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Oilfield Sales Made Easy with Mark LaCour
James Hahn II: Joining The Tribe on the podcast today is Mark LaCour. Mark has sold over $205 million to the oil & gas industry. He has had over 2200 sales meetings. He’s done business in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the UK, Middle East, Mexico, Canada, Norway, Scotland, Brazil and in the good ol’ US of A. He is on the board of directors for the American Petroleum Institute (the API), which is the largest group representing the Oil & Gas industry to congress. He currently helps other companies that want to sell their products and services to oil and gas companies at www.modalpoint.com.
Mark LaCour, thanks for coming on to tell me how I can sell my products and services to these companies I’m trying to get into.
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Mark LaCour: It’s a privilege, James, to talk to you. I really feel honored to be on your show today.
James Hahn II: It’s really great, you just told me you listen to me at the gym. It’s funny to hear all of the different places people listen. Maybe I should ask people to take a picture of themselves where they’re listening and put it in the show notes. We’ll see if we can get something like that going.
Mark LaCour: I think that would be a great thing to promote The Tribe. Everybody take a pic of where they’re listening to you.
James Hahn II: Alright, let’s do it. Everybody take a pic. You’ll be able to go to the show notes at https://triberocket.com/012. In the comments you can leave a picture of yourself and we’ll get to know each other.
That said, let’s talk about you, Mark. You’re running Modal Point over there and we were talking beforehand about how you have a very specific strategy in which you go about helping the companies that come to you. One of the things you mentioned was “true market research”. I know that’s a big deal for a lot of companies trying to get into the oil and gas industry; trying to sell their products in this vertical. Tell us a little bit about that.
Mark LaCour: Sure. This vertical is different than almost any other vertical on the planet. I’m going to try not to go too deep. But, the business drivers are different because it’s so profitable. If you look at something like big box retail – Wal Mart, Home Depot, whatever – they have a very flat organizational structure because they’re final adjusted margins are usually around 10%.
As opposed to the oil and gas industry where some segments of the oil and gas industry, their final adjusted margins are in the 40’s. So they have these big fat org structures that make it complex for other companies to try to navigate through.
And then things such as cost savings, which is a driver in any other vertical, right? If you go to medical and say you can save them 5% on operational efficiency, they’re going to be all over that. You go to somebody like Chevron and say, “I can save you 5% on operational efficiency,” and they’re going to go, “So?”
So a lot of people struggle with understanding how to do business in this vertical. And I tell people all the time, it’s not difficult it’s just different. The way you have to approach it is you literally need to get out there and ask the business leaders in the oil and gas industry, where would this product or service fit? Who would have the problem that it solves, and what is the value of solving that problem?
Once again, this industry is different. The value is almost never cost savings. It’s things like health, safety, and environmental, operational efficiency, first to market, flow rates, stuff like that. And all of those things are a struggle for people outside the industry to get their hands around.
(full transcript coming soon)