One of the first things I was taught after I started Mary Kay was how to “reconnect” with old friends in order to sell the product. They get you to make a list of “everyone with skin” that you know, so you can start begging them to “help me meet a challenge” or “help me start my business” or some other lame guilt trip.
Once you get through your list of current friends and family, you’re encouraged to think of old friends you haven’t talked to in a while. You contact them under the pretense of “reconnecting” (what a great buzz word), but then as soon as they ask what’s new, you launch into your spiel about this great new thing you’re doing (Mary Kay). When I was in MK, you had to find their phone number, so that involved a phone book or some sort of directory. Today it’s connecting with them on Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or TikTok.
From there you try to get them to hold a class with their friends and family, and if they’re foolish enough to do that, you start with the recruiting lines and continue on from there.
Sales directors encourage the use of these types of tactics, which I find sneaky and disingenuous. Sure, they may be nice people and you might be happy that you looked them up again. But if you were honest with yourself, you know that you wouldn’t have had any interest in “reconnecting” if you weren’t trying to pimp some overpriced beauty products. In fact, if you had an interest outside of MK, you would have called them BEFORE you joined!
The old school methods involved using tactics like “Secret Pal” or “Secret Santa.” You would get your hands on a list of names and start contacting them with a line about how someone wanted to give them a Secret Pal Pampering Package. Sure, you wanted to be their pal for monetary reasons, so technically it was true. You would get your hands on any sort of directory (church, mom’s club, PTA, etc) that would list names and numbers and start making the calls. I always felt that this method was dishonest. Even though you could technically say you told the truth, in your heart you knew that you created a false situation in order to lure someone into having a party.
The more current methods revolve around posting endless things on social media. There are a couple of different ways to do this. One involves doing promotional types of posts which promote the various products and ask people to buy them and/or host classes. The other kind of social media posts flaunt a lifestyle that you say MLM offers and you casually mention your MLM in every post and make sure everyone knows the MLM is responsible for this wonderfulness.
No discussion of sneaky tactics would be complete without mentioning “warm chatter,” a favorite Mary Kay ruse. Included in this is offering a supposedly sincere compliment to someone in order to start a conversation that will quickly lead to mentioning Mary Kay. It’s the equivalent of stalking people in public to badger them (even if it is ever-so-subtle) about lipstick. Who wants to be approached at Target while they’re shopping? How embarrassing to have to spend loitering at Starbucks trying to meet women coming in for their morning coffee so you can give them a “sincere compliment”?
Now… I get the concept of “networking.” I’ve done it to build my own real business. But I’ve done it in a genuine way, not with these tricky little methods. I haven’t contacted anyone to pretend to “reconnect.” I’ve told people about my company in the context of a legitimate, genuine conversation… not because I want to recruit them or sell them something. I haven’t stalked women at Target or Starbucks to try to push my services.
These tactics in the context of Mary Kay are so insincere. And if you doubt that… Just remember that one of the key teachings in Mary Kay is “work the numbers.” Have you been told: “Some will, some won’t, who’s next!”??? These things demonstrate how the goal of Mary Kay isn’t sincere interaction with women. It’s about playing a numbers game and moving on to the next person with skin who might be interested.
Share your favorite sneaky Mary Kay selling or recruiting strategy!