Here at Walsworth, we’re lucky to have many excellent employees. These are the people who make our company run. Some of them interact with our customers every day, but many of them don’t. We’re lucky to have these people, and are sharing a little bit about them in our Behind the Scenes series.
Despite only recently joining Walsworth, Greg Kempton is making strides. Since he came on board, our newest Regional Sales Manager has been busy hiring new sales reps and working with existing reps to grow their book of sales. We sat down to talk to Kempton about his goals, his life and the good things he’s doing for our customers.
How did you become a regional sales manager at Walsworth?
Greg Kempton: David Grisa [Executive Vice President, Walsworth Sales] and I started having conversations in Feb 2019. He was very interested in bringing on another Regional Sales Manager and the potential growth associated with that role – which is what my whole print background’s been about: growing sales teams and growing revenue.
I was very familiar with Walsworth from my history working in print, and as time went by, I had the opportunity to meet more people within the company.I was very impressed with the caliber of people at Walsworth and saw firsthand how exceptionally well run this company is.
After further conversations with Mr. Grisa, we agreed my skill set and background were a good fit for this role, and I joined the organization in July 2019.
Let’s talk a little more about that growth.
GK: One key issue for me to take on right away is revenue growth. Walsworth has the capabilities and capacity to take on more work than we do today. One way to grow our business is by bringing on new customers, another is growing organically with customers we work with today. I initially was given a team of four internal Commercial Sales Reps identified as people who want to grow their books of business further than where they’re at today.
On top of that, my strategy over the next 18 months is to hire an additional three to four Commercial Sales team members. I’m actively involved in interviewing Sales Candidates across the country. Since July I’ve spoken with and/or interviewed over 40 candidates. I have several Sales Candidates in different stages, of which two to three look promising. We recently hired Art Torres as our newest Commercial Sales Rep, who started with us in Dec 2019. I am also adding Matt Swisshelm, our Sales trainee, this February. Many at Walsworth have met Matt during his manufacturing rotation schedules over the course of the past year.
Just like my Sales Team, I need to continually prospect and look for Sales Candidates for the organization. I’m looking for talent who match the Walsworth organization. I look for several things, someone with a skill set in sales, preferably in print. Within print, preferably in publications. Also, individuals that have very active lifestyles, community involvement, who might have sports or military in their background, who are disciplined. A busy person generally has good time management skills. It’s important that our future Commercial Sales Reps fit Walsworth’s culture of strong work and moral ethics.
And your existing team?
GK: With my current team, I want them to have the confidence to grow, which is what they and the company are interested in. The exciting part is working with each of them individually. Each of our Commercial Sales Reps is unique, just like our customers are all unique. Walsworth is not only engaged in custom manufacturing every day but we have custom individuals who all bring a different set of skills to the table and who attract a vast variety of publishing and association clientele.
I view Walsworth’s manufacturing capability as a four-lane highway; we manufacture magazines, catalogs, books and associations print needs. My role is to expand my team’s mindset onto all four lanes, because if you’re focusing on just one area, like catalogs, you’re stuck in one lane. Yes, you may be very good in a specific lane, but you will not go as far as you can on four lanes. If we are working with all four primary print products, we will grow larger books of business. A Commercial Sales Rep who operates in all four lanes will be highly successful for themselves and Walsworth. This mix of business is good for the company.
Let’s talk a little bit about you. You’re based in Salt Lake City, right?
GK: I live in Park City, Utah, a ski town in the Wasatch Mountains above Salt Lake City. If you’re not familiar with Park City, it is where the 2002 Winter Olympics were held. Park City offers a wonderful outdoor lifestyle for those who love skiing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, fishing and camping.
My wife and I moved to Park City from San Diego CA in 2004 to raise our boys. We are often are asked “Why would you leave San Diego?” Well, come to Park City and you’ll find out.
My boys were just toddlers when we moved and are now all young men, Taylor 28, Jack 21 and Pierce 18. They had the mountains as their backyard, and they took full advantage of all the activities. They are all now moving onto their life’s path.
My wife Patricia and I are active in JDRF. JDRF is the Junior Diabetic Research Association that supports research around the world with scientists and companies looking for a cure to Type 1. My middle son is type 1 diabetic. He has no choice but to take care of himself every single day for the rest of his life. Like most associations in search for a medical cure of a disease, there is a lot of bonding that goes on, and you have that circle of friends and influencers that you work with on a regular basis in hopes that someday there will be a cure.
GK: I started working in the print industry in the late 1990s. I was in sales for several years with a high level of success and stepped into managing a team in the early 2000s. I managed a large sales team for 12 years. That was the time I came into my own as a manager and feel that experience set the foundation for who I am today as a manager.
One thing you will notice about me is that I am a very positive person. If you don’t wake up positive every day to get into your workday, why are you doing what you’re doing? To use a basketball analogy, at my previous employer my reps called me John Stockton because he was known in the NBA as one of the greatest assist leaders. I was always there to assist them, not to tell them what to do.
At Walsworth, I am here to coach our Commercial Sales Reps to improve all the time and to learn to be successful. I don’t tell them what to do but lead and sit side by side with them along with the rest of the organization. We do this as a team.
Going back to Walsworth for a minute, we’ve talked about the work you’re doing here. How does this affect customers?
GK: I hope any potential new customer reading this blog could take away that I am a passionate and experienced sales leader who has a background of success working with customers like themselves. We at Walsworth want to get to know our customers and build relationships for the long term.
We want customers to have the confidence knowing that if they work with Walsworth they will be well taken care of and that their projects will be worked on with the quality and care that we are known for. We want customers to see the value of working with Walsworth and being part of our family for as long as they need our services.