Mary Kay Ash was the first person I ever heard say that you are the face of your business.
Nobody was using the term Powerful Presence to describe Mary Kay, or anyone else, in the mid-1990’s. Looking back on it now, I can see just how much of it she packed into her 5′ frame and how much of an impact she had on millions of women around the world who would never even meet her. She said that each individual Beauty Consultant was the face of Mary Kay, so the experience any customer had with her consultant would become the basis of her opinion about the entire company.
In 1996, I had an opportunity to learn about sales and marketing as one of Mary Kay’s Beauty Consultants in Austin, Texas. After my years sand-blasting and painting submarines, working in the shipyards, installing solar heating units and becoming a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor and CEAP, this was more of a stretch than a calculated strategy. However, I was in the right place at the right time, I was hungry to learn and I was willing to do something far outside of my comfort zone to increase my skills as an entrepreneur.
The first thing I learned was that how you approach someone ~ today I would call it your presence ~ is 95% of your success. The rest of it is details.
When I first started out, I had a number of serious liabilities: I had absolutely no confidence in my skills as a makeup artist, no confidence offering a free lipstick to women I didn’t know and I vowed I would never be that pushy sales person who was only out to make you buy as much product as possible.
I did have several strengths that I played to heavily: I had complete confidence in my ability to share my personal knowledge of these skin-care products and how they could transform your skin. I had complete confidence talking to women I knew about my being “a different kind” of Mary Kay Lady. Because I knew more about creating relationships than talking about skin care, I figured I would lead with that first and then ease into the conversation about skin care second.
As a result of my particular strengths and weaknesses, I developed a sales strategy in my Mary Kay business that I have used ever since:
- Play to your strengths
- Focus your attention on the other person
- Be yourself and have a conversation
An astonishing thing happened to me because of this strategy: I started to become the Queen of Sales on a regular basis in my weekly sales meetings. Bringing my face to the Mary Kay conversation was changing people’s opinions of what I had to offer; my experience was changing the way I thought about sales and marketing.
Almost 15 years later, my journey leads me here ~ to Powerful Presence and my conversations with you. I have no doubt that astonishing things will continue to happen.