Nate Kinghorn, salesperson in Boise, ID, truly embodies the Bargreen Ellingson motto of 'serving those who serve others'. With only a year and a half of restaurant industry experience under his belt, he knows that developing relationships with customers and listening to their needs is the key to success. "If I wake up on a Thursday, I’m excited because of the customers that I get to see that day," says Kinghorn. "I know there will be a great conversation, and I just may be fortunate enough to get an order because of the relationship that we have developed."
Gracious and goal-oriented, Kinghorn talks about some of the challenges he has had to overcome, why life as a salesperson is so rewarding, and his personal goal to sell a nacho cheese dispenser.
How long have you been with Bargreen? I've been with Bargreen for about a year and a half after Matt Wicks, Boise's GM, took a chance on hiring me with no background in this industry. Up until that point, I spent my entire work-life working for small family retail businesses, and eventually management.
What makes life as a salesperson so rewarding for you? This job has gotten me away from a desk and paperwork, which I grew to loathe, and back in front of customers. I get to help solve problems or find creative solutions that are unique to their business, and everyday seems to be a new adventure. When I first took this job, I remember Matt telling me that he still learns something new each day and I’ve taken that to heart. I am also rewarded every time I take an order from a customer and they put their trust in me. You can always tell people what they need but never what they want. I enjoy talking with customers and learning about their business to put forth the best options for them, and let them decide what will work best in their establishment.
Nate Kinghorn (right) with John Cornell, owner (left) of Hyde Park Pub discussing the install of new booths from J.H. Carr.
What is the biggest challenge that you have had to overcome to get where you are today? I like to think of myself as pretty handy in the kitchen, but as it turns out, I had a lot to learn. I’m very grateful for all the help and assistance I have received from everyone here at the Boise branch - especially in my first few months. I can never say thank you enough to all of them for helping me overcome the deficit in my knowledge when I first started.
What drives your passion for the foodservice industry? People in the foodservice industry are some of the nicest and most interesting people that I have ever met. It is the people that I get to work with that keeps me going everyday. During my time in Spokane, WA, I spent a fair amount of time at O’Dorhety’s Irish Grill and got to know Tim, the owner. He was one of the greatest people I’d met at that point, and I have found that there are dozens and dozens of people like him that have a passion for what they do in serving people. I can’t help but try each day to serve those people the best I can so they in turn can do the same for their customers.
Looking forward to the next few years, what are some goals that excite you the most? Obviously that million dollar number is a big deal, so that is my biggest goal. I would love to hit that number in my second full year on the job, as well as grow my accounts. As a smaller personal goal, it’s still my desire to sell someone a nacho cheese dispenser. When I had my first interview for the position Matt gave me an old catalog to look through to get the scope of the job, and I saw one of those in there. I wanted to sell one then, and I still do!
Nate Kinghorn is located in Boise, Idaho. For your restaurant supply needs, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.