Monday, August 22, 2011

My Introduction

My name is Daniel Manor. I am a MALE Mary Kay Consultant in East Point (Atlanta), Georgia. Yes, there are a few of us out there. I called the company in the spring of 2011 and they told me there were approximately 5300 male Consultants in the US who are selling Mary Kay. It's an impressive number, if you consider that there could be at least 100 male consultants per state.

So, why do I sell Mary Kay? Isn't there another job out there that is much more "manly"? Couldn't I find something better to do? Is it hard to sell lipstick all day? Very good questions.

Let's address the first one. Why do I sell Mary Kay? To answer that question, I need to let you know more about how I came into Mary Kay. I was an ice skater while I attended college. The president of the skating club was a Mary Kay Sales Director. She is still my recruiter, but she is no longer a Director. She is part of the National Guard and took a position there that took her away from Directorship. Her name is Annette. Annette "bothered" me a few times about selling Mary Kay. Has anyone "bothered" you to sell Mary Kay? Perhaps, you should take a look before you make a rash decision, like I did.

I kept telling Annette "no", not knowing anything about the company or why she asked me to sell Mary Kay. I also had a decent job at that time, making over $10 per hour while in college. I paid my bills, paid for school and had money enough to spare for skating lessons and whatever else I wanted. I did not need something like Mary Kay. Annette still asked from time to time, like when she was working on becoming a Director or when she was "winning a car". Had I known what those involved when she asked, I might have been more willing to help--or at least listen.

In any case, I lost that decent job. After being unemployed for 2 months, I could only get a job as a swing manager at the local McDonald's. I went from $10.50/hour with benefits to $7 per hour without benefits. Not to mention that two months with no salary took a chunk of my savings. I slowly got behind in some of my bills, but did what I could to stay ahead.

That's when Annette called me and said she'd take me to lunch (on her dime) if I just listened to her about Mary Kay. Since money was getting tight, I figured at least I'd get lunch for free that day. I decided to meet with her.

Annette let me know that Mary Kay Consultants from day one make 50% commission on everything that they sell. That I understood right away. Sell $100 and I get to keep $50. But I didn't think of myself as a salesman. So, maybe this wasn't for me. I listened on anyway.

Annette also let me know that she earned her car from the company and drives pretty much for free (Mary Kay pays the taxes, title, registration and I think 80% of the insurance--I'll have to double check that figure). So other than a few maintenance items like oil changes and gas--and the remainder of the insurance, you drive the car for free. This was a tempting idea, especially when you get a new car EVERY two years. I like free cars and I've never had a NEW car. Yes, Mary Kay still has the pink Cadillac, but they also have a white Chevy Malibu and a silver Toyota Camry or a silver Chevy Equinox (NOTE--these are the cars as of August 2011 and they change periodically). Many laugh at me when I tell them I will drive a pink Cadillac when I earn one. Why not? It's free! I don't care what color it is. It's also free advertising. Bonus!

Annette continued to tell me about the commissions you can earn once you add team members. I wasn't sure about recruiting people, either. I mean, there is just a stigma to the concept of recruiting people to your team no matter what business it is. I would have to address this issue, since the only way to earn a car or become a Director is to recruit people. But this was not my biggest concern at the moment.

I think the thing that worried me the most was, what if I cannot sell the products I buy? I mean, what would I do with 50 lipsticks and 100 eye shadows if I could not sell them. Annette let me know that Mary Kay has a buy back program. If I do my best to sell the product and I find out it's just not for me OR if I find I love the company but just can't sell anything, Mary Kay will buy my products back from me. They would give me 90% of what I paid for it. I figured that was a fair risk--10%.

I thought I'd give Mary Kay a try. Actually, my goal was to show Annette that she was 100% wrong about me and that I am a terrible prospect for a Consultant. I went to some meetings and met some other people who sell Mary Kay. For most of them, I was the only male Consultant they had ever met. I was almost an instant celebrity. Many people wanted to talk to me or ask questions. At least, the Consultants and the Directors did. It made things a bit more fun. It's still fun to this day, going to Mary Kay events as one of a few male Consultants. There are spouses there, supporting their wives, but few of those men sell Mary Kay. The attention is FUN!

So part of the answer as to why I sell Mary Kay is because I knew I would not be stuck with products if I could not sell them. And I figured I could at least try. I was sold on the company a few months later, when my sister came to visit. Dianne was in the US Army, working on her training. She had a break and decided to come see me in Utah, instead of go home to see the rest of the family. I was at school, so not anywhere near home. Dianne said she wanted to try some Mary Kay products.

Dianne and I got together. I was the most "green" person you could ever think about. She was asking all kinds of questions that I did not know the answer to. I looked them up in my Consultant handbook. I found most of the answers there. When we got to foundation, Dianne's answer was, "I don't wear foundation. I don't like it". I had to respond, "well, you checked the box 'even skin tone and reduce redness in the cheeks' on the profile card. According to the book, foundation will solve that problem. So, just give it a try and if you hate it, don't buy it." Dianne was game. So we went though the skin care facial and got to the foundation. She was skeptical, but put some on. After we had the foundation blended, she looked at herself in the mirror and said, "I've never looked this good before". And we had NO MAKE-UP ON! I was sold at that point. If I could get my sister to think she looks good, I wanted to do that all the time with EVERYONE.

I decided that I needed to learn more about the products I was selling. I barely knew anything when Dianne and I met. So I went to all the training I could. I didn't want to rely on the handbook forever. I also had one customer who wanted a color make-over. I had no idea what colors to recommend for her. I didn't want to be in that situation again.

Okay, next question. Isn't there something more "manly" that I could be doing? Well, I am not anywhere close to the typical all American boy. How would someone define a "manly" type of work, anyway? Something women cannot do? There is no such thing. Women proved that back in the 1960s. In addition, women can still give birth to children, something men will never be able to do. So no matter what men do, women will always have one thing men cannot.

But as far as work goes--should there be divisions? Men's work/women's work? Most feminists would say no. I have no interest in feminism, but I do have to agree that if women are capable of conquering the workplace, men should be able to do the same thing--regardless of the area of work. The bonus with my career of choice--I get to work with women all day. I get to teach them how to take care of their skin, how to bring out their best features and how to love the way they look. They love to see me and I love to see them. It's win-win. Why would I want to work with men all day when I can do this?

In addition, haven't men been selling everything since we understood what it was to be a salesman or a merchant. Men have sold everything and will continue to do so. Why not something like skin care or lipstick? Women use it up and want more, which means they will be coming back. That works for me!

Is it hard to sell lipstick all day? I don't know the answer to that since I don't try to sell lipstick all day. There are so many more interesting products in the Mary Kay skin care line that I don't have to worry about trying to sell a lipstick. Those who know Mary Kay know which lipstick they like and know they can get it from me. I talk to them about everything else. It's a skin care system, proven to fight the signs of aging. And it works. If not, it's 100% guaranteed. If any of my customers are not happy, they can trade what they don't like for something they do like OR they can just get a refund. How easy is that? Mary Kay reimburses me with new product, so I lose nothing. In addition, since I sell it I also use it. Why wouldn't I? I am pointing out all of the benefits at every appointment. I have no interest in aging either even if age is more distinguishing on a man.

So, there you have it. I sell Mary Kay because I decided to take a chance and I love it. I love the product. I love that I work from home. I love that I can earn prizes for my work. I love that I work with women all day and help them feel great about themselves.

I plan on sharing my experiences in Mary Kay on this blog. I also plan on letting people know about the great products we have and the great opportunity Mary Kay is as a career. Feel free to ask any questions. I'd love to hear from you.

Check me out on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and soon I'll be on Youtube!

Have a great week!

Mary Kay Daniel

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