Nate Simley, 34
Customer Service Rep, Inside Sales—Electrical
Border States Electric
Nate joined Border States about 15 years ago, starting in the warehouse after graduating from electrical school. “I had an opportunity to get into the electrical field a few months into my career, and I’m glad I stuck with Border States,” said Nate. “A few months into working in the warehouse my interest in helping our customers grew, and I got an opportunity to work counter sales.” From there Nate progressed to inside electrical sales, then to a quotations specialist role, working on gear and lighting, and is currently in a CSR inside electrical sales role.
“Going to electrical school I thought my only option was to go in the field,” he recalled. “The distribution side of things never came to mind—until an acquaintance at the time who worked for Border States asked me to give it a try. From that point on my mindset has been for the customer and to be the best that I can be. I strive to provide the best support to our customers. Every day is a new day and presents a new/different opportunity for me to grow with my knowledge in the industry to get better and ultimately provide better service to our customers by being a resource to them.”
Asked about a challenge the industry is currently facing, Nate pointed to the global pandemic and the supply chain issues around the world. “I make it a point to make sure the customer is aware of material that may delay a project due to supply chain issues and try to come up with another solution that will work to complete the project. If there aren’t any other solutions, I make a point to stay on top of vendors to get the material sooner than later,” said Nate. “Communication is key while navigating these challenges. I feel during these times we need to be the squeaky wheel, and in some instances, can help push along the issue to get the customer what they need rather than not doing anything at all.”
As for his career goals, Nate is working on taking his inside sales knowledge to outside sales and becoming an account manager. “I really enjoy the everyday relationships I have with the customers and continue to grow new customer relationships where I can,” he said. “I try to go on as many customer events/sales calls with other account managers to learn from them. I really strive to come up with solutions for our customers to not only make them stand out from the rest, but also make us stand out from the rest by taking the time to find solutions for ways to help them in their business growth.”
Nate sees the key to his growth in the industry is “to take every training/sales call opportunity I can to gain more industry knowledge to provide the best service to our customers and continue to focus on growing relationships with them.”
What would Nate tell someone just entering the industry? “The electrical industry is tough but rewarding. There will be mistakes along the way, but that’s how you will learn and grow in your career,” he said. “Stick with it and don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are many resources you have at your fingertips and your peers are a big source of knowledge. It’s a lot more than just working in the field; there are so many opportunities for to grow your career on the distribution side.”
Outside of work, Nate enjoys the outdoors. “Golfing with my wife on the weekends when we are not enjoying the lake in the summertime, along with fishing, hunting, and playing sports like softball and broomball with friends in my free time,” he said.
Each year tED magazine recognizes 30 of the industry’s best and brightest under the age of 35. Please visit tedmag.com/30Under35 for nomination information and updates about the 2021 program. Questions can be sent to tED Editor Misty Byers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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