Meet Gaston Broadwell, a senior business associate who has been with Chef Works for more than seven years. What makes his story so great is that he’s spent time in several departments during his time with the company. That’s also what has made him so effective working with our sales department.
Take us through your career arc at Chef Works.
Gaston Broadwell: When I first started at Chef Works, I was in the distribution center and I was going to school and studying real estate. I didn’t know at that time this was going to be my career. An opportunity presented itself to go to customer service and I knew that could lead to sales, which is eventually where I wanted to be. I learned everything I could after a year in customer service and then moved to sales support and had a chance to work with all of the outside reps. I saw how successful they were and how fun it was to work with customers.
Walk us through a typical day. Do you even have one?
GB: Sometimes I wish I had ‘typical’ days. But most of the time I’m thankful that I don’t. Because I enjoy the fact that each day is going to be a little bit random. Before I come in, I try to create a plan for my day. I’ll write things down that I want to get accomplished in a specific order. Usually by 9 a.m. that plan has blown up. Nothing ever goes as planned. That’s what makes my job so fun and exciting. You always have to be on your toes.
You’ve spent time in a lot of different departments. How has that helped you in your current role?
GB: It helps dramatically. I really don’t think I’d be as successful as I am in sales if I didn’t have all of that knowledge. It’s tough enough to learn how to sell. But it also takes time to get comfortable with our approach and our products. So having that advantage when was huge. When I came into sales, I already knew exactly what we were all about. It was a natural transition and I could hit the ground running.
What’s the most gratifying part of your job?
GB: It’s about making the customers happy. That has to be the most satisfying thing, is when you do everything perfectly and you get that email that your client is happy. To me, sales is a transfer of energy. I try to project how excited I am about the company and product. I want them to feel how much I believe in what we’re doing. People don’t want to buy from people who aren’t passionate about what they do or what they are selling. On top of being passionate, I want to deliver a great product. When all of those things come together, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s something you accomplished and took from start to finish and if you maintain that great relationship, that customer is going to be buying from you for a long time.
Can you give us an example of how your approach came together for you with a specific client?
GB: I took over an account from a large chain and when I started, they weren’t very happy with their service. For whatever reason, it wasn’t working out well for them and they were very disappointed with us. We were disappointed with ourselves. I got thrown into the mix. Whenever we have a customer who has experienced difficulties, I see that as an opportunity to change their minds and give them a positive experience with Chef Works. That prospect actually really excites me. Within one month, that customer sent an email saying I was the best rep they have ever worked with at any company. That was an incredibly amazing and humbling thing to hear.