Saturday, March 15, 2008

Can you succeed in Mary Kay without ethics?

I can't help it. I have to write about this. I can't keep my fingers quiet any longer.

This post on another blog discusses the use of fishbowls in businesses and getting leads.

Please read the full post and the comments for the full effect - it is priceless.

Basically, this former consultant lied her way into being able to place a fishbowl in a local establishment (promising to buy a gift certificate for the winner of the drawing - which, by her own admission, she never did), and then called all of the leads and they all won the same thing - a free facial. Maybe some products. But everyone "won" the same thing.

This consultant goes on to say that she had over 500 customers this way! 500! But she wasn't making money.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

In all of the comments on the blog, no one says ANYTHING negative about her dishonesty! "Poor, poor, lying former consultant....thank you so much for baring your soul....." Gag me.

It's not like she gave her NAME or anything....so how wonderful is her confession? Whatever. I'll guarantee that she really messed things up for any other consultant who approaches those same business owners. Great. Thanks.

Her last few sentences sum it up nicely:
  • "So, just to summarize, I stole from the store I had my bag or box in, I lied to over 500 people, I ruined the lives of all the people I recruited, and I didn't really make a dime.

    Wow. I'm so proud of myself. I wish all you consultants out there who are fish bowling the best of luck, because I know it's hard to look yourself in the face when you are robbing yourself of dignity and innocent people of money and time."

So, IF I were allowed to post a comment on that blog (which I can't - been banned, don't ya know), it would run something like this:

"You lied. You stole. Does it surprise you at all that you did horribly as a businessperson? Does it surprise you that people did not want to hear from you? Does it surprise you that you were unable to form a lasting business relationship with people?

I've got news for you: I sleep well at night. I won't cheat people out of what I promised.

Don't blame Mary Kay for your problems - your issues are a lot deeper and are purely yours.

Raisinberry says in a comment on the above post: 'Isn't it amazing how easy it was to lie to customers?' Um, Raisin, the only way it is easy to lie is if you are used to doing it and have gotten good at it. Congratulations."

Running your business with integrity is a must if you ever want long-term success.

Okay, let's hear it. What is your opinion on this post?

24 comments:

  1. mkshay, I am glad your fingers were screaming, cuz I had a fit reading it and knowing even if I was able to post a comment, it would have been deleted.

    I am going to come back and do this when I am not sputtering because it is examples such as this is that does impact the rest of us.

    Before I go calm down and then come back to write, I always tell my consultants when you call leads, please do not say, Congratulations you have won a facial/makeover. We are Mary Kay, we offer complimentary facials and makeovers in a try before you buy atmosphere. It is misrepresenting the facts. Now if you are going to give a $5 or $10 gift certificate, then you have won that with the complimentary makeover.

    Soon or later the client will know that she didn't win anything and your reputation is shot with her. Why whould she believe anything else you ever told her. No one likes to be deceived and one decieved how can you build a lasting relationship?

    This is why Mary Kay is so cautious advertising and asking us not to oversell. The facts are good enough, we don't need to embellish.

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  2. LookingforAnswersMarch 15, 2008 at 4:53 PM

    I'm glad you brought that over here...I had read that this week and was pretty stunned.

    It did take a lot for her to be honest about it though but it sure didn't make it right.

    We are taught in our National area and have been taught this way since I started nearly 20 years ago, that everyone "wins a free facial".

    It never, ever felt right.

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  3. still must wait, but I don't think it took much to be honest when you are doing it anonymously. And people will read stuff like that and will assume the majority of us are like that.

    It just goes to show that bring a dishonest person into Mary Kay certainly isn't going to make them honest. And it doesn't surprise me she didn't last as a consultant.

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  4. Pink Bren here... I can't believe this lady. It isn't MK fault that she lies and deceives people. That is on her. She is trying to blame MK. And the people over at pt are too they are something I don't know what.

    If you are not honest before getting into MK you are not going to be honest after getting into MK. I can't believe that people would actually do this.

    I do a health fair in the small town that I live in and I always have a door prize for those that fill out their name and addresses. I give either satin hands or basic set. I state that I only give one however it is given free of charge. And then too the health fair gives out at door prize and I donate to that too.

    I don't know why people just can't tell the truth when it is better than a lie doesn't make any sense to me.

    You know the dishonest people don't last in this business they all end up on pt with tc that should tell everyone something.

    have a good evning

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  5. This is from the closing paragraph of my discussion of the CBS Evening News' Tupperware piece, over on mypinktruth.wordpress.com:

    On March 12th, SoLostInWisconsin posted an article about how she had fishbowls in business places in her area, had about 500 customers from them (although she says that some of these customers bought nothing, which I call a lead, not a customer), sold a bunch of them an “I Deserve It All Bag” (sounds like a version of a filled roll-up bag) and then recruited all of these customers. She then goes on to say that she never sold another thing to any of these 500 customers. She states that “none of these people relished the idea of hearing from me again.” She also stated that she never bought or awarded any of the gift certificates to the business establishments that she had promised on her fishbowls. Part of the way down the comments, she adds that she had 20 of these fishbowls and also did a lot of fashion and wedding shows, and makes it sound like some of these 500 leads came from those shows. (Can you say $$ in booth fees?) Could her lack of success just be karma coming back for being a cheap huckster? How much do you want to bet that instead of trying to determine her customers’ needs and then meet them, she was hard selling filled roll-up bags and really pushing the opportunity. It’s amazing how none of her recruits ever ordered or only ordered for personal use. So like the ex-directors that proudly front-loaded their consultants and now claim to see the light, this person burned her bridges with every person she met, but claims that it’s Mary Kay’s fault.

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  6. When I do fishbowls (which is rare because I hate them. HATE!) I put on the sign: "Enter here for a free Mary Kay Facial!" OR If I have purchased a gift certificate:
    "Enter here for a free Mary Kay facial! One grand prize winner will receive a Gift Card!" I think I used one version that said something like, "Win a Gift Certificate! One grand prize winner will get a Gift Card and free MK facial. 10 runners up will get a free facial." Then I call everyone and if they are not the grand prize winner I still tell them they are entitled to the free facial.
    When I do bride shows and craft bazaars it is similar. We have a drawing for the gift basket, but when I call the leads I tell them they are still eligible for the free facial/makeover.
    I won't go read the article on PT because I simply don't go to that site deliberately. ;)

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  7. Whenever I do fish bowls I dont promise anything but a free facial. It is for this very reason.I dont want to mislead anyone into thinking they are "winning" anything, and I also dont want a bunch of dead leads who are not really interested in a facial but only want whatever it is they think they might win. I offer the manager or owner a certain amount of free product for letting me have the fish bowl there and that is it. If someone puts there name in the bowl then I know they are interested in the facial and nothing else and I dont feel bad about calling them.

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  8. foreverpink -

    I like that idea! :o)

    How does that work for you?

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  9. What I have found when using foreverpink's approach is, you may not get oodles of leads, but the ones that you do get are usually truly interested.

    Often, if there is a prize offered, the interest is only for the prize not the service.

    Give me two great leads versus 100 bad ones, leads do boil down to quality, not quantity.

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  10. I did lots of fishbowls without lying. I never had to buy a gc to the store and I did make everyone a winner, however, I never claimed it was a "grand prize" or "1st place winner"...just you could win $25 in free MK with your makeover and offered more if friends came with. What's wrong with that?

    And yes, MK Shay, I agree...poor lady who was dishonest. I guess that is MKC's fault, too?

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  11. I dont get tons of leads from my fishbowls, but since they are really cheap to do as far as time and effort, the few leads I do get have been worth it.
    I guess one of the reasons I kind of like doing fish bowls is because before I was a consultant I put my name in one because I had been without the product for a nubmer of years and I wanted to get back on them. It was in a gym and I put my name in the box. A lady called me and came to my house and did a facial. I dont know if she still does MK anymore but I bought the whole skin care line from her. I guess I keep thinking that there is somebody like me out there who may be looking for a consultant.
    However I have never been dishonest in using a fishbowl

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  12. foreverpink, I think you are right - there ARE ladies out there looking for a MK rep. I have come across several of them just in the short time I have been back in MK.

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  13. You ladies are in truly in the pink vortex. There truly is NO way to do MK in the "right way." The system is broken.

    Yes, old school is to book, sell, recruite - working "full circle."

    How well is that working for you really? Are women calling you begging to hold skincare classes? Hmm?

    Even if you build up your selling business, you will at some point be encouraged to gouge your sales, but recruiting your best customers.

    You will be encouraged to become a Red Jacket, Team Leader, on-target for DIQ, etc.

    The ONLY way you will move up in the company is recruit and frontload. Production is a requirement to move up and "win a free car" (with a co-pay by the way).

    You WILL learn to frontload - but you will be told that you're setting the women up for success. Hmm...

    Are you really?

    MK is all about greed. It's a Pink Cult of greed and until you ladies realize that, you're caught up in the lie.

    You'll find out soon enough when you stop ordering excessive product that is not immediately needed, just to reach a star star order that you hear from your Director much less often.

    If you stop ordering for a few months, be prepared for either the pink friendship fade-out, or get kicked to the curb while they step over you and say, "NEXT."

    If you think my "NEXT" comment is too harsh, have you listed to Pam Shaws cassettes? Or the DIQ training cassette where they talk about MK being a "numbers game afterall."

    I pray for all of you that you get out now, while your family finances don't take more of a hit - and you can save your marriage from the distruction that has happed to SO many in Mary Kay.

    Just listen to the NSD I-stories and see how many women are married to their original husbands. It's quite telling...

    I will continue to pray for you. I'm not "being negative" although you will probably label me as such.

    I'm just speaking the truth about this MK business with a BIG warning to you all.

    Dazzling Diva Dana



    encouraging them to book and sell, then layer and recruit...

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  14. DDD,

    Though I normally don't comment during the daytime, I wanted to take a quick second to welcome you to the site.

    One of the things we are in desperate need of here is the point of view that you have. As such, I hope that you will stick around.

    I am sure that following your comment will come a barrage of questions to clarify what you are basing your broad sweeping generalizations. This is because (if you have read here very long) most people on this site have not experienced what you are talking about and are genuinely interested in seeking restitution and preventing things from occurring again.

    I hope that you wont perceive these requests for further information as attacks on you.

    We all (or at least most of us) acknowledge that there are less than ethical IBCs, Directors, etc. out there and that people have been hurt as a result.

    Please hear this from me personally (the "owner" of this blog) - I am sorry that you were mistreated by this company.

    Thanks for stopping by and I truly hope that you stick around and help us improve on the Mary Kay culture.

    -DS-

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  15. anon, how long were you a consultant and how far up the ladder did you get?

    I have not been in very long and have witnessed some things I was not prepared to see. Greed being the main one.

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  16. I'm reposting with, (a little bit of editing) with a true handle, so you don't think I'm trying to be anonymous.

    My name is Dana Campbell - I live in Oregon. My NSD was top NSD for Saphire: Christine Peterson.

    If you are interested in my MK TRUE story, I'd love to share it.

    Unfortunately, you ladies are in truly in the pink vortex.

    There truly is NO way to do MK in the "right way."

    The system is broken.

    Yes, old school training is to book, sell, recruit - working "full circle."

    How well is that working for you really?

    Are women calling you begging to hold skincare classes? Hmm?

    Are you having $1000 weeks on a consistent basis? Making $400 profit with the 60/40 split?

    or are you plowing all "profits" back into the MK business either attempting to pay off a credit card or purchasing even MORE inventory?

    Even if you build up your selling business, you will at some point be encouraged by your Director, Sr. Director, or NSD to gouge your sales, but recruiting your best customers.

    You will be encouraged to become a Red Jacket, Team Leader, on-target for DIQ, etc.

    The ONLY way you will move up in the company is recruit and frontload.

    HUGE thousands in "Production" is a requirement to move up and "win a free car" (with a co-pay by the way).

    It has nothing to do with SALES, MK rewards women because of product ordered by them or their team members.

    You WILL learn to frontload - but you will be told that you're setting the women up for success with a full store.

    Hmm... Are you really?

    MK is all about greed. It's a Pink Cult of greed and until you ladies realize that, you're caught up in the lie.

    You'll find out soon enough when you stop ordering excessive product that is not immediately needed, just to reach a star level order - that you hear from your Director much less often.

    If you stop ordering for a few months, be prepared for a guilt trip that you're not being a team player.

    Then, either the pink friendship fade-out will occur, or you will get kicked to the curb with thier "required close-toed shoe."

    They will step over you and say, "NEXT."

    If you think my "NEXT" comment is too harsh, have you listed to Pam Shaws cassettes? Or the offical MK DIQ training cassette from early 2000, where they talk about MK being a "numbers game afterall."

    I pray for all of you that you get out now, while your family finances don't take more of a hit -

    and you can save your marriage from the distruction that has happed to SO many in Mary Kay.

    Just listen to the NSD I-stories and see how many women are married to their original husbands. It's quite telling...

    I will continue to pray for you. I'm not "being negative" although you will probably label me as such.

    I'm just speaking the truth about this MK business with a BIG warning to you all.

    Dazzling Diva Dana

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  17. Dear Dazzling, I am not surprised by your opinions since you have disclosed which national area you were in. I've heard some really interesting tales on this group, and would like to hear some first hand info. from you about them.

    Also, I would like to ask if you ever reported them to the company? If not, that's okay. By telling it here, it will get around, and will get to corporate. The best thing to do is to name these people, tell specifically of their actions, and keep doing it until they are gone.

    Trust me, NONE of us in the company, working our businesses the right way condone the type of behavior that some in the company exhibit. However, most of my info. is second hand and there is nothing that I can do with it. Please, tell what you KNOW to be fact. The company needs to know.

    BTW, I do disagree with you though. I do work ethically, and I do make a good bit of money and I do drive a MK car with no co-op payment. My NSD got there the right way and is very ethical. I know this to be a fact.

    SPEAKING THE REAL TRUTH

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  18. MK Honesty, I agree with you about So Lost's story, it doesn't add up!

    Let me also say that I do not like fishbowls, and don't teach them as a practice. They can be very discouraging.

    But, here is the clincher. Do these people expect us to believe that they are people of such high moral code, yet when they came into MK they started acting unethically? Really? I think that you are usually ethical or you are not. Honest or not. They all want to admit to being dishonest back then, but are expecting us to believe that they are now squeaky clean and honest? I don't get that.

    SPEAKING THE REAL TRUTH

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  19. Dazzling -

    I appreciate your post. I hope you keep coming here and sharing your views.

    I cannot speak for every IBC. All I know is how I run my own business, and that is with integrity.

    I have not gone into debt for MK, and I will not go into debt for MK. Period. My finances have not "taken a hit" from MK.

    Do ladies call me "begging" for a class? No, but I have had requests for them.

    Dazzling, I think it is important to warn others about what some Directos/NSD's do, but please don't paint all IBC's with the same brush.

    STRT -

    I agree. People don't just shed their morals when they become an IBC and then miraculously don them again after they leave MK. It just doesn't happen that way.

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  20. this might be a stretch but if you are married and because people you just met tell you to hide stuff from your husband, and you do, and you blame Mk for your Marriage problems, my guess would be you'd have someone to blame if you had an affair too. When you got married you took vows, if you can so easily be swayed in not confiding in your husband, you've got much larger problems than Mary Kay.

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  21. I think Mary kay is a great business that has great potential for earning an income. Altho it is not a corporate J-O-B, it is a career and you must work it to make anything of it. I really truly believe it...

    ....but, when I came into MK 10 years ago, I did not have a whole lot of confidence, and altho no one ever forced me to do anything, I did things that were not good for my business or my financial situation. I would get caught up in the hype of the moment at Monday night meetings and be all pumped up, and bought into the " You can not sell from an empty cart" idea. Which is true, but your cart needs to only be as full as the product you are selling on a regular basis.

    I would buy the product from the company, but fail to turn around and sell it. Then low and behold someone would need something I didn'
    t have on my shelf. When I first came into the company, we had to have a minimum order size of $180, so ofcourse ended up buying things I idn't need , in order to get the 1-2 things I did need.

    No one asked me, why my sales weres so low when I was buying so much product. Finally at one point, I told my Director about my debt, and she had a hard time swallowing that. I had put a bigger purchase on my credit card when I first started as it had airmiles attached to it, but I put the money on it from my personal budget, as soon as it came on the bank statement. My Directors comment was that, that kind of debt could only be caused by paying for things other than MK wioth it. But it wasn't, it was from ordering product and not selling it. The interest adds up quikly when you are only able to make minimum payments. I was sinking fast and no one was throwing me a line. But I do realize I was an independent contractor, with a right to make my own decisions. I blame no one but myself for what happened.. but it doesn;t end there....

    I spoke with my hubby about the debt and we consolidated it onto our mortgage, a lesson learned. Not long after that, I put in my DIQ card. I really did believe I was doing it for me and my family. But again, because of my confidence issue, and because I am a people pleaser, I realize now, that I was doing it for my Director, as she so badly wanted another offspring director. I got into DIQ, and none of my team was into helping me out with production, and I had recruited, but because I was so afraid of helping them create debt, I only encouraged small inventories, if any at all. Also, becuase of my lack of confidence, the people I was recruiting . well were people who , in al due respect, were not the kind of people you meet in Mk.

    To make along story shorter.... I was the only who was doing any productions. I can not remember how much in total I bought, but that year, by December I was on track for Queens' Court of Sales... and I wasn't selling any of it..

    Again, my director, who knew exactly who was doing the required production never said anything to me about m increasing inventory, that this was not being right, this isn't the way it should be done. She was holding onto to dreams of people who basically did DIQ in the last 2 weeks, blah,blah,blah... eventually, the increasing number on my credit card scared me, and I said, I am done DIQ.

    Well when you do not sell, and are paying $100-$150 in interest every month, that original amount, plus the interest did not take very long to double. I am in big debt again!

    I do not attend MK functions anymore, as I do not want to be caught in the hype, but I have become much more confident about myself and have a greater ability to say NO< than I ever have in my whole life. between MK and a toxic friendship, I had to learn to begin to stand up for myself.
    I do not know if I would have ever learned to stand up for myself, had I not gotten into MK and the toxic friendship but believe me, what an expensive way to learn a lesson...was it cheaper than psychotherapy, hmmmmm, I do not know.

    I have asked my Director to not be in contact with me anymore by phone. She can include me in her emails if she so choses. I have a small handfull of customers who use all of the skin care, and I now only reorder in the product they use. I still have about $3000 retail of product on my shelf, in perfumes and body products, that I have ahard time selling because , due to allergies, I can not wear them my self.

    I am now going thru a period of transition. I have applied for a J-O-B, because I need to get this debt paid down. I haven't quite decided whether or not to continue on with my MK customers that I have and try to pick up a few more, in order to continue to get my product at wholesale, but to not incur anymore debt...or whethr I should just let it all go, and , just order my own stuff once a year, as I use enough stuff I could order once for the whole year. I think I will give the former a go for a bit and see if I can do it without incurring more debt.

    As far as the ethical part....I do not know what to say..sometimes I think people get so caught up in the dream that they end up doing anything to save face. On the outside, some of us looked so successful ( I had 12 on my team at one time) and were touted as being successful, but I sure didn't feel successful, when I knew I had a 5 digit debt looming over my head. I couldn't live the lie anymore, and that was when I got out of the MK success meeting limelight. No longer is my name seen in print in the monthly newsletter, or up on a chart somehwere on a wall, but , even with the debt over my head, I sleep better at night.

    I think Mk is a great business, but you have to go into it like a business person. Do not let someone say to you, oh " You can earn while you learn". I would suggest learn a bit, do some skin care classes, figure out what your sales are, and order product accordingly. Review after 3 months to realistical;ly what your work schedule for Mk will be nd what your average sales are. The order invetory accordingly. As your sales averages go up, increase your inventory. Do not stock everythng on your shelf, unless you are selling everyline. I find that if you do not use it and love it yourself, you will not sell it very well. Do not have a $5000 inventory when you sell $400 a month... otherwise you will see your debt go up, unless you are very rich and pay cash for your inventory..

    Sorry this is long. I do not hate Mk for what happened to me. I feel bad that I let it go as long as I did, but I refuse to feel guilt anymore. It is a lesson leanred, a business gone bad. No one made me do what I did. Some business's go well, some do not. People need to realize that and stop blaming the company. Yes, I have met some Directors and Consultants who walk the edge between ethical and unethical... but each and everyone of us has a brain and the abiltiy to make our own decisions. We have free will within MK. I still think that this company has the opportunity for a lurative business, I just wish I had the confidence to make it happen.... I would love to work for myself and sell $1000 a week, but I am not very self motivating and not a very good boss to myself.

    Good luck to all of you in your business's. It is so good to read bout the positive side of things rather than the trash it stories of PT>

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  22. mknomore4me???
    thank you, thank you for your post!
    i really felt your sincerity. I am sorry that your director was not a better leader for you. You sound as if you are taking that experience with the right perspective. Please continue to post because I would love to hear more about how you deal with this, lots of others probably need to hear it also.
    Best of luck to you and I really do hope that you keep posting :)

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  23. Thanks foreverpink...... as some people say, my blood does run pink, I really believe that this is a great company, and I love the products. ( I posted under the products: Hot or Not, and didn't even do my name right, as I said MK not4me, rather than MKnomore4me???)..

    I just have to make a decision about whether or not I can be a good business woman. So far, I have not been a good businesswoman, more like a very expensive pink hobbyist! When your business keeps losing, eventually revenue Canada begins to wonder whether or not you ever had the intention of making a profit, and they can and will go back and begin to do audits. This is likely my make or break year. I either need to stop, or make a profit, even if it is a small one...

    I will keep you posted. One of the things that keeps going thru my head, is the story of a irector that I met in Nashville. She told her story about how she had got herself into a lot of debt. My memory of all the fatcs is a bit dim, but her story was one where she had hoped her team would be enough to carry her, and between that and her personal spending, she got herself into bid debt...a 7figure debt, if I recall correclty, she said she was almost 1 million dollars in debt, or would soon be there if she didn't make changes. She started to work her business the way it was meant to be worked, and she was able to pull herself and her family out of the debt hole. I can not remember how long it took her to get out. She was at the conference to warn people about how NOT to get into the debt.

    I have met another woamn who has debt too. She never disclosed how much, but shared she had 5 credit cards maxed out. She too, had a desire, but there were emotional issues holding her back.

    I would suggest to Directors, and recruiters, that even tho, you have no respnsibility, legally, if your downline goes into debt, but if you see someone ordering the product, but see no evidence of the sales to go along with that product, set your own ambitions aside, and speak with that person. It may be a tough conversation to have, and it may even, at first embarras that consultant, but, it might also be the red flag they need to realize they are getting themselves into trouble.

    I can not say for certain, but I can't help but wonder if one of the reasons I kept doing it was that I had been put up on a pedestal by both my director and my adopted director. The focu was on Star Consultant, rather than on Sales.

    Directors, focus on sales, not on prduct from the company. We can all order the product and brag, but can we brag about the sales we had. With sales, the orders to the company will come.

    I think successful Directors likely do this.

    I will let you know the path I take and how it works for me...

    Still loving Mk, but not the debt, and the way I ran my business..looking for an overhaul!!!

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  24. mknomore4me -

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    ((((((((HUGS))))))))))

    ReplyDelete

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