Hiring Print Industry Salespeople: Challenges & Solutions

For more


By Debbie Nicholson, Think-to-INK!

interview 2 womenSales, Sales, Sales!

Why is it almost impossible to hire sales reps for the printing industry? (a few thoughts)

  • Only a small percentage of people can really sell.
  • The printing industry attracts inexperienced applicants.
  • Applicants lie on their resumes and also during the interview process.
  • We cannot require certified applicants (there is no such thing).
  • Applicants talk a good game – it stops there!
  • Printing companies give vague expectations – lack of accountability.
  • Base + commission is sometimes lower than the cost of living index.
  • Commission only is a gamble most are not willing to face.
  • We don’t have the best reputation in the industry.
  • We don’t mentor our customer service reps to move into sales
  • We look in the wrong places – be strategic, understand your market!
  • Lastly, we don’t promote a successful sales rep job description.


Unfortunately, this is not good news for our industry.  There is typically a “diamond in the rough,” in any group of applicants, however, finding that person in the open sea is no easy process.

Obviously you can keep the sales hiring process in-house; but as another option there are recruiting experts that can weed out the noise and make the process much easier. 

From experience, consider calling your regional and national printing associations – they typically have industry recruitment services on staff that can be a welcomed instrument in obtaining the right employee.  Reach out today, you will be glad you did!

Consider the following Question:  Is the applicant…

Driven    ·    Competitive    ·     Coachable   ·    Ambitious    ·    Consistent     ·    Collaborative    Approachable   ·   Confident   ·   Team Oriented   ·   Experienced   ·   Organized   ·   Energetic

In closing

Satisfied customerI have noted recently that many companies are not hiring outside sales representatives.  I would like to believe this is a short-time strategy.

Face-to-Face provides customers with a more personal experience.  In addition, personal visits allow you to build trust and rapport, which, you know, is vital in creating long-term relationships.

Customer satisfaction boosts profits – if you can cultivate meaningful relationships with your customers, they are more likely to be satisfied with their experience and are more likely to remain loyal when they are happy.

Remember, we need order makers!







Prefer to comment without registration? Click in the Name field and select "I'd rather post as a guest"