5 Tips for Hiring Successful Plumbing Sales Reps

You have worked hard to build a successful plumbing business. Your customers recommend your company to others, and you’re hiring. In order to keep your business growing, you need capable plumbing sales reps that will sing your praises, get in front of potential customers and seal the deal.

Hiring a new plumbing sales rep these days is a tough challenge with the job market being so hot. Businesses are paying more to attract the best talent and the demand is fierce.

It can seem difficult to hire a sales rep but we are here to help you! Follow these series of tips and you’ll be hiring the best talent in no time!

In this post you’ll learn how to:

  • Decide the right sales job structure for your business
  • Hire candidates with proven sales experience
  • Find sales reps that don’t concern themselves with rejection
  • Make sure your business is a good fit with your next employee
  • Secure sales reps that are positive and energetic
  • Identify candidates that foster personal relationships 

Before You Start Hiring: Decide Which Type of Rep You Want to Hire

Step one in the hiring process is figuring out which type of sales rep you want to hire. There are two types of sales reps in the plumbing industry. 

  1. The first type is a rep solely focused on sales and isn’t required to be a certified plumber. Sales experience is a must in this. The larger the company, the more sales reps are in this role. Smaller companies may have a sales rep like this as well but that role may also assist with revenue recognition, financing, ordering inventory, etc. 
  2. The second type of sales rep is also a plumber who works in the field. This rep may be more focused more on the sales end of the business, being sent on jobs with upsell potential. This role splits time between plumbing and plumbing sales. You will normally find this type of role in smaller companies that are growing and building out their plumbing team.

Once you figure out the exact model and responsibilities that works for your plumbing business and revenue model you’ll be ready to move on to the hiring process!


Now let’s dive into our 5 tips for hiring the best plumbing sales reps:

1. Hire Plumbing Sales Reps with a Proven Sales Track Record

If you’ve decided to hire somebody dedicated to sales who doesn’t need to be an experienced plumber, you want someone who can hit the ground running. 

Not to say that you can’t train someone to sell, but it takes a lot of coaching and time. If a candidate has significant experience selling, it will be easier to acclimate them to your products and services, plus you’ll see revenue results quickly. 

So how do you gauge who is successful at sales? Ask for prior numbers and how they achieve sales goals. A good salesperson knows their numbers and whether they are exceeding revenue goals. They should be able to tell you things like: 

  • Number of sales made or jobs in a certain time period
  • Revenue that they or their team generated
  • New customers they helped acquire

Of course, if you decide to hire or train an experienced plumber to also take on sales responsibilities, you may need to invest in formal sales training for them. No matter the rep’s responsibilities, prior plumbing experience can always help in the sales process.

2. Choose Plumbing Sales Reps that Don’t Get Rattled by Rejection

Whether in the office or field, sales reps have to have thick skin. They are going to hear no a lot. But it’s what they do with that rejection that sets them apart from less successful sales reps. 

When getting beat up with rejection, a poor sales rep may get defensive or ask awkward follow up questions to the prospective client. A seasoned and talented sales rep will brush off the rejection and dig deeper. Find out why the prospect is not ready to buy yet.

Consider asking some situational questions in an interview to gauge the candidate’s response. For example: “Let’s say you have been pitching me a certain service and the potential customer rudely jumps in and says they have no interest. How do you respond?”

If your rep gently points the conversation back to the customer’s concern or need for the service, you have yourself a winner!


3. Job Culture Fit is Important

What does it mean to be a cultural fit for your organization?  At its highest level, cultural fit means that employees’ beliefs and behaviors align with their employer’s core values and company culture

While hard to define, it’s easy to see when an employee isn’t a cultural fit. You want a new hire to add to the company culture, not detract from it. 

An example of a bad fit would be hiring an employee who is very ambitious and has a plan to progress and advance into new roles, but the organization doesn’t offer any education benefits or training programs to move to the next level. 

When an employee is a good cultural fit, there are all kinds of positive effects to your organization such as:

  • Improvement in employee satisfaction
  • More engagement between employees and clients
  • Higher productivity
  • Longer employee retention.

This is especially important to consider in a sales role – remember, a plumbing sales rep is the face of your company! You want them to reflect your values and goals in every interaction.

 84% of recruiters have reported that culture fit has become a key factor when hiring. 


4. Positive Outlook and High Energy 


“Quality performance starts with a positive attitude.” -Jeffrey Gitomer, Business Trainer

This quality is true in every aspect of life: coaching your daughter’s softball team, volunteering at school or starting a small business. 

A positive and high energy personality is a must for a sales hire. After all, they are going to be communicating with potential customers on a day-to-day basis. Plus, sales is all about self-motivation. Sales professionals must be willing to work hard to win business – be sure to gauge this energy and willingness when interviewing or promoting somebody into sales. 

Here is a video that shares how eager reps can take plumbing sales to the next level. 

5. Nurture Personal Relationships

Selling is all about relationships. Hiring sales reps that have a proven track record of building relationships with clients will allow your business to secure new customers and keep them for the long haul. 

Ask a potential sales rep how they have nurtured relationships in their career.  When interviewing or talking to a current employee about a promotion, see how they connect with you. A good sales rep is personable and looks for common ground.

This skill can be harder to build than technical skills. Here a few ways plumbing sales reps can practice nurturing relationships:

  • Build trust from the start: Let customers know that you are someone that they can depend on. You return phone calls, show up on time (even early) and follow up.
  • Deliver more than you promise. Going above and beyond separates you from your competition. This may mean following up with phone calls after the job to immediately address any concerns or feedback the customer may have. 
  • Keep your ears open: It’s always better to listen than to speak. Any information you can gather from your customer can help you in the future. Take notes and remember the less significant things they may mention to you concerning family, hobbies, etc.

Now that you have a good idea about hiring your next great sales rep, it may be time to take a look at the software you are using. Plumbing software can go along way in making your sales staff’s job a lot easier and more efficient!

Boost Sales with FieldEdge Plumbing Software

FieldEdge is your software solution to helping your sales reps secure more customers. With FieldEdge software, customer management and sales tools help keep current customers and attract new ones. 

  • Present Good-Better-Best options to customers, allowing them options
  • Visual price presentation for ease of use and transparency 
  • Create a world-class customer experience by providing tools to wow your customers

The best plumbing software can help your entire sales process! Book your FREE personalized demo of FieldEdge today!

Book a FieldEdge Demo!

Perfect Your Plumbing Hiring Game!

Whether you are looking for an experienced sales person or promoting from within, you now have some great tips for hiring successful plumbing sales reps. Use what you have learned to: 

  • Define the structure of your sales rep’s job
  • Hire sales reps with proven sales experience
  • Find sales reps that don’t concern themselves with rejection
  • Make sure your business is a good fit with your next employee
  • Secure sales reps that are positive and energetic
  • Not only make the sale, but nurture personal relationships

Use these tips and strategies to help you hire your next plumbing sales star!

Related: 4 Ways To Onboard & Retain Plumbing Technicians


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