Three insider tips for ship suppliers to improve win rates

Having worn the hat of the ship supplier before, Lionel Seah, Sales Executive, APAC at MarineTraffic, is sharing his tips on how to work smarter using our data and tools

Being a ship supplier means you are always on and looking for new business opportunities. Our very own Lionel Seah agrees, having worked previously as a sales engineer for an SME ship supplier based in Singapore. During one of our discussions while he was in our Athens office, we talked about his experience and he shared his insights on how he used to deal with existing customers and to search for new prospects.

He also explained to me how he used MarineTraffic in his previous role for cold calling and what he wished he knew earlier to help him serve more customers faster and more accurately. 

“My everyday tasks involved checking a vast amount of emails, talking to prospective and potential customers, answering inquiries while exploring new ways to grow my customer list. Finding the right tools to simplify these complex tasks and work more effectively, had been a priority for me.”, said Lionel.

He described how using MarineTraffic helped him on a daily basis and made his daily work a lot easier.

“Time is crucial. Every minute matters. When the vessel enters the dry dock is when the spare parts need to be ready. By the time they come in, actions need to be made fast to save time and money.”, Lionel explained.

One of Lionel’s main tasks was to promote corrosion products to vessels that were likely to be in the area soon. He was responsible for a number of things from finding potential clients, providing quotations, through to ensuring delivery to clients, including actions required during Pre-docking and Dry-docking inspection and working closely with the engineering team to provide the necessary service reports.

He used MarineTraffic throughout his work. Lionel said,

If I could single out three ways that MarineTraffic has helped my job as a ship supplier, and more specifically, during the process of cold calling, I would say that MarineTraffic gave me visibility, access to key information, and improved control.

Breaking out those three elements, Lionel outlined the following:

Enhanced visibility 

As a ship supplier, I used MarineTraffic every day. I was able to easily identify which vessels were inside the shipyard or coming into it. As we were not targeting all the vessels in the area or shipyard, knowing which I should focus on, helped me to reach out to the better-qualified prospects, faster and more effectively.

Key information

Through MarineTraffic, I was able to access vessel characteristics and owner/manager information. With this information in hand, I could easily identify which person I should approach. This reduced the amount of time spent researching and chasing dead-end leads, giving me more time to focus on other aspects of my job.

Related: Download our guide Vessel Particulars, designed for ship suppliers and agents

Improved control

Being able to see when vessels that will come into the shipyard or passing into our area of operation was also a game-changer. Using the Data Exploration tool, I was able to track the vessels we had agreed to provide services to and make sure they were on schedule. This made it possible to make sure parts or engineers were not stood waiting for a vessel that was still many hours or days away.

MarineTraffic in Australia

Lionel Seah along with other MarineTraffic members will be in Tasmania this March for the 12th IHMA Congress in Hobart (23-26 March 2020). This year’s event is focusing on ‘The Next Wave – Navigating Towards the Digital Future’, attracting maritime businesses from around the world. Connect with us to learn more and meet us there in case you attend the event.

New call-to-action