Are you wondering how the latest and greatest Mary Kay national sales directors got there? It’s simple. They churned DIQs (directors in qualification) fast and furious. Those who don’t make it to director really don’t matter because there are plenty of others trying. (And even though some don’t finish DIQ, they add thousands to the unit’s production so it’s still a win for the wanna-be national.)
The secret lies in the momentum that you build from all those DIQs. It gets others excited and makes the dream easier to sell. When people on their level quickly move up to “big girl” status and now qualify to do the Director Secret Handshake, it makes more consultants want to move up too (and do anything to make it happen… cha-ching!).
But getting that momentum is very difficult because the numbers in MLMs are so heavily against you . You might hear an NSD saying she got five names a day, every day. That’s 35 a week, or 1,820 names a year. It took that NSD about three years to get to the top of they pyramid, so that’s almost 5,500 people who had to be warm chattered stalked. That’s a lot of people to have to stalk on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis to move to the top of the pyramid.
And it’s not just about getting those names. It’s about getting them to “listen to the marketing plan,” sign up for Mary Kay, buy a big inventory package, and start recruiting victims of their own.
Mary Kay directors are fond of saying that keeping directorship is like trying to fill a bathtub with water while the drain is open. As fast as the water goes in, it’s going right back out. As fast as you can recruit new victims into your Mary Kay unit, consultants are leaving. (And hopefully they’re leaving even faster now, thanks to all the information available to consultants on sites like this.)
Below one suggestion by a “leadership coach” for churning DIQs quickly. If you can get momentum, you can get there faster. What’s the difference between the hotshot new NSD’s and those “top directors” who have been languishing just under NSDforever? The ones who got to NSD got momentum. The ones who haven’t made it there are losing directors as fast as they’re making them.
DIQ of the Month
One of the more frustrating, and very often surprising things for a new Director, is what happens when they offspring a Director themselves. It is exciting to see one of your Consultants succeed in DIQ. You’ve worked so hard to get her there, to get her through it.
You put in an enormous amount of energy and time and then – poof – they’re gone, along with all their production.
Now what? If you are like many Directors, you cycle up and cycle down by creating a situation in which you must start all over again. Although it makes you feel productive, it is ineffective in the long run. It is a stop-and-start roller coaster ride.
Think of creating offspring Directors as a continuous process – like a conveyor belt or a pipeline. Identify a Consultant each month that you want to groom for Directorship. You agree to work with her intensely to make it happen. She would need to recruit one qualified person a week for eight weeks.
So in two months, you could have a qualified DIQ. Start with one of your fast trackers. At the beginning of the next month, although you are still working with this Consultant, you identify the next one, the “DIQ of the Month,” and begin the process with her. Doing this consistently will prevent the stop-and-start cycle and give your unit progressive growth. Will there be months in which you do not have a Consultant ready to commit to Directorship? Of course. But the magic is in you mentally and literally creating the position of “DIQ of the Month” – it gives your Consultants a role to claim and causes you to think of it as a continuous process.
This may be how you can get to national sales director in Mary Kay, but make no mistake: You will leave a path of destruction behind you. The process of getting to NSD isn’t just about working hard. It’s about putting those below you in financial trouble, because the only way to move up is to get those in your pyramid to put in thousands of dollars toward products they have little hope of selling. That’s not an accomplishment.
I’ll bet you a nickel that the “leadership coach” herself is a failed MLM wannabe, because there seems to be a law somewhere that when you don’t make it to the top of the pyramid your flounce off in a huff and become a “coach.” The MLMian “ethics” are all over this.
“You’ve worked so hard to get her there, to get her through [DIQ].” Because lord knows the lazy slob didn’t put any effort into it at all. It’s all you.
“You put in an enormous amount of energy and time and then – poof – they’re gone, along with all their production.” Because that’s the only thing the NSD wannabe cares about: their production. The failed director’s wasted time, effort, and crushing debt don’t matter a bit.
“Think of creating offspring Directors as a continuous process – like a conveyor belt or a pipeline.” Right on! They aren’t people, they’re just a bunch of parts dropping down a chute for the wannabe NSDbot to drill, screw, and stamp out.
“Identify a Consultant each month that you want to groom for Directorship.” Don’t use language that’s typically used of sexual predators.
“So in two months, you could have a qualified DIQ. Start with one of your fast trackers. At the beginning of the next month, although you are still working with this Consultant, you identify the next one, the “DIQ of the Month,” and begin the process with her.” Make sure your first flavor… DIQ of the month knows she’s not special, just part of the grind. Of course, whether the consultant wants to be part of this doesn’t matter as long as she’s got the potential to get you to the top.
“Doing this consistently will prevent the stop-and-start cycle and give your unit progressive growth. Will there be months in which you do not have a Consultant ready to commit to Directorship? Of course.” So more like DIQ of Some Months then?
“But the magic is in you mentally and literally creating the position of “DIQ of the Month” – it gives your Consultants a role to claim and causes you to think of it as a continuous process.” They already have a role. Or is the purpose to create a new role, as they all turn on each other in order to gain greater favor in your eyes, like Catherine de Medici’s ladies in waiting?
Dear consultants and DIQs who might be reading this: escape while you can. Get yourself a boring 9-5 in a field you can live with and do your work with competence and enthusiasm. Your efforts will be noticed and advancement will be based on that, and will result in MORE MONEY and other tangible rewards instead of plunging you into debt and treating you like grist for the mill instead of people.
All of that effort, all the churn, all the hard work, and none of it makes a difference to the end customer. In real companies, your goal is to create demand for your product by bringing perceived value to your customers. Companies work hard to balance cost and quality, and to make their products attractive in the market space.
The discussions happening on conference calls and in business meetings in real companies sound nothing like what happens at a Mary Kay meeting (see above). All that costly overhead of all those up-line folks in Mary Kay taking a cut of each purchase…without adding an ounce of value to the end customer.
This is why these products are so pricey and therefore so difficult to sell. They lack “value”. Without that phantom “opportunity”, very few would order these products…except maybe out of pity for a friend or family member.
“All of that effort, all the churn, all the hard work, and none of it makes a difference to the end customer.” Bingo. Not only that, but all the titles and pageantry don’t matter a bit to the end consumer, either.
I mean, if someone tells you she’s Senior Vice President of Marketing for Maybelline, that’s a real world title that makes you think “wow, she knows her stuff about selling makeup.” You’d talk to her and she’d talk about things like ad campaigns, consumer demographics, staying relevant in a crowded market. Things people want to know when they’re thinking about buying something from your company.
Then you meet a National Sales Director for Mary Kay. That title means what, exactly? MK isn’t allowed to advertise, doesn’t track retail sales to consumers, she has no input into product development. She doesn’t hire salespeople in the normal sense, there are no assigned territories, and she doesn’t sell much herself. All her efforts go into producing enough directors to keep her title. Ok, so what do Sales Directors do? The same thing, only smaller. They don’t sell; they recruit. Why would I buy makeup from someone whose job is to recruit “sales” people?
Zero value to the consumer, and zero reason to buy from them.
I remember a now emeritus NSD once saying that when you have a unit member in DIQ, you are also back in DIQ. You have to replace not only the people but also the production. It only doesn’t matter if you have a unit like Lisa Madson’s or some of the other super-tippy-top directors (talking pre-NSD here) where you have hundreds of unit members. If you are the typical sales director with a successful DIQ, your hamster wheel will turn way hella faster than hers if you want to keep your unit.
I don’t understand how the MK ‘sales force’ can actually say things like, “keeping directorship is like trying to fill a bathtub with water while the drain is open” or “when you have a unit member in DIQ, you are also back in DIQ” and that not be a ginormous red flag? Why in the world would anyone want to be in ‘leadership’ in MK if the SDs and NSDs are so blatantly saying, “You need to work 24-7 to maintain your team.”
But but but!! Part-time work for executive pay!! *sarcasm*
Ah yes. The endless chain recruiting that is necessary for “success”. You can never get off the hamster wheel or it will all crumble. Stresses me out just thinking about it…
How does this not deaden your conscience after awhile? The ends justify the means, right? Classic cult thinking.
“If you are like many directors, you cycle up and cycle down by creating a situation in which you must start all over again.”
Because they totally created the situation themselves, it’s all their fault, certainly not the fault of the person who designed the system in the first place. 🙄
“Identify a Consultant each month that you want to groom for Directorship.”
First of all, ew. It’s 2023, we don’t use that word. Second, does what the Consultant wants matter? What if they don’t want to pursue directorship? I thought out Mary Kay business was what we wanted it to be and nobody got to tell us what to do with it??????
“But the magic is in you, mentally and literally creating the position of DIQ of the month – it gives your consultants a role to claim and causes you to think of it as a continuous process.”
So let’s create yet another imaginary status for consultants to stress out over. Great. Because it’s not enough to already have them working towards Queen of Sales, Queen of Sharing, Queen of Booking, Consistency Club, Star Consultant, Car Status, and whatever other bullsh!t “contest” you or your NSD have made up that month in order to try to make production. Let’s create ANOTHER way to make consultants feel less-than when they work as hard as they can and aren’t chosen to be your “DIQ of the Month”. Let’s create ANOTHER way for them to feel like they constantly can’t measure up. Because that’s what Mary Kay does, isn’t it? There’s always one more thing you should have earned by the end of Seminar year. And instead of recognizing the insanity and changing course, what does Mary Kay do??? ONE. MORE. CONTEST. 🤦♀️
*cough* Jamie Taylor *cough*
During my years as a manufacturer’s sales rep, when I opened new retail accounts, I preferred them to start off with a decent but reasonable order based on how our products would sell for them. We were rewarded for growing our business by establishing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our clients. It did us no good to overload a new account with a big order that was way more than what they could sell reasonably soon, because if we did, that would likely be our first and last order from that client. Churn and burn was the opposite of our goals.
But hey, what do I know. MLM-ers are super successful doing it their way.
(/s for our PT critic friends lurking about)
Also just want to add a (somewhat off topic) major pet peeve of mine with that nearly everyone involved in the MK pyramid is guilty of: claiming that you OWN YOUR BUSINESS.
In my career noted above, I could only sell to actual businesses. Like, we could open no new account that wasn’t set up as a legit business. Hey Mary Kay ladies (of all levels): what’s your EIN? How are you set up…C Corp, S Corp, LLC, PLLC, Sole Proprietorship? I’m probably missing a few types here…but which type doesn’t really matter. Bottom line is, you don’t need one to be in MK. You’re all independent contractors. NOT business owners. You own nothing except the inventory piled up in your garage.