Heesen’s recently appointed sales manager, Johan Kaasjager has spoken exclusively to SuperyachtNews.com about the prolific Dutch shipyard’s burgeoning direct sales team and its positive impact on the builder’s order book.

“I joined the team about two-and-a–half months ago, together with Mark Cavendish, director of sales, and Robert Drontmann, a sales manager like I am. Because we re very active in direct sales, we can give owners, owners’ reps and brokers the right attention.

“It’s good, as a sales team, that you have two people who are fully focused on the market. Mark Cavendish is able to focus more on the general sales and marketing strategy. Nevertheless, he has a few clients he is dealing with, but it is mainly Robert and I doing the sales.”

Kaasjager (left) with Cavendish and Drontmann.

Kaasjager says Heesen will retain the local expertise its global network of agents offers, although they will be managed by the centralised Oss operation. Drontmann will oversee the North and South American territories, and Kaasjager will take control of the Middle East, Far East and South Africa. The rest of the world is, as they say, ‘fair game’.

“At Heesen we do a lot of direct sales, but with my background at Amels - we did a lot of work with brokers – I think there might be a little bit more of a focus [on brokers] because I have a lot of contacts on that side. Maybe in the future we will do more brokerage-led [deals], but there is no preference; selling directly is great but through a broker is too.”

Kaasjager’s remit may extend across the Heesen fleet, but his specialism lies in the larger boats, he says. This is a market he believes is on the rise.

Whereas the 30-45m market has been hit by a flood of mediocrity diluting it, “we see an interest in 50-55m, and we have just launched our first 55m steel hull and I think this hull will give Heesen a lot of attention in this market. I think we are going to be a major player in the 55m-plus [market].”

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