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Meet our Export and Sales Manager: Timo Kangas

Timo Kangas
Since May 2021, Timo Kangas has been V.A.V. Group’s export and sales manager. He works to create, maintain, and improve relationships between V.A.V. Group and our clients. Kangas looks after the needs of Central European clients, as well as retailers in Denmark and Finland.
Kangas’ road to becoming the export manager of V.A.V. Group has been long and diverse. After 13 years of working in various positions in the travel industry, from operations to sales to management, Kangas decided to get a Bachelor’s degree in business administration (BBA). He graduated in 2003 and began work in Tapiola, a Finnish insurance business and bank, where he worked for 14 years in many positions, including service manager, sales manager, sales coach, and development manager. His career at Tapiola was followed by what he considers one of the most important career choices: being a stay-at-home dad. – That year spent at home with my daughter was some of the hardest and most rewarding work I’ve done, and the bond we made then is still strong today.

Making connections in the train and shipbuilding industries

Kangas returned to work as a sales manager in 2018 and worked for a few different companies before applying to V.A.V. Group. Kangas’ work with us began in May 2021 with a focus on Central European countries and their train-building industries. From existing smaller contacts Kangas started arranging meetings with bigger companies with more retailers. – One meeting was with a very big company, we went and offered profiles for their doors. It was a great experience and a chance to show our quality and reliability. They were happy with our offer, especially the short lead times of initial samples, and then for production series was impressive for them.  Now our profiles are on their first train type. Other potential customers and projects keep popping up, with more meetings already lined up for the coming autumn. This spring Kangas has also worked on making contacts in the shipbuilding industry. When it comes to handling the meetings, Kangas is the old hand: – In the last meeting we went to, there were a dozen engineers ready to meet us and walk us through the factory. After so many years in sales I’m not nervous anymore, but pulling up a PowerPoint to a crew like that is always exciting. With over 30 years of sales experience under his belt, Kangas has come to the conclusion that as an extroverted person the best way to make contacts and keep clients is to make real relationships where you can talk about more than just work or superficial things: – With many contacts, we’re at the point where we can talk about our lives and our families, I’ve even gotten news of a contact’s newborn over WhatsApp. There’s a level of trust that gets clients not just returning, but also spreading the word and giving recommendations to others. Kangas’ highest principle is quality. To him, that means taking care of his clients’ needs and answering their questions as soon as they come. Especially important is taking care of problems or mistakes quickly and with style. Clients who see their problems handled well have more trust and respect for the company, and are more likely to stay. – What makes V.A.V. Group so easy to sell is that there’s a great drive to develop and do something new and different. I’ve never sold anything I didn’t believe in. Going to these meetings and making deals doesn’t make me nervous, because I know that our delivery times hold, our quality is high, and we can always hold our end of the deal. You can reach Timo at timo.kangas@vav-group.com

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V.A.V. Group specializes in producing tailor-made profiles for customers who have specific requirements for their products. Our production process is extremely flexible with an ability to quickly produce small to medium size production series. We work together with our customers to find the best solution. The company was founded in 2005 and is located in Ii near Oulu in northern Finland.

If you have any questions about our products or company, don’t be afraid to get in touch with us.