3 pages
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1448 words
Course Code

Mary Kay Management

December 13, 2012
Motivation in Direct Sales
Mary Kay Cosmetics is not a traditional cosmetics company, as it sells its products directly
to consumers through a sales force rather than in retail stores (Case). Each member of the
Mary Kay sales force is an independent contractor with the company and works for herself
(Case). Mary Kay compensates its beauty consultants in a variety of ways, ranging from
commissions, to recognition, to incentive programs such as its VIP car program (Case). As
it has expanded, Mary Kay VIP car program has become a burden, ballooning to 8.5% of
sales in 1988 (Case).
In sales, motivation plays an important role in maintaining happy employees and workers.
Happy workers produce more product and better service (Hahn, 2007). Mary Kay
philosophy is that every person associated with the company lives by the Golden Rule
(Case). By treating customers, business associates, and all others with such respect, Mary
Kay improves not only the morale of its consultants, but also its public image. When sales
people are not treated with respect, they are more likely to treat customers with disregard
and seek unemployment, costing the company great expense (Hahn, 2007). According to
Mary Kay Sales Group Executive Vice President Barbara Beasley, approximately 70% of
its consultants drop out each year, which is the lowest turnover rate in the direct-selling
industry (Case). Mary Kay business depends on its consultants to not only purchase and
sell its products, but also recruit new consultants (Case). In retaining its consultants, Mary
Kay must recognize their accomplishments. Mary Kay provides prizes to consultants based
on the increase in their sales, as well as recognizes its consultants for their progress in
recruiting new consultants (Case). Sales people have common needs: the feeling that they
control their destinies, flexibility to balance professional and personal lives, and
recognition and praise (Hahn, 2007).
According to a recent study at the National Conference on People Performance
Management at The 2006 Motivation Show, non-cash incentives were compared with
monetary incentives. The study found that sales people are motivated by non-cash
incentives, but cash incentives cannot be ignored (Jakobsen, 2006). Central Kitchen and
Bath recently implemented a non-cash incentive program for its employees in which it
would reward all of its employees and one guest each to a Caribbean cruise if sales goals
were met. The motivation of the cruise encouraged employees to work together to reach
the company sales goal. Teamwork was enhanced, and Central Kitchen and Bath met its