Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More about recruiting

So, here we go with recruiting again. As it is this subject is complex and ultimately, the decision to recruit or not to recruit is an individual decision.

As with anything, there are right ways and there are wrong ways. There are right motives and there are wrong motives.

I will confess, I am a little excited about what I am about to post here.

"Why Dave?" you might ask. "You never get excited about anything do you?" Well, yes sometimes I do. And, since you ask, I will tell you why.

I have felt that many posts lately have placed Mary Kay in a good light (when not twisted so far out of context as to make the original text unrecognizable). I was starting to think that maybe there were so few people doing the "bad things" in MK that I would not have enough negative to comprise a truly "balanced" perspective.

This post from Pink Truth has some things in it that I would consider questionable. Let's take a look shall we?

Again, my source is Pink Truth. They have made a valiant effort at giving their source credit this time...(I am not making this up) Here is their version of giving credit to a source.

I forget which unprotected UnitNet site I found it on first, but it's on several sites as "training material".

Anyway, if this came from a director, I have a few problems with it. I will explain after the jump.

1.You will not lose money. Yes, 50% seems to be more than 4, 9 or 13 % BUT I guarantee you that she will work harder to build her client base then she would to help you. She will reach women that you never knew about in her life...even if she's your sister. Look at this ... if she is a Star Consultant ... your 4% is $72, 9% is $162 and 13% is $234!! The average client buys $50 in a Star Quarter---that's only $25 profit. So which is mo' money?

2.You are too busy to do more Mary Kay. Precisely, why you should recruit. She make mo' money. If you aren't heading for Directorship then it's your director's responsibility to train her. You have a few things to do to help ... but #1 is to hook her up with the Director!! You can dovetail for 15% of the appt sales to a team member and you make that fee plus when she orders, you will make a recruiting commission too. Perfect ... no extra work for you...but mo' money for you.

3.You are not too new. You don't have to know more about the business to bring someone in the business. You don't have to do anything but bring a potential to your director and ask her to interview her for you. Who are the potentials ... anyone who buys MaryKay from you and you like her!!! Remember that you are NOT giving her YOUR job but the potential of the MK business for HER. She might want a free car and you don't. It's the director's job to train. If you know enough to say, "yes' to know enough to recruit. Need mo' money?

4.I am afraid if they say no to me then my feelings will be hurt. Ok, that statement sounds just silly enough to not warrant more opinion on my part. It's just 'no-for now' ... not even forever!

5.Will they think that I am some pyramid scam artist? No, they will think that you love what you do and proud to share this others. That is even more of a reason why sharing all the facts about a MK business is so important-once they understand the truths of MK ... they could never think poorly of you. Oh contraire, they will respect you more even if they are a 'no-for now'. This business is very impressive.

6.If you don't think you know anyone who would be interested, because she has asked you or you have pre-judged them ... then think again!! Did someone ask you to listen to the facts or did you ask them? 95% had to be asked first before joining MK. Chances are they are waiting for someone to believe in them enough to ask them, or they don't know the truths and have made their own prejudgments about what we do. Don't wait for someone to recruit one of your clients before talking to them ... if you don't ask them ... eventually, someone will.

First of all let me say that this sounds like it is coming from a director that want to get some recruits in her unit that WANT to go to the top. It has the feel that she is suggesting that she is willing to work very closely with the ones that are recruited from this endeavor and that you will really have to do very little. She seems to be saying, "If YOU don't want to do more than just sell to a few people, but you see someone that might WANT to do more than that, why not let them, and in the process you will make more money.

Second, it feels like it should be taken in the context of being a response to someone who has just said, "I want to recruit, but..." and is in fact six responses to six "but..."

Here goes.

1. She is guaranteeing they will not lose money but will make money. This is an impossible guarantee. If a good customer turns into a star consultant or better, it WILL be. But there is no guarantee that she WILL become anything more than a personal use consultant. Some of the language here makes me think the first thing I said may be in play. Hopefully this director after making this claim would recommend the ones becoming personal use consultants to just remain clients. However, I get the feeling that she would recruit these in hopes of getting a star from them. Some people are not meant to be recruited. I would hope this director knows the difference, but judging solely on the guarantee she puts out here and the testimonies (like Judi's) that we have all heard, I have my doubts. This does not mean that you should not consider recruiting someone that may be able to sell a lot, just that you are not guaranteed they will.

2. If she were talking to me, I would say, "huh". Again, if you recruit someone that ends up being a stellar seller and your director does all the work, GOOD! But you may get someone that just wants the discount and you lose a good chunk of your profit, BAD! (not entirely bad though if you look at it from a philanthropic point of view, just not "good for business")

3. It is true that you are never too new to find a recruit. When my wife was just getting started, she would often have a 3-way interview with her director. (free training) Any one of your Mary Kay customers is a POTENTIAL recruit. Not all of them WILL be a recruit. And, as mentioned just before this, there is no guarantee that they will make you more money if they become a recruit. Although number three does not expressly indicate that, because of number one, it is implied. This is the same "logic" that I hold against PT when they come to conclusions based on previous conclusions that are inaccurate. And of course ending the paragraph with "Need mo' money?" definitely makes it sound like all you have to do is introduce your clients to your director and they will make you more money. This is not necessarily true.

4. Ouch. Ok, it is true that you should not allow your feelings to get hurt by a "no". We have discussed this elsewhere. But there has got to be a better way to say it, no? Further, there is a possibility that it IS, "no forever" also as discussed elsewhere. While it is a good idea to quantify a no, once you have determined that this is not what they want, let it go. (more on that later)

5. Actually, they might. We have seen that some people consider Mary Kay a pyramid scheme. Usually the ones that feel this way will not be convinced otherwise. Why waste your energy trying to convince them and recruit them? If you try to sell something that you are convinced is going to turn on you and destroy your life, you will probably not do well! If you sit down with someone and they say, "Isn't Mary Kay..." and you respond, "No, actually it is more like..." and they become curious at that point, good. If they are hellbent on "saving you from the evil pyramid scheme", you are probably better off "agreeing to disagree" if you can and maintaining your consultant/client relationship!

6. I think she means, "... because she HASN'T asked you..." as opposed to, "... because she HAS asked you...". It makes more sense that way. Regardless, assuming that you WANT to recruit someone and are willing to take the risk that they will not make you as much money (or worse, less) as they bring in as a client, than this is very true and very important. If you don't ask, you will never know. And, someone else may be the one that does ask and therefore reaps the benefits.

So, if you are a consultant and are considering recruiting, you should consider that you might not get what this person is guaranteeing.

I know we just talked about recruiting, but I want more. What ARE some of the benefits of recruiting? What have the trade offs been? Have you recruited women that you had allowed to just stay clients? Have you had people that you thought, "she would be great" only to see someone else share the opportunity with her first? Have you written someone off as not being interested and then seen her as someone else's new recruit the next month?

Any thoughts on what this (source unknown) director shared?

Let's hear it.

On a side note, comments left here have not been being forwarded to me. So, while I normally will see your comment no matter where you leave it, I may miss some until I figure out what is broken. Of course you are all commenting so quickly that I can't really keep up anyway!

So, fire away.



  1. I really appreciate this article, David. I personally do not feel that you should recruit right out of the gate. My director recuited someone at my grand opening and I was NOT happy about it. I felt that since I was so brand new I couldn't give MY recruit the attention I would have liked to. If someone is signed up under me, then it reflects me. My recruit ended up resenting me because of my director. My director expressed interest in other customer's of mine. I never put up their contact info on InTouch because I did not want my director recuiting them. I never understood the whole 9%, 13%, etc. I wanted the 50%. If they were customers only I didn't have to worry about helping them in their business when I could barely get mine working. I wanted to focus on me first. I didn't want my director to help me recuit. Everytime we were out in public she was trying to recruit someone. I wanted help booking appointments. I had no doubt of my ability to sell. I needed help getting bookings, and getting them to hold, and getting them to invite friends. And she didn't want to focus on that.

  2. Judi,

    I agree with you that many directors are pushy and they want to recruit everyone. I have team members, I got them slowly. I think that it is important to make sure the women really want to do it. I know that we can all get caught up in the hype and sign.

    I tell the women that I talk to to pray about it first and wait for an answer. I don't want to recruit people that don't want to do this business, I think that is where you get those anti MK sites.

    I think that we need to remember the way that Mary Kay Ash wanted this business done. First book, sell and then recruit. Not recruit first. That makes no since. If you don't know how to book and sell then how in the world would you be able to recruit. You want the women to see how you do what you do. I know that it would even be a good idea to take a lady with you to a class and let them watch you in the before during and after stage before they sign the agreement.

    There are greedy directors out there as in any business however if it is done correctly and the way that Mary Kay Ash intended we wouldn't be having all this negative stuff out there.

    Remember to treat everyone the way that you want to be treated.

  3. The motive to recruit, IMO, should NOT be to make money. The motive should be to offer something we enjoy to another human being. I don't typically ask someone if they would like to sell MK. I just sell my products, present a positive attitude, and genuinely enjoy my business. I talk about my business with excitement and passion--why? Because I'm excited and passionate about it. What tends to happen to me is someone will ask me how I'm doing in MK. I tell them I work very part time right now, but I have a lot of fun with it. I tell them how I make money. I explain that we make 50% profit from sales and then I say, "another way we can earn money is by building a team. Whenever someone joins my team and starts selling the product, she will have to order it from the company. When this happens, Mary Kay, Inc. sends me a check to say, 'thank you for expanding our sales force.'" Sometimes, they ask about cars; ultimately, I do invite them to either participate in a phone call or attend an event with me if they want more info. Most of my team members decided to up over the phone on a call with my director (I emailed the agreement afterward) or they came to my event and signed up. Most of my team members surprised me by signing.

    As far as an experience where someone I was working with signed with someone else; well, it sort of happened. I met this one woman who said she used to be a consultant, but she was adopted by a director in our area that pressured her to place orders and she didn't like that. This particular director is known for unethical behavior and her own offspring preferred to collaborate with our units instead of her own senior. Anyway, the woman I was talking to kept asking me if I was in anyway connected to that other director. I assured I am not--she is in Ruby and I am in Emerald. There are no ties. She went to my director's house and I think she signed an agreement, but didn't have the $100 so she waited. Then she said she didn't want to do it right now. No big deal. A year or so later she called me out of the blue and said she was ready to sign up now. OK. Great! She still wound up not signing. I found out earlier this year that this woman has since moved to another state and did sign an agreement...and she's in the Ruby Seminar! She has a better chance of being connected to that other director as far away as she is now than she ever would have signing with me. I just think it's funny because she was so insistent on avoiding association with that other person. Ç'est la vie!

    I have more to add about recruiting in general, but I have to take off for now. :) I'll be back. lol

  4. I should add, that I do tell anyone thinking of signing up that recruiting is an option for earning money, but not required and that I'm perfectly happy selling it. My point when telling them we make money by building a team is to be up front about it and to show them the expectation is to sell product and then the company rewards the recruiter for adding this salesperson.

  5. Judi I agree with you on this one. I have experienced two different directors and while both are great people, there was one that at times I was weary of bringing my customers around because i knew that she was going to immediatley try to bring them in. some of them had already told me that they did not want to sell MK, but that they only wanted to be my customer, so when this particular director started in, it made me uncomfortable in that I felt that they would think that I set them up. I say that to let others know that we completely understand that there are directors out there who can turn people off with their approach.
    Plus if we recruited everyone, then who would we sell to? I like completing a sale and even after all these years I get excited when a customer buys something from me. When my customers see that, a lot of times that is when they will become interested in this business and I will give them info. That has let to recruits for me.

  6. For the sake of keeping the conversation going and for those who may have experienced this - A director that is convinced that EVERYONE should be a consultant...

    What advice would you offer a consultant in this situation?

    I would recommend one of the following.

    1. If you are the confrontational type, go directly to that director (one-on-one PLEASE! not at meeting) and very plainly express that YOU will determine which customer (if any) is interested in hearing about the opportunity and will let her know IF you need any help from her.

    2. If you are less confrontational but still need (for some reason) to bring a customer/client within "striking" distance of this director, warn you client about her. Something along the lines of... "Now I know you may have heard that some people are SO excited about Mary Kay that they think EVERYONE should do it. The woman you are about to meet, although an incredible person, will probably try to talk you into joining Mary Kay. You are not obligated to say yes. If she starts bothering you with it, give me a signal (you can work one out) and I will step in and tell her to stop.

    Make sure you honor your commitment to bail her out if it gets "ugly" and apologize afterwards. If you feel that you have no ability to literally stop this director, make sure you have a, "we gotta go.." plan in place.

    Any other thoughts?

  7. OK. I'm back. :)

    As far as new consultants recruiting, I think it depends on the individual. The post in question, is attrociously written and is far too assumptive. While I don't think a new consultant should be pushed into recruiting if she's not ready, I don't think it should be completely discouraged, either. I think there are times when a new consultant may meet someone or even have a friend who will want to sign up. The new consultant may feel uncomfortable because she's new. This doesn't mean she should not build a team at all. Her director should just have her understand that she (her director) will be there to help her new team member as well as herself grow in their individual businesses.

    Anyway, the main problem I have with this entire "unitnet" post is that almost every single point says, "less work for you." That has never been the message conveyed to me in MK. I have heard, the more you work, the more you will get from your business. But the whole, "work less, mo' money" is just ridiculous.

  8. Ahhh Shades and everyone I agree with what you have said except for ONE thing. When you become a director the focus is on growing your unit!!! I dont think the directors are recruiting the dogs and cats and people out of greed its out of necessity. I DONT agree with recruit first either but since I have never been in the shoes of a director I DO feel that they are forced to look for fresh meat. If you have a unit size of 50
    and a 1/3 of them are working 15 or so unless one of them is a car driver or DIQ I can see how a director is pressed for production.
    If the unit size is 80 or more well production will come from sheer numbers. I think the MK comp plan for sales is great 50 percent and the recruiting commission is not bad but in order to take advantage of all of that money you have to constantly bring in new people. My director who does not frontload and doesnt bug people brings in 3 new people every month (I dont know what kind of orders they place) she is not a top director but she maintains the Caddie for 6 years and she is in a GP now but her girls have been with her for years. This is a touchy subject because if I were a struggling director or wanted to win a top trip I think I would be tempted to come from the recruit first angle. I dont think I would but if there is production hanging over my head I think it would be easy to fall into that trap. I think its hard for us to ignore this MK4ME is a director and so is the Myst. Hopefully they will see this posting and add something to the pot with a Directors viewpoint.

    I can see how this subject is touchy because we have not been there. Having a director recruit someone from a debut is not cool beans in my book. Shades and Judi are right they need to focus on sales and I think recruits will come and if you are a consultant or director in a perfect world it works but in a non perfect world you have to jump up on the numbers.

  9. colleen,

    It would be great to get some director thoughts on this one.


  10. Hello all, I love what all of you have said so far. I know that I do differ from many, many directors on this but I DO NOT encourage new unit members to recruit right away. (I will not stop them either) but I truely believe that the focus and energy at the start of their business should be on booking, presenting the product, and closing the sale. Once these are mastered, then I believe it is time to master the recruiting. I still believe it is part of the skin care class to do a little marketing and be open to someone that may express an interest but not to aggressively go after them.
    To me it is a process. I think it is too complicated to do it all well all at once.

    Analogy here: we learn to walk BEFORE we learn to run. You start in 1st grade not 12th grade, you learn addition and subtraction, before multiplicating and division. you learn to sell the product and then you learn to recruit.

    I do not expect a new consultant to train, I do believe as a director that is what I am compensated for but I liken the recruiter to a big sister as oppossed to me being the mother.

    When we do a guest event, I present an overview of the Company and use the 1 to 10 scale for a gauge of their interest. 1 being "I am a happy customer and plan on staying that way", 10 being give me that pen so I can sign my agreement, and your not allow to tell me 5 cuz I just don't know which way your interst lie. I don't push. I am truly proud to say, my unit members and adoptees are totally comfortable knowing anyone I talk to will never feel pressured.

    For me I have found magic in my laid back approach. I present the information, they will either be interested or not, if they are great, if they are not, my line is, that's great too because we still love having you as a very happy MK client. Often years later because of the presentation we have had customers become consultants when the time in their life was better and they remember the pleasant interview.

    There is an old saying that less is more. Just like when I am selling my products, I use the same approach with recruiting - I want people to want the products. I do not want to talk people into buying something they don't want and then resent the fact that I pushed them into buying it, get buyers remorse and then not continue to use MK. I would rather them not even buy the product. I want a client that buys the product because they want it and will be a repeat client because they enjoy the product and my services.

    I hope I am not putting anyone to sleep but in 12 years I find a consultant making money is a happy consultant and one that isn't - isn't going to be a consultant for long. Unless they are really working this as a selling business, a consultant is going to make more money selling at 50% than recruiting at 4% (or 9-13%).

    Now if you want more out of this Company as you build your clients, you will start finding others that are interested. I have found it true that in a unit of 30 there is usually only one superstar so I sort of figure out of 30 clients, I am probably only looking at one very good consultant. Once you have a large customer base, recruitng becomes a great way to balance your business and it gives you another avenue of income.

    What the "newer" generations seem to be doing is trying to make recruiting the primary line of income when it should not be.

    Pleae don't think I am bragging - I LOVE this business and it does seem to come very easy to me. 12x Director Court of Sales and 5 x Court of Recruiting. And I hate closing. I am fairly timid in my approach and and deathly afraid that people will think that I am pushy so there are times I am even too casual but for some reason this seems to work for me.

    I have seen a director once that actually was pressing a young lady so hard that I was actually embarrassed so much so that when I saw the young lady in the parking lot leaving that night, I felt the need to apologize to her if the director had made her fell uncomfortable. I explained that sometimes we are so excited about what we do, we come across as a little cooky because we just think everyone is going love it as much as we do. We chuckled and she thanked me and told me that she really did want to try Mary Kay but she was going to finish college first. I told her great, we would see her then.

    I have said it before, I can not change others in this Company that do it differently than myself but I can do things the way I see fit and I lead my people by my example. I know that I practice what I preach and I know I have earned the respect of my unit members, a-team members, and other area directors.

    Judi, I am sorry this happened to you, from everything I have read, I think if you had a different director, since I hear the love you have for the product, you could have really enjoyed being a consultant. I hope you keep loving the product. And thanks for being open to hearing how some of us operate our busineses versus what you have seen. :)

  11. MK4ME,

    You have put a lot of thought and time into that comment, do you mind if I post it on the main page?

  12. I also think they must have looked high and low to find something like this to post to make fun of.

    I have been on many unitnet sites and have never seen something like this before.

    I did not care for the wording or presentation of her information. My guess is what she was trying to express did not come thru in her writing leaving it wide open to misinterpretation and jmho it seems to lack a little professionalism. But, it is her site so that is her right.

    There is alot of good information on the different unit net sites and many of them have excellent training. It seems PTer's spend more time on unitnet now maybe if they had spent the time studying and learning while in Mary Kay they wouldn't be on PT today.
    Who knows??

  13. David, thank you, if you feel it is front page worthy. Please use it. I am passionate about this Company and fully believe if you operate this business as Mary Kay intended us to, it can truley be an opportunity which can enrich women's lives. It is when others try to recreate the wheel or try to find a short cut to success that bad situations tend to appear.

    Thanks again, mk4me

  14. MK4me I like your laid back approach and its is an honor to know you. You remind me of my director.


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