One of the ways that Mary Kay Consultants are encouraged to find new customers is by “warm chattering.”
The consultant spies a woman in the cosmetic department of the local Wal-Mart, for instance, and casually comments on her lovely skin. The consultant then tries to get the woman’s name and phone number so that she can set up an appointment with her to “try Mary Kay products” or be a “face model” at a girls’ night out, which is really a Mary Kay sales meeting.
I don’t know many consultants who were ever really good at this. Most tried it a few times and gave up because of the negative responses they received. Many people couldn’t stand approaching people in a way that they, themselves, would find irritating and offensive. (Hmmm…sounds like the Golden Rule to me!)
I know of several consultants who got thrown out of the mall or the drug store for “warm chattering.” Some of them were actually surprised that the businesses would do that. They didn’t think they were doing anything wrong.
Why would they? Mary Kay Inc. produced at least one video that I saw showing consultants how to properly warm chatter. The one I remember featured two women in the greeting card isle of a grocery store. Woman A is picking out a card. MK Consultant Woman appears, wheeling her cart down the isle and stops to look at the cards. Consultant Woman glances over at Woman A and makes some conversation starter regarding the cards, then offers her helpful card suggestion. Somehow this syrupy, unbelievable nonsense leads to Consultant Woman talking about Mary Kay and getting Woman A’s phone number. The video continued, showing how to book Woman A for a facial, then turn it into a class, etc.
Here’s the problem: Warm Chattering is Soliciting.
That “No Soliciting” sign in the window of the store means no warm chatter. No trying to solicit business for yourself on the premises of another business.
That’s all there is to it.
If you’re a consultant, be advised that you can be asked to leave a store for this.
If you’re an unsuspecting shopper and you get caught in one of these “warm chattering” incidents, politely tell that Mary Kay consultant that she is soliciting, then find a manager and report her.