Thursday, February 14, 2013

Are benefits benefits? (The Mary Kay car)

Many companies provide their employees with a variety of benefits. These benefits may be valuable to different people...or they may not be.

Probably the item that is most associated with Mary Kay is the pink cars that some Mary Kay sales directors receive. Hey, it's Valentines Day - let's talk about pink cars.

There are a number of stories like this one:

Nancy Butler, a Mary Kay independent sales director, was getting her 11th free car from the company for being a team builder and high sales.

She calls it her “trophy on wheels.”

Butler, 60, is one of more than 120,000 independent sales force members with Mary Kay to qualify or re-qualify for the Mary Kay Career Car Program since it started in 1969.

Mary Kay sets certain levels of production a consultant or sales director must reach in order to receive a vehicle for a two-year span. The type of vehicle they’re eligible for varies depending on what goal they reach.

Now I believe that it's obvious to all that Mary Kay doesn't just give the cars away - you have to work for them. But there are people who are decidedly not fans of Mary Kay, and they let you know about some of the fine print:

If you manage to reach that level, you will be rewarded with the USE of a Pink Cadillac. That's right: the use of it. It isn't yours. The Pink Cadillac is leased to you by the company for two years.

Here's the most important part: The amount you pay in lease payment to Mary Kay Corp. each month depends guessed much Mary Kay products your team has ordered from the company that month. If your team orders enough, you don't have a lease payment that month. But if you fall short, you will have to make a lease payment to the company, and that payment is on a graduated scale based on the amount of product your team ordered.

BOTTOM LINE: There are no "free cars" in Mary Kay and the lease on a Mary Kay car can be much more expensive than getting your own car lease -- in many ways.

As the previous quote illustrates, a sales director's compensation depends upon the production of those working under him/her (there are male Mary Kay consultants). Ideally, a sales director's underlings are totally committed to Mary Kay. But sometimes, there will be Mary Kay workers who read things like How to Drive Your Mary Kay Sales Director Nuts. Here's one suggestion:

Tell her how much you love your new car. You may think that directors looooooooooove their “free” cars in Mary Kay. They certainly talk a big story like they do. But really – Chevrolet Malibu? Please. Gush to your SD about how you really couldn’t decide between the luxury of a Lexus or the great mileage of a Prius. So many choices! You’re so glad you got to test-drive them all, then pick the one you really wanted.

Incidentally, thanks to Steven Streight for sharing the link to the Pink Truth website.
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