Kay.

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