• July 23, 2014
  • Mark LaCour
  • 1

In the oil & gas industry people are very resistant to change, which makes it hard to introduce a new product or service. We show you how to easily get around this issue and move forward with your sales efforts.

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How to Get Around Resistance to Change

Hey, folks. Let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.


All right. If you’ve never seen a frac field, that’s what’s right behind me. And today, we’re going to talk about something that’s come up several times in business conversations with our clients the last couple of weeks, so we thought we’d share this tip with you.

Basically, the oil and gas industry is extremely resistant to change, right? So if you – if your product and service is something new you have to – it’s a struggle for you to get them to want to buy it. We’re going to teach you how to get around that, right? It’s something called a proof of concept. So before getting to the details of what a proof of concept is, let’s talk about why the oil and gas industry is so resistant to change, right?

So, if you think about what they do, it’s a bunch of engineers that go to a different country that drill through 5,000 feet of water, 2,000 feet of rock to capture something that’s explosive and environmentally harmful, so risk is the first thing you think about everything in the business, right? Unlike other verticals where they think of benefits.

So, if you bring your product to like the medical device industry, the first thing you think of is what is the benefit of me switching to this product? Not oil and gas. The first thing they think of is what is the risk of me changing for what I’m doing now and it doesn’t matter how much you help them that is the first thing that pops in their head, so a lot of companies struggle to get around that resistance to change. Here’s how you get around it.

So first thing, you go talk to your client and you go, “Mr. Client, Mr. Oil and Gas Client, I don’t want to roll this out enterprise-wide, I’m not looking for that right now. I don’t want to fail and I know you don’t want to fail. So instead of us trying to, you know, rolls out the entire company, let’s do something completely different. Let’s do a very small scale test but we’ll involve your key people to make sure it affects your business in a way that you want.”

And so, what you do is you get him to get three or four of the people that would be directly affected by whatever the problem is that your product fixes and you get three or four of your people together and you get them in a room and let them craft a small scale solution and let them tweak it so it affects their business.

Now, what you’re really doing is getting your client’s people involved in this new product, you’re allowing them to help develop it and they then start seeing the benefits of using it, right? And then it’s a wonderful thing, you go back with your results saying, look, we improved the operational 50%, 20% or whatever it is that you did. And guess what? Guess who ends up selling your product or service to the rest of that oil and gas company. It’s not you and your sales team, it’s those people that partner with you on a proof of concept, they sell it internally.

And then the other thing is, you charger for this. This industry has money, right? So you tell the client, you know, if it’s $50,000 solution, you put in 25 grand, I have put in 25 grand. Well, what that does is now your client has invested some money and time of its key people, so of course they’re not going to want to see this to fade away. So that’s how you get around that resistance to change ‘cause what you’re doing instead of trying to bring something big and change the way things work, you’re bringing something really small which is they don’t consider a change, right? Or consider a risk. Then, you can show the benefits and it just sales 101 after that.

So, hopefully this helped. If we can help you, please reach out to us, we’ll be happy to do it. We’ll see you next time.