• August 25, 2013
  • Mark LaCour
  • 0

Learn how the oil and gas industry is spearheading job growth, what well control is, why an industrial manufacturer is struggling to sell to oil companies, top personality traits of an inside sales person and my thoughts on the Keystone Pipeline getting approved.


Transcript of Session –

Hey, folks. Let’s learn some more about the oil and gas industry, shall we?


All right. It’s our monthly e-mail show and these are July e-mails, so let’s get to it.

Number one. Does the energy industry really contribute to job growth?

Duh? We have over 300,000 jobs in Texas alone that was not here five years ago and 100% of those is oil and gas jobs. About 50% of all the economic recovery jobs in the US are from the oil and gas industry. We’re going to throw some quick statistics, but basically Houston has not only surpassed its job numbers before the recession, it’s more than doubled the number of employees that’s directly resulting from the oil and gas industry. So the oil and gas industry is a huge part of our economic recovery.

And by the way, don’t call it energy, it’s oil and gas.

Number two. What is well controll?

All right. So when you think about it’s probably the most dangerous part or consequences of drilling for oil and gas, it’s something called the blowout where you lose control of that well. The blowout can cause lives, can destroy materials, it can destroy the environment, so it’s something you don’t want to have happen ever.

And so, basically well controll is the process of preventing blowouts from happening. And there’s a bunch of parts that go into it, but one thing I’ve note, almost every country in the world requires some type of procedure in place of well control. So that’s just shows you how important it actually is. There’s a couple of things that go on. One is the well engineers use drilling mud or you heard it called drilling fluids of different weights and viscosities to control the pressures of the oil at the bottom of the wellbore.

So basically, all that oil and gas trying to come up because it’s under pressure and they use the weight of the drilling fluids on top to keep it from coming up. And that pressure of that drilling fluid pressing down is called downhole pressure. So it’s really important to those engineers constantly monitor the dynamics of the well and they change the mixture of the drilling fluid to counteract the pressures at the bottom.

And then, the other piece of the pie is you have this absolute safety measures when you’re drilling. It’s called the blowout preventer. The blowout preventer is basically a set of automatic valves that as a last ditch effort will shut that well down if they lose control over it. A lot of times they put several blowout preventers together in a blowout stack. Now, once the well is in production, that same function is handled by the [tree]. But once again, it’s totally automatic, if it senses that you’re losing control of the well, it shuts things down. So that’s what well control is.

Number three. We are a manufacturer of industrial products and have a topnotch sales team. We do well in several other markets, but have struggled for over two years to do business with the oil and gas industry. I know they buy products like ours from other vendors, but I’m really frustrated with our lack of success. Any suggestions?

Yeah. There could be a bunch of reasons for this, but I can more or less guarantee that this is what’s going on. You’re talking to the wrong people and telling the wrong story. You’re probably even your sales team is probably used to in other verticals where you deal with the people that is the end user of your product and that’s who you’re trying to sell to. Quite honestly, because the oil and gas industry is old fashioned, if they’re buying your products from another vendor, they have no reason to switch at that frontline level. What you need to do is go up a couple of notches and be able to tell your story from a business point of view. You know what does your product do better or cheaper or faster than your competitors ‘cause a couple of levels up, they’re starting to look at the entire project of whatever your industrial products are contributing part of.

And so, at that level if you can come in and say, look, you know we’re not cheaper, we’re the same quality as your existing vendor, how about this, how about we guarantee your inventory ‘cause what happens when one is [0:03:39][Indiscernible] it doesn’t show up on top. How does that affect your project? So think about that, go up a couple of notches in the food chain and rethink your story to be able to describe it from a business point of view and you should have much more success.

Number four. What are the top personality traits you look for when hiring an inside salesperson for an oil and gas approach?

Okay. Number is they have to be social. This is a social industry built on reputation and doing business with people and networking, so sociability is really important. Number two. They have to be okay with rejection and that’s true of any inside sales position whether it’s in oil and gas or somewhere else because you may get sixty or seventy or eighty or even a hundred nos before you get that one yes and you can’t take that rejection personally.

And then finally, they have to be persistent. So our own data shows that the next step when you first start cold calling with a client goes to accept a meeting because he wants to learn more about what your company does, happens about the fifth contact. Most sales people give up at the second contact. So if you think about that math you realize that persistence is vital.

Number five. Do you think the Keystone Pipeline will ever get approved?

Yeah. So, the current administration will approve it sometime soon, then they’ll take credit for fostering our energy independence. Now, the truth is, if it got approved today, it will be ten years before the first drop of oil flows out of it, but the general public doesn’t understand that. So I absolutely know that it will get approved. In fact, the chances of it being approved or the chances of it not being approved are about the same as in Houston having a snow avalanche in August.