• February 1, 2013
  • Mark LaCour
  • 0

A high level overview of the strategy needed to sell your product or service to ExxonMobil.

Transcript of Session –

Hey. It’s Mark LaCour. Ready to learn some more about the oil and gas industry?


You know one of the questions that we get asked a lot when we meet with clients is how do you sell to big oil. And evidently, they bring up a name like Chevron or Shell or Exxon. And what most people do not understand is you really cannot sell to Exxon. Exxon is made up of seventeen different business units, each one has their own culture, their own decision makers, their own budget, their own objectives. And just because they’re all under the Exxon umbrella, it doesn’t mean that they have a plan to all work together. In fact, a lot of times one business unit doesn’t know what the other one is doing.

So, in order to sell to Exxon, you need to take your product or service and figure out what problem does it solve. And then you need to figure out which business unit of Exxon has that problem, then who are the people that have to deal with that problem and that’s the people that you need to approach and that’s another strategy for discussion at another time, you know what is your roadmap to those people.

But back to Exxon, they are great company. They’re a big old ship, they will happily tell you that they’re a big old ship. And they struggle with a lot of stuff that people just don’t understand. Yes, they’re large, but when you look at barrels under reserve which is basically how much oil does a company know it has available. Exxon, I believe is number thirteen in the world.

What’s going on is Exxon is probably one of the – probably the top oil engineering companies in the world. They have the manpower, the resources, and the money to get oil out responsively and profitably anywhere. But a lot of the countries are locking Exxon out. The [nationalized] oil companies are basically telling the American company, Exxon, you can’t drill here or if you can drill here, you have to do it our rules. And that really puts Exxon in unfair advantage globally and most people don’t realize that.

The other thing that’s going on with Exxon is they have the grain of the workforce. A lot of their expertise and knowledge are baby boomers and they’re headed toward retirement. And so, there’s a big gap getting ready to happen at Exxon in knowledge and experience and it’s going to happen right in the market where there’s a high demand for that type of expertise. Exxon’s aware of that, but it’s also another problem they are facing basic talent.

Then, of course, you see all the bad press in the media. It’s ridiculous, Exxon is a great company some of the greatest people I know. Yes, they had their issues in the past, but so is every other company. In fact, one of the things that really bothers me is that Exxon being lumped under energy. Exxon’s not an energy company, Exxon is an oil and gas company and they do it very well.

So, I hope it helps clear up a little bit about trying to sell to one of the big Super Majors. You have to kind of take it piece by piece and figure out where your product fits the best as far as solving a business issue and then approach that unit within the Super Major and start having that dialogue.