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Tile + Stone Is a Hot Job Right Now!

Dear Stephen,

I’ve spent many years in the contract furniture industry. Mostly at a dealer, although I’ve also worked for a manufacturer. I got burnt out, and stumbled on a great option when I discovered the tile, stone and solid surfaces industry! There are so many beautiful products, nice customers, business is hot, and I’m making very good money. I interviewed with many different companies; #ArtisticTile, #Nemo, #Caesarstone, #TileBar, #Daltile, #Waterworks, #StoneSource and #Porcelanosa, #Fireclay Tile.

The positions in this industry come in several categories I’ve learned, there are in-store salespeople that help retail customers who walk in (many of these companies are open 7 days a week!) Then, after I started interviewing, I found out that there are also outside sales positions for people like me that call on architects and designers that are doing massive residential, multi family, mixed use and/or hospitality projects. There is even another category of sales reps that call on builders and developers that are doing new-build construction for apartments, condos, and communities. Business is booming in all of these categories!

I switched industries right before the pandemic because I thought I was going to lose my job in contract furniture. During the pandemic, everyone was redoing their bathrooms and kitchens, and tile, stone and solid surface was flying off the shelf! I live in #Miami, where there is also a ton of new construction going on. I read your column every week and love some of the questions. I was hoping today to provide a solution for some of your readers who may be looking for a new career. I love what I’m doing and I’m making fantastic money! I’m working for one of the companies that I mentioned earlier but don’t want to say which one; all I can say is that I couldn’t be happier. There is definitely a lot to learn, but since I was a designer before transitioning to sales, it was a big advantage. I wanted to share, but here’s my question, what do you think, Stephen? Did I make a smart career move?


All Smiles in Tiles


Dear All Smiles,

You made a great career choice and I’m happy that you’re sharing it so I can share it with my readers! (Is my answer to your question). After outdoor furniture, tile, stone & solid surface are among the hottest areas to be selling in today! And there are jobs galore.

At The Viscusi Group, one of the categories that we recruit in is tile & stone, salespeople and Sales Managers. One of our first clients in the tile and luxury plumbing fixtures space many years ago was Waterworks, followed by #Bisazza. There’s also #Crossville, #Bedrosian Tile and Stone, #Emser, #Material and all the other brands you named are either clients or companies that we actively recruit or poach great people from to this day.

Here’s a couple of tips on doing your homework regarding finding a job in the tile, stone and solid surfaces industries -- many of the leading brands have been acquired by private equity firms hoping to cash in on the big business that this industry is doing. Even some of the ones that you named. This isn’t bad or good, just be aware of who owns the company you’re interviewing with and what their long-term goals are.

Next, I caution candidates to avoid signing non-competes, and to have a firm understanding of which accounts are available to them before signing on. That’s one of the most important questions to ask, here’s why: the tile, stone & solid surface industries were long ago discovered by smart salespeople, many of whom already handle all the best accounts. You want to be absolutely sure that there are enough accounts still available to generate the income that you want to make. It’s typically a commission driven program, with a competitive guaranteed base salary for the first year, but it varies from company to company.

You gave an excellent description of the different categories of sales jobs. Some are retail sales positions, nothing wrong with that. Occasionally weekends are weaved into inside positions, but those salespeople clean up. Then there are the outside sales positions that you described, which are very similar to the outside sales jobs we are all familiar with. Keep in mind, you will likely be lugging around heavy samples! The sale process can be very competitive because the competitive products can look alike and if it’s a big “project” where price becomes the determining factor, like for a hotel or new building, the product can be easily value engineered.

Here is a tip for a VP of Sales of a ceramic tile company, or for an owner who is trying to recruit and hire good salespeople by themselves: Don’t overlook your local #Lowes, #Floor and Décor or #HomeDepot, because these big box stores have some of the most qualified, well trained people who may consider a position with your brand as an elevated career move. Trust me, don’t look down on these salespeople because they’re selling at Floor and Decor, they’re hardworking, quality salespeople with a lot of experience, who also understand how to sell product to a broad range of projects. If you’re a Sales Manager trying to jumpstart sales and want someone to come into your company with a book of business, then open your wallet and retain The Viscusi Group or any credentialed recruiter who knows the tile and stone space, to recruit top talent directly from your competitors!

Thank you for the letter and for bringing to the attention of my readers an exciting industry where people are making great money today! It’s really true, it’s all smiles in tiles!