Benefits of Being My Customer

A former Mary Kay consultant comes clean about her interactions with her customers.

The truth behind the pink… false compliments, recruiting and sales tactics, ulterior motives, false earnings claims… all the norm in Mary Kay when someone is trying to move up!

  1. I probably used a “sincere sounding” compliment when I first saw you so that I could start a conversation with you, and hopefully sell you some Mary Kay.
  2. I used an event like a “Face Model” evening (which is nothing more than our regular rah-rah meeting with a new name to make you fee special) to get you to come and listen to a recruiting pitch.
  3. I sell you overpriced products. You could get similar quality for about half the price at Target, Walgreen’s, or Wal-Mart.
  4. If you wait long enough, I will offer you deep discounts because the company is (again) changing a product or a packaging, so my inventory is quickly becoming obsolete… and you benefit!
  5. I have little real training, so although I tell you that I’m going to help you personally, my knowledge is so low that I can’t offer much real help. (I’ll do the best I can to make you think I know what I’m doing, though.)
  6. I’ll pester you at least four times a year, call you to see if you’ve gotten our catalog and if you need anything. If you’re lucky, at least two of those times I’ll try to twist your arm into having a “check up facial” and invite a few friends.
  7. Once or twice a year I’ll be inviting you to come to some open house or utilize my gift service. Even though I know the last thing you probably want to give as a gift is Mary Kay.
  8. Anything I discuss with you about Mary Kay will have me “so excited.” Get used to hearing those words a lot.
  9. Many of my phone calls or texts to you will include a plea to “help me,” and that help will include something like having a three-way phone call with my director, watching a video and “giving me your opinion,” or coming to some “event.”
  10. At least a couple of times a year, I’ll try and recruit you into Mary Kay. At first I’ll tell you about how great you’d be at doing what I do and that you can replace your current income with Mary Kay (by working only part time!). After you resist my advances several times, I’ll move onto other reasons why you should do Mary Kay, ending with “Don’t you want to get your products for 50% off for the rest of your life” if I have to.
  11. If you do ever go from being a customer to being a recruit, I have a whole new line of questioning for you, beginning with “when are you placing an order.” No matter what you’ve told me about your intentions, I will pull out all the stops to get you to give a MK career a try and order lots and start recruiting for yourself.
  12. At some point you may realize that being my customer is a burden you’re no longer equipped to deal with. You decide it’s much easier to go to a cosmetics store, pick out what you want, and be done with it. And you’re right!


  1. Here are’s another one:
    13. I’ll invite you to my open houses by enticing you with food and drinks (all paid for by me) in hopes that you’ll buy my cute cello-wrapped baskets for (enter holiday here) or hand cream in a mug to gift to a teacher. What you don’t know is that I put my oldest, or hard-to-sell limited edition products in the beautifully wrapped baskets deeply discounted or BOGO so that I can at least break even.

  2. Proper sales/marketing seeks to demonstrate the product’s benefit to the customer in light of the asking price. The benefit to the seller is mentioned only in the most desperate of circumstances, which is rarely if ever appropriate. But this “buy the product to help me” approach is commonplace in MLM, and is more closely aligned with panhandling than with traditional retail sales. This is why so many folks cringe when faced with these desperate appeals from MLMers.

    Neither Walmart nor your local small business will ask you to help them reach some personal sales goal. Nor will they ask you to host parties at your house for their recruiting. Rather, they sell you on the value/virtues of their product offering, in hopes of winning you over to becoming a (hopefully repeat) customer. Any promotional events are held at their establishment, and they do all of this on the merits of the product…not the needs of the seller.

    This is why when asked to host an MLM party of any stripe, everyone should respond with, “Hey, this is your business…you should be hosting this at your place.”

    • I agree. A real business person doesn’t ask for help, they provide a good service or product at a price that people are willing to pay. I joined an MLM for a very short time. Before joining, I was told the products would sell themselves and it wouldn’t be like a charity (me begging or asking for friends and family to buy things they don’t want from me to help for my ‘business’) which is what I didn’t want. Of course once I joined, I saw most of the products were over priced and indeed did not sell themselves and of course I was told I should ask friends and family to ‘help’ me get started in my ‘business’ (the classic bait and switch of MLMs). Most people wouldn’t ask an acquaintance to babysit their kids or clean their garage without compensation, so asking time or money from and acquaintance to go to a meeting or ‘help’ with some MK task is just as tacky.


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