You’ve heard of Avon but have you come across the high quality cosmetics from Mary Kay? It’s big in America and other parts of Europe and has recently started in Britain. These products are sold through direct selling which means you can make money selling Mary Kay products and also by recruiting other consultants.
Mary Kay products are sold through ‘direct selling’ methods. This means that you sell directly to friends, neighbours, friends of friends, other customers at your hairdressers etc. It also means that you try to recruit other people to sell the products on your behalf. In fact, as with any type of direct selling, that is where the real money is made because you make commission on anything they sell.
Here’s how you can become an Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay and how much you could make.
Step 1: Contact your local Beauty Consultant. You do this by visiting the Mary Kay website or calling 0800 318 288. The way Mary Kay works is that you have to be introduced by another consultant. That way they make commission on your sales and on the sales of the people you bring in. So they will put you in touch with a consultant near you.
In theory this should be an easy thing to do although at first glance there’s no straightforward option to find this person and it’s easy to give up trying. However, the answer is that at the top of the screen where it says ‘Shop online with an Independent Beauty Consultant today’ it means ‘click here and enter your post code’ and you will get a list of your nearest representatives to contact.
When we tried we had great difficulty getting hold of anyone who knew how to get us started. In the end we had to resort to speaking to the PR representative at Mary Kay head office. The website does advise you to call your local Consultant, but it was recommended by the PR lady to contact a Senior Consultant who will discuss the role with you and present you with your Independent Beauty Consultant Agreement. So, we suggest you ask specifically for a Senior Consultant in order to start.
Step 2: Try the product. As with any product or service it’s important that you believe in what you are selling. So before you decide to become a Consultant for Mary Kay, we suggest that you try the product for yourself for a few months at least to see if you are happy to recommend it to others.
Also ask yourself if you are an outgoing friendly and focused person. In order to make sensible money from this business you will need to be able to recruit others to join and to manage them from time to time. Can you do this? Also, do you have the confidence to demonstrate to groups of people at a time? It also helps to have quite a lot of friends and contacts you could sell to and through. If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of these then direct selling could be for you. If not, think carefully about whether it’s worth the effort and expense.
Step 3: Sign the Independent Beauty Consultant Agreement and purchase your start up pack. Once you have spoken to the Senior Consultant and you are sure you want to become an Independent Beauty Consultant, you sign an agreement and purchase your starter pack for £185. The starter pack contains educational material to help you learn about the products and selling and recruiting techniques. It also includes around £400-worth of products for demonstrations or actually selling.
Once you have your starter kit, it’s down to you to decide which items to stock. There will probably be some trial and error at the start as you find out which products are popular with your clients as a rule and which are not.
New recruits are invited to what is called a ‘consultation orientation’ to receive training with a senior consultant. Training covers skin care advice, colour appointments and how to host skincare classes.
Initiative is vital to getting started. The company provides information on advertising and promoting. The key word is ‘Independent’ Beauty Consultant, so how you advertise is up to you.
As this is about selling both cosmetics and the job (you need to sell the idea of being a consultant to other people), it’s a good idea to get as much information as possible on how to sell. Read books on the subject, attend seminars and look for internet courses to help you become a better seller.
When you become an Independent Beauty Consultant, you will get a 40% discount on products that you buy in order to sell directly to women in your area or at classes set up by you or women you know.
An existing Independent Sales Director will provide support and introduce you to the Mary Kay training classes. You will learn how to use the products.
Classes are a Consultant’s main source of sales and networking. Classes are similar to make up parties but much more customer service focused. The Consultant does not touch the customer. Instead, the customer is given specific instructions to follow. During classes, customers give themselves a facial, apply make-up and try out the cosmetics.
If a customer isn’t happy with the products, they are entitled to a full refund or an exchange as long as there is one application left in the product. Most Mary Kay products contain six months worth of applications.
Climbing the Mary Kay ladder is based on recruiting new consultants. Vanessa Stotter, an Independent Sales Director and mother of two, began as an Independent Consultant twelve years ago. “Many people dream about having their own business, but start up costs are always a big worry,” she says. “With Mary Kay the start up costs were minimal and I was surprised at how easy it was to set up. The added benefits of working from home and being able to work flexible hours made this a perfect fit for me. The Mary Kay buy-back guarantee provided the extra security if I decided to change my mind, but I’ve never looked back.
She says that the first level of monthly commission that can be earned is based on recruiting and the real money is to be made by recruiting others to sell Mary Kay products. You need to have recruited 3 or more active Consultants to earn 4% or 8% (8% for 5 active consultants ) or 12%( for 5 active consultants and personal sales of £500 retail) from the sales of Consultants.
Consultants can find recruits from classes although you should make sure you are experienced enough to train them up before you recruit. To recruit, you approach them or by word of mouth your number is passed on to anyone who may be interested
Rewards get better as you climb the Mary Kay ladder, including company cars and holidays. Head Office keep track of your effort, sales and recruits. Prizes can be won from high sales or number of recruits. “A key marketing tool for me was ‘word of mouth’” says Vanessa. “I started doing demonstrations for friends and family, but word spread and soon I had calls from people I didn’t even know. I now provide consultations for a number of groups including, corporates, health clubs and mums who need some down-time at toddler groups.”
There is an excellent buy-back guarantee stating that if you opt out of working as a Consultant, Mary Kay will buy back 90% unused, paid-for products that you were going to sell.
As a member of the Direct Selling Association for 17 years, Mary Kay is not a pyramid scam and the Mary Kay General Manager is the chairman of the Direct Selling Association.
Earning potential as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant varies widely and depends on how good you are at what you do and how much time you put into it.
Salary tend to depend on your appointments – how many you get and how many people attend. You can be booked up all day or do bits and pieces over a week. As a Consultant, your commission is 40% of the retail price of each product sold. From an average class of around four or five people you can earn around £150. The lowest commission you can earn is approximately £50. For Vanessa Stotter, her earnings from an average class are between £300 and £600. During a busy period, her monthly income has jumped from £700 to £1500.
Directors earn between 9% and 13% commission from their team of Consultants. An average Independent Sales Director earns £600 a month on monthly commissions plus her personal sales which can be up to £1k a month.
The work is flexible and you can work full or part-time. There is no average salary range as an Independent Beauty Consultant but the higher you aim and the more customers you get, the better your earnings will be. Remember, too, that the more people you recruit the more money you will make in your sleep – they will be earning for you! Men do join as well and there is currently a handful of male consultants so don’t forget your male friends when you are thinking about who to recruit. Made money from Mary Kay? Let us know on our Facebook page. For other tips on how to make extra cash, visit our money making section.