Friday, August 29, 2008

Pink Truth: Mary Kay Lies - a mini-series (Part 3 of 7) No One Really Likes Mary Kay, Really

This is part 3 of a 7 part series that, frankly, has lost hope of keeping a straight face while examining the erroneous accusations of Mary Kay's extensive foray of lies.

Mary Kay products sell themselves

"Anyone who has ever done Mary Kay knows what a total lie this is. Of course, there will occasionally be a customer who is hunting for a consultant. That’s rare. One in a while you’ll find an excited hostess who has a bunch of spendy friends at her party. That’s rare too. What we know is that the actual market for Mary Kay products is very small. There is a very tiny pool of women who are legitimate customers buying the products. There are certainly not enough of them to allow many women to turn a profit selling the products."

In keeping with the goal of allowing discussion to flow from the readers of this blog, I will try to keep my observations brief.

1. "...Anyone who has ever done Mary Kay knows what a total lie this is..."
(Anyone here care to disagree?)

2. "...Of course, there will occasionally be a customer who is hunting for a consultant. That’s rare."
(Anyone here care to disagree?)

3. "...One in a while you’ll find an excited hostess who has a bunch of spendy friends at her party. That’s rare too."
(Anyone here care to disagree? Also, isn't "spendy" an adjective for something that is expensive... like a purse? Did the hostess spend too much "buying" her friends affection?)

4. "What we know is that the actual market for Mary Kay products is very small."

5. "There is a very tiny pool of women who are legitimate customers buying the products."
(Really? I would love to see the research that backs up this assertion!!)

6. "There are certainly not enough of them to allow many women to turn a profit selling the products."
(Really? I would love to see the research that backs up this assertion!!)

Sorry for the repetitiveness above, but the only consensus about the "truth" presented in this "no one likes Mary Kay" diatribe seems to be amongst people that did not do well selling Mary Kay. Hmmmm... the ones that could not find a market to sell Mary Kay to all agree that there is no market to sell Mary Kay to... whodathunkit?!?!!

Also, the "lie" they are supposed to be exposing is "Mary Kay products sell themselves". How does "there is no market for Mary Kay" whining prove that Mary Kay is not so good that it tends to save some saliva by "selling itself"? (oh... did they think their recruiter literally meant that the product was going to bust out of the box it came in, sneak out of the house when you are not looking, stroll down to the corner and 'make eyes' with passing consumers until someone picked it up, tracked you down so that they could pay you for this incredible product? I guess they have a point then. It does not "sell itself". My bad.)

What do you think? Does Mary Kay sell itself? Is this fair to say when talking to a prospective recruit? Is it possible to carve out a niche market in your area that is big enough to make decent money?


  1. All I know is that when I get the product onto people's faces they want to buy it.

  2. Shades...I have to agree with you. So the proof is in the puddin.

    Have a GREAT DAY

  3. "All I know is that when I get the product onto people's faces they want to buy it."

    This is was true for me, too, except for one girl whom I've known for years and years. But she's a contrary soul so I totally expected her to not "like" it simply because her mission in life is to be a pain in my a**. :) But I digress...

    The problem wasn't getting people to buy the skin care once they tried it. It was getting them to keep buying it. But that's not "Mary Kay's"/my fault. It's the industry as a whole. Women just want to keep trying different stuff all the time. That's why skin care is a billion dollar industry, the (lucrative) pie is split many ways with nobody really getting the lion's share of anything.

    In order for me to have had my clients be loyal to the oil free eye make-up remover (there are many and cheaper equivalents now), the 3in1, the moisturizer, etc., I had to be on them all the time because these ladies were forever at some make-up counter at lunch hour scoping stuff out. They had oodles of samples of everything all the time and I really felt they knew more than I did. I couldn't advertise or market enough to keep their (short) attention spans. I think that's true for all brands, too.

    Everyone talks about the "Scary Kay" lady at the mall, etc. Has anybody walked through the skin care/make-up department of a department store? The ladies aren't just behind the counters, they are also out in the aisles prospecting you to try try THEIR products. It's like the mid-way of a fair ground. Even the drug stores have their associates hot on your tail if you spend longer than 1.5 minutes in the make-up aisle.

    Every brand is suffering the same attrition, for lack of a better word, for the same reason. Fickleness.

  4. I have to agree with flybye. If I drop the ball with a few people they will buy whatever is convenient. I do have a few ladies who seek me out when they are out of stuff because they just love their MK. That's always nice!

    Oh, and the ladies in the mall are so annoying! I remember walking through Bloomingdale's and a lady sprayed perfume in my face and said, "La Dulce Vita." It smelled like trail mix! LOL Some Christian Dior perfume. I don't bother people when I'm out and about because I hate it when people bother me. ;)

    What I don't seem to realize is that the word "approachable" is stamped across my forehead! heehee That's great for my business, but not when I'm minding my own business at a store.

  5. I must really be a horse of a different color. I have had clients with me since I was a brand new consultant. I can pretty much count on my reorder business to bring in around $2000 a month.

    We joke about MK emergency if someone runs out and needs it asap, I have some clients that think if they miss their MK, their faces will fall off.

    My unit members also seem to have a very good retention rate. We do teach great customer service, and there is a big difference between good customer service and calling and asking for an order. I know right after the PCP catalogues go out so do my sales.

    when we are at different events we always have woman approaching us saying, Oh, I am so glad you are here, I need a consultant.

    I have even been asked by people "how long have you been in MK?" when I tell them years, they say great because I want someone I know when I need something they will be there.

    I know I love our products. So, there must be some people that really like Mary Kay. My reorder business speaks volumes.

  6. That is awesome, mk4me! I am working on my retention rate and customer service so that my reorder business grows up. :)

  7. It's easy to sell them once they try it. It's getting that first booking and getting it to hold and getting the next one. That's the hard part. Getting it on someone's face and getting them to invite friends over. Who wants to bother with the whole home party? Not as many hostesses as there are IBCs, in our area.

  8. Getting classes to hold is a challenge. I've found booking them in the first place isn't difficult, but keeping them on the book is challenging. I do know there are plenty of consultants in my unit holding appointments, myself included. We also are champions at getting guests to our events. So much so that other unit directors have now made a contest for our next big monthly event to see which unit brings the most guests. They said they are sick of our unit bringing all the guests!

    Coaching a hostess requires time and effort, but if done effectively, the class will hold and she'll get outside orders from those who can't attend. I'm working with a hostess right now. So far, so good. ;)

  9. OH, I'll add, that I guess I should say I'm currently working with 2 hostesses. One has postponed twice and the other I'm coaching closely and it looks like hers will hold on the scheduled date.
    There is a big difference between the two. The one who has postponed twice has not received a hostess packet from me yet. She also has some personal stuff that has prevented her appointment from holding. She told me to call her at the end of August, so she'll be hearing from me today or tomorrow. :)
    The hostess that is moving smoothly got a packet from me the next day (I see her every day so it has been easy).

  10. "It sells itself" can be taken too literally. This is a business, and you do have to work it. But I have had several people who were very excited when I became a consultant, because they already used and loved the product. They WANTED a consultant to buy from.

    And from my own experience...I bought and used MK as a customer (paying full retail) for 10 years before I ever became a consultant. I went through 5 different consultants, because of the ones I had quitting or moving or somehow losing touch. But I always found someone else. And now I'm reaping the benefits of those kind of customers, trying to find me when their consultants quit or move or somehow lose touch.

  11. In no way did I think the product would sell itself. I did think that I would have some help in learing how to get bookings and how to get them to hold. I thought I would get some in person training. I did not know that I would be left floundering around to learn on my own.

  12. I was really, really surprised how easy it is to sell MK and the ferver that people have for it! I've been accosted just by wearing my MK pin in public by people who love Mary Kay but need a consultant. Finding the prospects and getting the bookings are the work. But I don't get that anyone of any intelligence could by the line "MK sells itself." Come on people! What rock were they raised under?!

  13. You know I have a bumper sticker on my car and many many times I will be at a drive thru window and will have women come up to me and say I can't find my MK lady I need this and that. So I have picked up customers that way too. I do think that once it gets on their face yes they like it actually a lot of them Love it. I know that it is difficult getting classes to hold I do one on ones a lot at my house.

    I think that is something that we need to work on is mastering the booking. I know women that like to have parites or classes. I used MK about 5 years before I decided to become a consultant. I love the product.

    Oh and those women at the make-up counter can be pretty scary too. The do attack you in the store. I try not to go through that department.

    Have a GREAT DAY

  14. I found when I switched my focus to one on one facials from trying to get party bookings (which was really very frusterating for me) is when my business really took off. I also realized that I needed to start really targeting the vendor fairs I worked very locally, so when I called to let my leads know they could get a private makeover and skin care instruction if they didn't want me at their home for whatever reason, I told them they were welcome to come here. I liked working that way because I could really get to know my customer--her skin care concerns, where she works, about her kids...etc. At some of the bigger parties I did, I had a hard time remembering who was who afterwards and I didn't like that...
    And, she could really get to know me (meet my son, see what I'm about, etc.). I've really become friendly with many of my customers I think because of the time we spent initially. In fact I got a call 2 weeks ago from one of my customers that I facialed over a year ago. I hadn't heard from her since, and I had left some messages for her but never got a call back so I kind of gave up. She called because she was moving and she wanted me to know her new address, because she said "I love getting mailings from you, and I'll never forget how kind you were to me that day." She's a recent immigrant and has no family up here and I was really touched that even remembered me.
    Anyhoo, that's how I've been building my business. If I just concentrated on booking parties I think I would have given up too.

  15. So true Shashew, I use this approach often booking the one on one but what I found was often because they have enjoyed the one on one so much, when I mention that with the suggested second facial, we could do a small get together with a few of her friends if she would like, that it might be fun. At this point, she now knows me, my personality, and see that I am not a high pressure sales person. Many times, they are then very excited to be a hostess.

    Something I teach my unit - I do not call them parties or classes. I have always thought, life is so serious after you get out of college, who wants to go to a "class" but using "parties" people think large groups, food, and loads of time and effort.

    What really has help us is having a small MK get together. It just sounds more inviting and less intimidating.

  16. I agree, mk4me, that's been the best way for me to book parties. They know me, they know I'm not pushy and I think they sincerely want to help me. Love the idea of calling it a small MK get together...I'm going to start using that, thanks!


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