Dear (insert MLM) sales rep,
Hi. This is a little awkward but, there is something I have to say.
I can’t pinpoint or blame any one incident that brought me to this letter, but rather the metaphoric symphony of sales pitches outside my door. You are in multi-level-marketing. You are so excited about your new business venture and want to meet with me about how I would be perfect for joining your amazing team or at the very least tell me about the extraordinary (insert product here) that is one of a kind and I must have. I know you don’t think you’re doing any harm by reaching out. You even think it’s no harm to invite me to every event and message me to check in and see if ready for an amazing opportunity from time to time. You flood my page with promotions and speeches, so trust me, I’m not out of the loop. What you don’t know is how my eye twitches and I bite my lip in frustration every time.
I am a licensed, certified, full-time esthetician and have been for nine years. It means I live and breathe makeup and skin. To understand skin at the cellular molecular level, (well enough to know to say that.) means I understand ingredients, much more than just tea tree and chamomile. I can pronounce salicylic and spell hyaluronic. I know, in and out, skin types and skin conditions (yes there is a huge difference) from working with skin every single day. When I recommend a product it’s based on education. Education I received in my schooling that was like charm school, were my nails and lip liner were regularly checked. Schooling that was as serious as studying anatomy and as scary as accidentally having my eye pads soaked in rubbing alcohol instead of lavender. I took this seriously, I lost half an eyebrow. When I use my knowledge, it is a customized solution completing the treatment for the problems clients come to me for. This is my passion, my livelihood, my everything. Let’s be real, I feel like you are posing as me, giving advice you are absolutely not equipped to give: not with your speeches, your you-tube videos, or even your failed attempt to be a working esthetician. I get it, we are freakin cool. We wear white on Wednesdays and every other day unless we’re doing makeup or it’s the weekend when we are in all black. (Makeup is messy, black never gets dirty). But, you’re not us, and the very least you can do if you wont stop pretending, is stop having the balls to approach me while pretending.
My mother worked in MLM for most of her life, and was pretty successful in it, so I understand trying to do your best for you family. She however, was selling home décor after going to trade school for interior design. I actually became an esthetician after selling Arbonne for a literal minute as a teen and realized I had no business selling anyone skin care or vitamins. Of course a rep played on my love for skincare and makeup and asked me out to coffee about the exciting business venture she had for me. I remember sitting in a living room full of them listening to the head rep. She told a magical story of how she used some moisturizer in one foil sample and woke up the next day screaming to her husband about how all her wrinkles were gone! He used what was left and guess what? All his lines disappeared too!! Everyone in the room hung on their every word. They scared the shit out of me. I think I sold one bronzer then realized I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew I enjoyed the field of skincare and makeup so, I got an education.
What harm are you doing, you’ll say. Well, you’re spreading the bad experience of being sold on products that do not work or harm the skin, making my co-workers and I the clean up crew. People are scared! They are buying things that made their hair fall out or their skin burn off, it’s hard for me to talk them down from the pole they shimmied up, far away from the land of products. You don’t know this side though, because you never see these people monthly and examine their skin through a loop lamp after the sale. You actually think you’re doing me a favor. After all, your company is about to take over Estée Lauder and then the world. Please honk at me from your Diamond level earned Mercedes when you do. If that company, founded by dermatologists was so amazing, guess what they would have done? They would have made a professional line to be distributed by the professional eye. They would not use unqualified pawns trying to make a buck to build their empire. Or how about that poisonous plant miracle cream I get harassed about? The only cream I will ever need for every client in my spa? If there was such a miracle product, guess what? I would have had it already, sitting not only in my treatment room, but my bathroom sink at home. I know that there is no one product that can do what no other product will, I have worked with many professional lines and have always believed that any reputable product is good if it is correct for your skin type, skin condition, and is used correctly. This will never include a line were you have the opportunity to blindly sell to the public i.e. your friends and family. There is no one product that is cookie cutter to fit every single client either.
So what am I asking here really and truly? Do I want to bash you, no. Do I knock that you are exciting and have high hopes of bringing in some extra income even though 90% of MLM never make a profit? No. Whatever. I’m asking that you think of the professionals. If you are really serious, educate yourselves, go to esthetic school or take makeup classes and become certified to give advice. You will make much more in a professional spa setting if you have what it takes to do what you’re trying to do. Be a rep for a professional line and travel to salon and spas delivering real business promises. If you’ve never taken a real makeup class or put makeup on collectively a bride, a prom client, and just a regular color match for a makeover, STOP. If you have never touched someone’s face in your life and just jumped into the world of actually cleansing and moisturizing your face yourself, STOP. Stop spreading lies about your company taking over the world and being the only thing you will ever need. Even I know that in an entire professional line of 60 products, there will be a client that needs something the line doesn’t provide. Stop regurgitating the crap you’re fed by your higher-ups to everyone else. If you’re reading off a note card at anytime in your exciting new journey, stop. It is not fair to the consumer that you are making them believe in a solution that you are not equipped to deliver. It’s not fair to yourself that you’re trying to perform a job you are not able to do. It’s not fair to my industry that has worked so hard and is proud of the service we deliver.
At the very, very least, stop bribing me. I know you don’t realize you’re offending me, but you are. I’m trying to be a voice here for everyone that does my job. Normally, we laugh it off but I think the saturation of MLM and the confusion created falls on us, and enough is enough. We have a busy schedule waxing bikinis and performing extractions and lash extensions. At the end, we recommend products. That is OUR job. In my career, I have successfully sold over $100,000 of professional skin care and makeup with my education and trained eye as solutions to my clientele based on their skin type, skin conditions, and desired results. I monitor their results and adjust when necessary. I use lines that the professional industry acquire and have had extensive training in these lines to compliment my education. These are products I use every day personally and professionally. I have never sold a product from MLM skincare or makeup to my clients and sorry but, I never will. It wouldn’t benefit me, my business, or more importantly, the clients. There is no sales pitch in the world that will change my ethics on that. Not a free hostess gift. Not the opportunity to take down Estée Lauder. And certainly not a Mercedes.
The Esthetician, Makeup Artist, Beauty Blogger, hopeful cleaning crew retiree.
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