Friday, June 27, 2008

A good laugh for the weekend?

This will be brief I promise. To make up for the recent mini-novel.

"Suzy Q" one of the writers on Pink Truth (This site often talks about the website Pink Truth - to help make you aware of the half-truths and flat out lies they tell) recently wrote a post. I couldn't even tell you what the post was about (something about Mary Kay not really caring about consultants) and I really only read a few lines into it when I stumbled on this little quote,

"I mean, offering to plant a tree for each returned platinum compact is a nice, green thought, but… did you see the “size” of those trees?"

I am not really sure I need to say anything. I will leave you to ponder.


  1. Well I am pondering the size of the tree I just have to post this, too many might miss it because it was posted so late...(on pt of course)

    TC has reposted what Charliesue7 posted then added her comment.

    charliesue7 wrote:
    I'm trying to take what I've learned and using it to be smarter about what I'm doing. I feel that if you learn to not believe in all the rhetoric and hype, tune out your Director's full-court-press tactics, and only order after your customers do, this business can be good.

    From TC
    Well, see! Now us dummies should be more like you! Maybe if we had tried to be a little smarter and not been so stupid, we could make money like you will. Way to go for learning from idiots like us. Happy MKing!

    From the words of TC hereself!

    I don't know dave, this might just deserve its own post..

    (PS - before deleted/blessed tells me, I do realize she is being sarcastic, but that doesn't show if you simply read the words)

    EXTRA EXTRA!! TC calls posters on PT IDIOTS!!

    This is a paid advertisement and the comments made are not endorsed or supported by the network. Now back to the regular program. "How tall will that tree grow?"

    of to Day 2 of my open house, by way of the shower first!!

  2. speaking the real truthJune 28, 2008 at 6:58 AM

    Thanks for posting this mk4me, I don't have the patience to read all of the postings over there. This proves that the only thing that will satisfy these folks is if every consultant quits or the company goes under. Radical extremists, don't you think?

    And face it, this TC gal is right (and you'll rarely here that from me!) Some of these people did do some stupid things, really. If you order thousands and thousands of dollars of product that you are not selling, Jeff Foxworthy type language, you might be an idiot.

    Can you imagine in any other company, of making these complaints? Let's say that you have a McDonald's franchise (and I have been in the food business before), and you order way too much food for your restaurant because they offer prizes from vendors for the biggest buyers, then you decide that was a mistake, that you have lost money, and you quit. Then you call McDonald's or the vendor and tell them that it is their fault for selling you that food and offering incentives to big buyers. What do you think the response would be? In almost ANY company, the large purchasers (wholesale or retail) get benefits or incentives. Heck, I earn them at Ulta when I buy haircare products. Is it their fault if I buy too much? Great thing about MK, it can go back!

  3. Disillusioned with MKJune 28, 2008 at 7:11 AM

    I seriously doubt that McDonald's has people emailing you and calling you daily, telling you how they are SOOOO close to their goal. If you could just STRETCH and order a few more burgers. Please? It would help me reach my goal.

    I know, it isn't MKC doing this. But it is THEIR directors. And it is beyond tacky.

  4. Right there with you strt, and from another Blue Collar,

    Thar's yur sign!!!

    strt, Congratulations to you and your unit on unit club!!

  5. Disillusioned with mk,

    Don't be so quick to,

    "...seriously doubt that McDonald's has people emailing you and calling you daily, telling you how they are SOOOO close to their goal. If you could just STRETCH and order a few more burgers. Please? It would help me reach my goal."

    I remember watching an investigative report on the meat departments in grocery stores. (not McDonalds, I know, but in the same vein nonetheless) Basically, everyone from the top executives all the way down to the floor managers were putting pressure on the people below them to sell more units. The pressure to move meat was SO strong that the poor "bottom level" employees were putting 'new' expiration dates over the old expiration dates.

    The investigation revealed that these grocery stores (a frighteningly large amount all across the country) were selling VERY expired meat to customers.

    They asked the workers that they caught doing it, "why?", to which they responded, "The manager put so much pressure on me..." The managers when questioned, similarly put blame on the people above them. When the investigation got to the top all the executives said, "Of course we want to sell as much as we can, but we would NEVER condone this kind of behavior."

    Somewhere, someone was lying. The investigation attempted to uncover WHO was the one that was originating the suggestion to be deceptive.

    I don't think I saw the end (or maybe I did and they just never found out where the problem was), but the point is that the pressure to sell more exists in every industry. It comes out in whatever form is most effective. In the meat industry it may not be, "Pleeeeease help me meet my goal" - it is probably more like, "You are a pathetic loser, you can't even sell 100 t-bones in a week? Don't even think about throwing that away. I don't care what you do, as long as you sell it."

    I CAN promise you this. There is pressure to sell in EVERY industry. When that pressure to sell turns to dishonesty or manipulation it is always wrong. However, pinpointing WHERE that transition happens (from normal, basic, honest pressure to sell TO manipulative encouraging of dishonesty) is usually nearly impossible. The same is true with Mary Kay. And it is my opinion that it is unreasonable to expect Mary Kay corporate to catch and stop EVERY possible occurrence before it takes place.

  6. I just finished reading (well more like skimming) this article.

    Is it just me or does Pink Truth and its members seem to believe that they could run Mary Kay better than Mary Kay?

    I have an acquaintance that kind of does the same thing. He is a really unique guy.

    He is really smart. He (allegedly - and I do believe this) has the I.Q. of a genius.

    He is homeless. He has a very abrasive personality and has never been able to keep a job because he always tells the boss how they OUGHT to be doing things and how he would do things better than them if he were in charge.

    Whenever we talk, he tells me all about how Ford and GM should be running their business. If he were in charge, they would NOT be losing billions of dollars.

    He tells me about what Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are doing wrong, and how he would do much better if he were in their position.

    I am not sure if Pink Truth members want to see Mary Kay brought to its knees and destroyed or if they want to be offered a position on the executive board of directors so that they can "fix" things.

    Any thoughts?

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Well, sure! I'll comment! :D

    I wouldn't mind seeing MLM companies far more regulated than they are now, even put out of business. And yes, that's what many PTers want. I certainly can't speak for all.

    Let's compare it to "predatory lending" which I find laughable. Why? Because you have all the risk-related info up front before you take out the loan. If you can't afford a home loan, don't take out a home loan. Personal responsibility, right? Hey, I took out an ARM (HELOC)--got my home with no downpayment. And paid a huge portion of that baby off like my tail was on fire, then was given help by my family. I behaved this way because I WAS INFORMED OF THE RISKS. BY MY LENDER. Had I been foreclosed on, I would have no one to blame it on but myself.

    The fact remains that I sought out that home purchase. No one came to me, told me I was sharp, and that I should buy my own home with no money down. My eyes were wide open to what I was getting into and I knew that if I didn't act fast, I was going to be in financial hot water. The lender gave me ALL the facts. I knew I was taking a huge risk.

    If MK (and all other MLMs) would require their recruiters to provide the consultant turnover rate, the after-expenses profit, the percentage of women who make a living wage, the true hours required to make significant profit, the fact that they'll be encouraged to buy inventory (and show them the levels)...if all this was required to be disclosed BEFORE someone signed their consultant agreement (just like I had all the facts about my HELOC), I would have very few gripes with MKC or any other MLM.

    Until those kind of changes are made, I would rather see these companies out of business than have one single mother lose her life-savings. These businesses allow predatory women to take advantage of others' trust.

    INFORMED risk taking I have no problem with. MLMs promote UINFORMED risk taking.

  9. Let me amend that last statement: MLMs allow for uninformed risk-taking.

  10. Enesvy,

    I did not see the amendment before I said what I said on the other post... though I think we were on the same page in that I 'knew what you meant'. Nonetheless, that little bit of clarification goes a LOOOONG way in demonstrating that you genuinely want people to understand what you are saying... so, thank you.

    That said, this is a topic that I REALLY want to "take through the paces" so to speak and would love to go back and forth with you about a few times. I am quite certain that we will come to the same conclusion that we could start at right now. Namely, "This is a tricky gray area" with no easy answer.

    I think the ultimate question will come down to, "Is it better to create a system that assumes that most people will be "good" at the risk of allowing people that are "bad" to take advantage of that system - OR - Is it better to create a system that (almost) flawlessly protects everyone from people that are "bad" at the expense of making the people that are "good" endure prohibitive restrictions.

    I hope you will take this journey with me.

    I "lean" towards the idea of assuming that most people will "behave" or follow "decent" business ethics and those that don't will tend to be weeded out. Either by the fact that operating unethically will usually "backfire", or because enough people will complain about the "bad" apples that you will be able to remove them from the mix.

    Take your home loan example for instance.

    A lending institution, because of its relatively public profile, will tend to tread carefully in extending someone a loan. They will be very careful to go over every detail with you, perhaps record the conversation(s) for future reference, so that the name of their institution doesn't get a bad reputation.

    However, once you go outside of the walls of that institution, you have a different dynamic.

    Let's say they license Joe B. as a broker - to offer the same product (a home loan) - on their behalf.

    This benefits them. Joe knows people that they would never be able to offer a home loan to.

    This benefits Joe. He gets paid a commission for his efforts.

    Now before Joe gets the approval and blessing of the company to offer their product, he must agree to certain terms. He most likely will sign a contract affirming that he will represent the company a certain way. He may receive some training or instruction meant to make sure that the experience he offers HIS customers is the same experience they would get if they had come to the bank directly.

    Once Joe goes through all of this, the question becomes, "How closely should this bank monitor Joe's activity?" The answer will most likely be a cost/benefit analysis.

    Obviously (on one extreme) if the bank had a bank employee tail Joe everywhere he went, monitoring all of his activity and sending a live feed of his every move back to the bank there would be very little chance that Joe would "act outside of his agreement with the bank". However, this level of "supervision" would be so costly that there would be no benefit to having Joe "on board".

    Obviously (on the other extreme), not requiring any accountability from Joe would be extremely cost effective, but dangerously naive. Leaving Joe to do "whatever it takes" will most likely lead to him taking shortcuts that will make the bank look bad. Joe doesn't (necessarily) care. If HIS reputation is ruined, he can move to another part of town where no one knows Joe B.

    In the middle (between those two extremes) is where you will find the majority of companies that 'commission' representatives to offer their product on their behalf.

    Some set very strict rules and monitor things very closely.

    Fast Food Franchises - McDonalds, Burger Kind, Wendy's, etc.

    Car Dealerships - Ford, Toyota, Infiniti, etc. (note the difference between one of these and an auto broker... in fact, find the general manager of a local 'authorized' dealer and ask them what they can tell you about auto brokers!!)

    The trade off here is the cost of making sure everything gets said the right way and done the right way.

    Other places are much loser with the enforcement of their standards.

    I mentioned already brokers. Home loan or auto loan, many times when they submit a contract signed by a customer it is assumed that they explained to the customer what they were signing. Very little is done to prevent them from telling the customer, "trust ME, this is just legal mumbo jumbo... just sign here and everything will be just fine"

    This is why "always read before you sign" is still good advice.


    That all speaks to the possibility of someone that is representing the company acting in a manner not consistent with the company's business ethics.

    This conversation goes a step further when you involve the "ignorance" (intentional or otherwise) of the consumer.

    Take the McDonalds cups that say "caution, the beverage you are about to enjoy is HOT".

    We as consumers are forced to deal with that proverbial slap across the face, every time we buy coffee (just about anywhere), that suggests we are not intelligent enough to figure it out. Not that I care that much about the decor of my cup of coffee, but every time I see that message, I am reminded that I am paying (in the form of cost increase necessary to allay the cost of that stupid lawsuit and the subsequent added cost of printing that message on every cup) for that person's alleged ignorance.

    If we force corporations to 'play' to the "least common denominator", if we allow people to "play dumb" and get away with it, we all pay the price of being treated dumb and needing to be pandered to by corporations.

    Of course the balance of that is that if no one holds corporations responsible for anything, there is a good chance we will pay the price of being treated poorly because they can get away with it.


    enough from me, what do you think?

  11. Oh, David...I will do my best! But that was quite a post to try to respond to, my friend! :D

    Mostly, as I thought about this last night, I pondered on what a mess Countrywide Financial has gotten itself into through allowing these very practices. I mean, they’re going down like the Hindenberg and Bank of America is now even balking at having to stick to their deal to buy Countrywide. All because they didn’t have tight enough controls on how brokers (am I using the right term) gained customers for them.

    Mary Kay Corp could very well suffer a similar fate by letting the same kind of “Trust me” abuse to go on.

    ALERT—Actual proactive suggestion ahead for MKC! ;) Perhaps, as much of a slap in the face as it could be, they need a note at the top of each page of their beautiful initial inventory-purchase brochure that reminds people: “Make financial investments responsibly—don’t invest more than you can afford to pay.” You may be insulted by it, but in my opinion, it shows compassion for those who may run into a high-pressure, rah-rah, predatory recruiter. Americans clearly need reminders regarding debt or we wouldn’t be in a forest of foreclosures right now. How much could that little bit of extra ink cost MKC? Money Tree is doing it now on their commercials. Captain Morgan does it. Cigarette companies were forced to do it due to public outcry and legislation. How much more compassionate and responsible would MKC look if they took steps to actually fully inform their potential IBCs.

    “Read before you sign” –best advice in the world. Not only that, but take time to consider all sides before you invest any money.

    Back to you, Dave. ;)

  12. Enesvy,

    I am glad to see your post. I was afraid my post was too long for anyone to read! Feel free (as it seems you have) to just hit on the things that stick out to you... we will let this take us where it will.

    Also, bear in mind that I emphasized earlier that I "lean" in a certain direction. I hope the distinction there allows that I am not in any way suggesting my position is absolute.

    Nonetheless, if you and I both said, "this is a tricky gray area" and left it at that, there would not be much of a discussion!

    Also, let me disclaim that I do not consider the world of finance, lending institutions, and brokers one that I have expertise in, so in response to "am I using the right term", I would have to say, "I think so."!!


    Having said that, I would like to add to your list of "_______ responsibly" a recent radio ad I heard for the California State Lottery. It ended with "... reminds you to "play responsibly" I have heard similar lines from casino advertisements.

    To me, gambling IS irresponsible.

    One definition of gamble is:

    "To engage in reckless or hazardous behavior"

    Perhaps MKC should put a page in their sales agreement packet (right on top) that has, in really big block letters across the entire page, I AGREE TO READ EVERYTHING IN THIS PACKET BEFORE SIGNING.

    Of course, my contention is still the same. Unless someone from Mary Kay is actually on hand to witness the packet being read, it is still likely that someone will read THAT page, sign it, then turn to the person "guiding them through the process" and say, "Do I really need to read all this?"

    I am not saying that these suggestions would NOT help. I am just not sure HOW MUCH they would really help.

    I really can't imagine that someone ordering Captain Morgan, at the point of becoming "irresponsibly" drunk, is going to stop themselves because they heard Captain Morgan's ad reminding them to "drink responsibly". I think usually these things are put into place to placate the opponents of the company and do very little to solve the problem.

    Consider the lady that burned herself. Would that really NOT have happened if the "Caution this beverage is HOT" had been there?

    Are there less drunk drivers on our streets because alcohol companies are forced to remind us that doing so is irresponsible?

    Are predatory lenders less inclined to do so because Money Tree is reminding Americans to be careful how they invest their money?

    Are people less likely to buy the CA Lottery's line, "imagine what a buck can do" because they are told "play responsibly" at the end of that ad? The POINT of the ad is to sucker people into believing that every dollar they throw away in this manner gives them that much more of a chance to "live the good life". Will reminding them to play responsibly cancel out the effectiveness of the ad? (CA Lottery probably hopes not!)

    I don't know the answers to these questions. I obviously suspect that it is NOT a very good solution.

    I think that putting guns in the hands of dangerous people is a bad idea. I am NOT so sure that making it harder for honest people to get guns is the solution. Maybe it is. But I tend to believe that the majority of people that INTEND to use guns destructively will find a way to get their hands on those guns no matter how hard it is to do "legally".

    To put it another way, how would people that share your views on Mary Kay (not everyone on PT, but people that think similar to you) react to Mary Kay following the suggestion you just made.

    Would it be enough? Would it be a good start? Would it be viewed as a way to placate the dissenters? Would Mary Kay be accused of implementing this change in policy as a cheap way of pretending to fix the problem?

    What if they did this and we all discovered that the number of people misunderstanding or failing to read the contract barely changed?

    I know that is a lot of hypothetical questions, but I think you can see my point?

    What say you?

  13. Okay, I am hopeless addicted to great discussion. I am packing to get out but had to add this. I will agree maybe it could be in bolder darker print... but... online and on the agreement it says:

    By my signature below, I verify that the information above is correct, I understand the General Terms and Conditions of this Independent Beauty Consultant Agreement, and I hereby accept those Terms and Conditions, and certify that i have the legal capacity to enter into this Agreement. I understand that the recruiter whose name is on thisis Agreement, subitted to the Company with the Starter Kit payment, will utlitmately be the one to receive commission on my sales".

    and them all the General Terms and Conditions are on the back side of the agreement. (I won't copy all of them) and online you are suppose to read them and then you must check the I accept box and then type in your name that you have reviewed them.

    To police to an extreme anything just makes me think of Communism (I am not saying as a nation we need no protecting) but I must agree how much is too much and how much is too little is a gray area.

    Okay, back off packing.

  14. I agree, MK4ME. The terms are there. It is common knowledge that you read something before you sign it. People's Court has been on for too long for anyone to not know that.

    I read my agreement. With my director sitting besides me, paraphrasing.

    I think the problems lie with overzealous recruiters moving up too fast, not knowing the game themselves. My director had no idea we could send our stuff back longer than a year after our agreement was signed. She did not know that it was rolling year. How is that even possible?

    I think MKC needs to train their directors more and not encourage them to move up so quickly. If you give someone the title of director then you should be responsible enough to know whether or not they are able to direct.

    If you notice a first order has a bunch of stuff in it that will be discontinued in the next three months, is it too much to call the IBC and make sure they know? This happened to me. I had no idea stuff was about to be repackaged and my stuff didn't loook like what was in the Look Book. Would have appreciated a phone call.

    The "helping the unit" has got to stop, too. Director's should not call their units and ask them to stretch to order TODAY. Call last week and ask to get a couple more bookings so I will need to order next week, yes. And help me do it. If you need me to stretch for you to reach your goal, how about stretching and helping out with scheduling some bookings for me. I got an email YESTERDAY asking me to order yesterday. Order for what? Obviously if I needed anything I would have ordered it. Calling and asking to get together to get some bookings? That would be appreciated.

    MKC makes it too easy for manipulators to run rampant. If I get an email from my director asking me to place an order and I send it to MKC they should take care of it and make it stop. It should be unacceptable behavior. Motivational emails to book, that is good. Emails begging for orders on the last day of the month or year, that's terrible. My motivation for ordering should not be to bail my director out of a jam, it should be because I am selling and need more inventory.

  15. Hey Welcome Rayne, love your name and spelling.

    You make some great points.

    We went into June with the battle cry, book, book, book, sell, sell, sell, because if you book and sell, one will have to order. And, I must brag on a unit that moved one heck of alot of product by booking classes and facials in June and we have tons on the books for July.

    I did ask everyone to stretch, but stretch how they were working not stretching on ordering. (And we weren't stretching for year - end because personally we are working on another goal. Only the orders that should have gone in went in. And do you know what that means?? It means as long as we keep booking and selling in July, our production will still be great in July because none of us have too much product on our shelves.

  16. I like what Enesvy said here:

    "ALERT—Actual proactive suggestion ahead for MKC! ;) Perhaps, as much of a slap in the face as it could be, they need a note at the top of each page of their beautiful initial inventory-purchase brochure that reminds people: “Make financial investments responsibly—don’t invest more than you can afford to pay.” You may be insulted by it, but in my opinion, it shows compassion for those who may run into a high-pressure, rah-rah, predatory recruiter. Americans clearly need reminders regarding debt or we wouldn’t be in a forest of foreclosures right now. How much could that little bit of extra ink cost MKC? Money Tree is doing it now on their commercials. Captain Morgan does it. Cigarette companies were forced to do it due to public outcry and legislation. How much more compassionate and responsible would MKC look if they took steps to actually fully inform their potential IBCs."

    With that said, it probably won't change that people don't read, but at least when they complain that "no one told them" there is a written statement.

    I work at a university and my job is the pleasant interaction with students (and their parents) who receive financial aid and have it taken away when they drop below half time. It's the evil university's fault because "no one told them" they had to be half time. Never mind it's written right on their award letters and on the FAFSA. It's not their fault. It's everyone's fault who didn't read it to them.

    This is how I feel about a lot of the complaints on PT. The information is there, but no one is reading it to them.

    I do like Enesvy's idea, though. It puts more of the responsibility more blatantly on the individual.

  17. Actually, in my post, I stated it was the inventory document that I have the biggest beef with. I have never given anyone much slack regarding signing the IBC agreement. I read it word-for-word before I signed it. At $100 (+tax), I was okay with what I was investing. It wasn’t too big a risk for me. So when it comes to the agreement, I really have no problem with it. If I had heartburn with the terms, I didn’t have to sign.

    So the $100 startup doesn’t concern me, nor the agreement. It’s the high-pressure sell on an initial inventory order that chaps my hide. That’s the document I’d like to see a big ol’ disclaimer on.

    Dave, you are absolutely correct that for many women, it would still be ignored. You are also absolutely correct that (if I know my PT friend, and I think I do) that it would be seen as a ridiculous band-aid. But since I’ve been talking with you guys, I would certainly view it as a step in the right direction. At the very least, something like this just might get women thinking about what they can honestly afford to invest—might throw some much needed cold water on a hyper-rushed decision. Anything to get the woman to think rationally about spending thousands of dollars for a customer base they don’t yet have. Predatory recruiters (like any other bad apple) don’t want women to have time to think. Does MKC want women to have time to think and make a decision that is healthiest for them and their families? No, of course they can’t ensure that it will happen, but they can take steps to take care of the women who will be selling their product. You said it’s in MKC’s best interest to have happy, financially well-adjusted IBCs. Then they should do something more to curb this behavior.

    What do you think about cigarette companies that spend millions of dollars on quit-smoking programs? Granted, their biggest markets are overseas now, but it does their image a lot of good to acknowledge their product is addictive and, hey, if you want off, we’ll help you. Do you think this concept is applicable to the things I’m talking about with MKC?

    It’s not directly the same thing, obviously, but if MKC had a document about wise financial decision-making, or maybe even required that IBCs not be allowed to place their first inventory order until 48 hours after they discussed the options with their director? Not sure how that could be tracked, but, do you see where I’m going? Perhaps that’s too much to ask for. Perhaps it would piss off the sales force. But whose best interests are we after? It benefits MKC to have consultants who aren’t drowning in debt, doesn’t it?

    Hey, we may have a manifesto in the works. ;)

    Welcome, Rayne!

    mk4me, how do you know how much inventory your folks have on their shelves? I’m just curious.

  18. Gah! Simulpost with Pinked off! :D Sounds like you have good fun at your job. Sheesh! Is it human nature that we immediately want to blame someone else for our own folly?

  19. speaking the real truthJuly 1, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Rayne, you are exactly right, you should order because you need product, not to help your director win or be anything.

    I work pretty much the same as MK4ME. We focus on bookings, appts., and selling product. I was out shopping all day on June 30th, not searching for production.

    Enesvy, mk4me may have already checked out for vacation, but I would guess that she has some idea of what most in her unit have, as I do. Anyone can fool us, but we know what they started with, what they've ordered and what sales they have reported, so we have an idea with most of them.

    Adding to the brochure discussion, I do think that the company might want to add or make more clear that the min. order is $200 wholesale. I ALWAYS tell consultants that info., very clearly, but I think the brochure does give the idea that the $600 is the smallest package (which I guess it is the smallest PACKAGE, per se), but I think that helps those who are not honest to tell consultants that $600 is the min.

    As to what they get in their order, I encourage EVERY consultant to let me help them with their first order because I know what is going and coming, and I know what items sell the best, and I talk with them about how they intend to work their biz (appts. vs. books/samples) to determine what is best for them. I also take into account things like their age, geographic location, etc.

    Lastly, the inventory brochure does contain a worksheet that I have found useful to help consultants decide how much might be appropriate for what they intend to do with their business, but I point out that it also depends on their own personal financial position.

  20. LOL! I think you're onto something there, Enesvy! I do think people don't like to be wrong and nobody likes to make mistakes--especially mistakes that lose money--so blaming someone or something else takes the heat off. Perhaps it is human nature.

    I just got back from my meeting and the focus was on faces faces faces as it always is in our area. I'm going to write a post about it.

    This is somewhat in response to Rayne's comment about "motivational" emails. We were told you can only motivate so much. The best way to lead a team is by example by example by example! You can motivate all you want. The reality is, if they don't wanna do it, they won't no matter how motivational you might be. ;)

  21. P.S. We also went step by step through the career path and what is required to get to each level. I liked that. They talked about always working and not relying on others. It's about finding the people who want what we have and want to do what we do.

  22. Hi Rayne,


    Hi Pinked off, STRT, thanks for dropping in.

    All of you bring up good stuff, but for now I only have time to continue my discussion with Enesvy. I am not ignoring the rest of you.


    I think with all the good ideas we are generating here with this direction, Mary Kay should hire US to help them solve this problem!

    I had to do a little "focus shift" when you pointed out that you are more at odds with the inventory order than the initial agreement. I will point out that you got things started by saying,

    "If MK (and all other MLMs) would require their recruiters to provide the consultant turnover rate, the after-expenses profit, the percentage of women who make a living wage, the true hours required to make significant profit, the fact that they'll be encouraged to buy inventory (and show them the levels)...if all this was required to be disclosed BEFORE someone signed their consultant agreement (just like I had all the facts about my HELOC), I would have very few gripes with MKC or any other MLM."

    A lot of what I have been saying is in regards to this statement. As in, how much 'disclosure' can you expect someone to cram into a presentation before signing a person up, and how do you ensure that they actually did disclose all of it.

    That said, I do think that we are on to something here regarding the inventory thing.

    Keep in mind that 1. I am not a consultant and 2. I have not followed every detail of my wife's journey, so in terms of what is or is not said in any of the paperwork/brochures I rely heavily on what people on this site and other places describe.

    Based on what I have heard, there most definitely could/should be a stronger effort put out to establish describe purchase requirements, minimums, recommendations, etc. It strikes me that it is a little confusing at best and downright misleading in the wrong hands.

    I am not sure that putting a "cooling off period" in effect would do much. Consider that those with bad intentions will wait the mandatory 24 or 48 hours and THEN put the pressure on. From what I am hearing, the material itself needs to be revisited.

    I know most contracts (car dealers, home loans, etc.) have line items that you must initial. These usually have summary like headings that are pretty easy to understand, followed by the detailed legal wording.

    Perhaps something like that would go a LONG way to making sure that people placing their inventory order know (and affirm that they were told) all of the relevant information.

    Something like

    ____ I understand that in order to remain active $200/min. must be placed every 3 months.

    blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah

    ____ I understand that in order to avoid being terminated I must order $200 before 12 months elapse.

    blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah

    ___ I understand that the level of my initial investment is at my sole discretion.

    blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah

    ___ I understand that purchasing a large inventory may be beneficial (having product on hand) but does NOT GUARANTEE success.

    blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah

    ___ I understand that I can return my product and receive 90% of my investment back (based on purchases made within 12 months of the return.)

    blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah, blah

    The above list is not meant to be exhaustive, but I think it communicates the point quite well.

    You said that I said, "it’s in MKC’s best interest to have happy, financially well-adjusted IBCs." (I did say that)

    Then you said, "Then they should do something more to curb this behavior."

    I think this might be "just the thing". What say you?

    Regarding the cigarette companies, I have to say that I have my suspicions about the lack of conflict of interest when a company that thrives on addiction offering addiction recovery programs. How effective should I really expect that program to be?

    I think that covers it (or at least most of it).

    This concludes tonight's broadcast, Enesvy, back to you.

  23. Thanks, David!

    I can see where there was confusion about whether I was talking about the inventory stuff or the IBC agreement. I would just like all of that information talked about BEFORE anyone signs on the dotted line.

    I love your idea for the lines to be initialed. It’s a great “just the facts, ma’am,” approach. It has the potential to really make women think about what they’re signing and the realities of the business. I would add one:

    ___ I understand that the 50% discount is activated only on orders of $200 wholesale (or more) and that the discount then remains in effect (for any size order) for the month in which that initial purchase was made and the two following months.

    Durn, that’s wordy. But I think you see what I’m getting at.

    This would be a great step in the right direction. :)

    As for the cigarette companies, yes, it does seem like a conflict of interest, however, their sales are so massive worldwide, that I don’t think having an effective quitting program (especially for the US) hurts them at all. I’d like to see MK provide info on managing debt wisely.

    Do you suppose corporate would listen to these suggestions?

  24. Enesvy,

    The wording (wordiness) of course would have to be determined by the legal department.

    The balance being if it paints a picture of doom and gloom, no one will sign it, if it paints a picture of guaranteed success, it doesn't really serve its purpose. (but that is why the legal department/marketing-PR Departments get paid... you and I are just batting ideas around and are not getting paid (at least I'm not, are you?)

    Which brings me to my next point, and answer to your question about whether or not corporate will listen.

    I almost mentioned this in my last comment because I don't want there to be any confusion.

    I do not work for corporate. I have not once called them myself. They have never contacted me. This blog in no way reflects the official position of Mary Kay (unless someone directly quotes from their officially released materials).

    That said, I really don't know. It would be my assumption that any corporation would love to hear logical recommendations from their sales force, consumer base, and even those that left because they were not satisfied.

    That being said, there are two things to consider.

    First, is whether or not what we recommend here really represents the majority.

    With 700,000 consultants in America (give or take), it would be a hard case to make that two people (one an MK husband and the other a former MK consultant) are actually speaking for the other 699,998 consultants!

    Second is whether or not the solution is practical.

    I think it seems workable. Without doing any of the cost analysis math (or other ROI type things that C's have to do) it just SEEMS like for the cost this would be a really beneficial move and great show of compassion for the representative sales force. Unfortunately, when you are making decisions for a big corporation, you can't just go on what "seems" like a good idea!!

    I like to think that MKC reads this blog from time to time. I like to think that they have maybe seen this conversation thread and taken it into consideration. I think it is much more reasonable to expect that they have NOT seen it though. So the first step would be someone composing an email/letter and sending it to MKC. It would probably be a good idea to do some phone work first. Call over to MK and see who would even be able to make a decision about something like this, and what the best way to send correspondence is.

    It would be my suspicion that a well composed/though out letter detailing the reason such a change may be necessary, the proposed change, and what the hopeful outcome could be, would be listened to. Probably even discussed and maybe even researched. I would go so far as to say that it might even result in a change to the contract/inventory order sheet. (that may just be because I helped come up with the idea and would love to see it happen!!!)

    I think the thing to keep in mind is that as an organization gets bigger (like a boat) it requires more time and caution to make turns/changes.

    A jet ski can almost literally turn on a dime. An aircraft carrier needs miles (I think).

    A garage sale on your front lawn can change policy instantly. You just scribble "EVERYTHING 50% OFF" on a poster board and WHAMMY!!! your entire "business model" is changed!

    A corporation like MK needs "miles".

    One of the troubles with philosophic discussions like you and I are having is that even though we are solving the worlds problems one comment at a time, very little in the way of "actual change" happens.

    What I mean to say is that while I enjoy discussing this, I have very little intention of writing a letter to Mary Kay about this. I suspect that you will not see enough value in it either.

    As the saying goes, you and I are both "just saying"!

    AND, if you and I would be hesitant to put together a letter, imagine if we did and the response came back, "sounds good, make it into a petition and get 50,000 signatures and then we will talk".

    It would be possible that MK would do that so that they don't waste their resources (that are meant to support ALL 700,000 consultants on an idea that only a few thousand support. (or less!)

    Sorry, loooooooooong answer to basically say, "maybe?!"!!!

    I am still suspicious of the cigarette companies.

  25. Heh! It's natural to be suspicious of cigarette companies. ;)

    Yes, a letter couldn't hurt. But you're right. How much does it mean to me to write it, spearhead the effort? They might listen to an inactive consultant, especially if the letter is written in a friendly, yet businesslike, manner. If I decide to do so, you'll be the first to know. :D Since this was a team effort for sure! I think it's such a good idea. So we shall see. Thanks for the great discussion!


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