08 March 2022
Customers have led the praise for Panasonic regional sales manager Rachel Wales, who this month celebrates her 30th anniversary with the business.
Jose Alves, UK country manager for Panasonic Heating & Cooling. said: “Rachel is highly regarded and respected throughout the industry. Her passion and drive, coupled with her wealth of knowledge, experience and exceptional customer service, is admirable.
“It’s great to have a strong female presence in the management team with so much knowledge and experience. Rachel is a great inspiration to the younger members and helps nurture them with many going to Rachel for advice.. She is always open to listening and a good sounding board for the team as well as her customers.”
Rachel started out in the industry when she first left school at the age of 17, working for a small refrigeration contractor, Barnet Refrigeration, as an office junior, prior to starting at AMP (now Panasonic Heating & Cooling) in 1992, where she quickly developed into a successful sales executive for the company.
Her passion for the industry grew along with her customer base – some of whom are still customers today. Tony Sayer of AAC has known Rachel since he was 21, with both starting in the industry at around the same time. He said: “Rachel really cares about her customers and the service she and the business provides – if she says she will get something done, you know it will be. I believe this is why she has such great customer retention.”
Mark Harris, managing director of Air Intelligence, said: "I have known and worked with Rachel for over 35 years. When I set up my own company 10 years ago, Rachel and the team were very supportive and reliable. I know that if I call Rachel up, she will always be there with an immediate response to help with any technical advice. as well as a friendly face. Rachel and the team are always polite and nice people to do business with – a rare thing these days.”
John Hazelton, CEO of CER, has known Rachel since she first started in the industry and said: “Rachel is always professional, relaxed, happy and friendly – she also brings ‘naughty’ cakes or biscuits to our meetings which of course does help. She does exactly what she says she will do and really cares about the service we receive from her and the team which makes an enormous difference. She reacts quickly and swiftly – we know that she won’t let us down – and her work ethic is second to none.”
Rachel said: “I feel incredibly lucky, as I love my job and the work I do. It is my life and it makes me get up in the mornings. I am immensely proud of my achievements over the years. I enjoy working with my customers to solve any challenges and find solutions for their projects. I always try and respond quickly to any requests and think this has helped build a rapport and trust with customers.
"Over the years I have forged long-term friendships in the industry and seen and worked with many small family-run businesses and watched them grow and develop as I have. I might have started out with the father of the family being the customer and then that business has grown and been passed on to their children, whom I have watched and nurtured through their journey.”
Rachel with the themed pose for this year's International Women's Day
Speaking ahead of International Women's Day, Rachel added: “I wasn’t always this confident. As a female in a very male-dominated industry, I had to work hard prove myself in those early days. This came with time and once I had demonstrated my abilities and helped resolve their problems, the confidence in me grew. I am looking forward to passing on my experience in the industry to the other members of the team, to grow and develop them and the business further. I want to encourage more females into the industry and particularly younger team members to help grow the industry – I always like a challenge.
“It’s an exciting time in the industry right now, with more pressure from the government to offer more renewable technologies – a topic that both Panasonic and I are very passionate about. Panasonic is well known for developing and researching new products. We have a fantastic range of innovative heating and cooling products on offer, coupled with great customer service along with a reliable and efficient team to help deliver them.”