Because I have been around mud logging most of my life and have owned Camco Logging Service, I get asked quite a bit about how to go about the business of selling mudlogging contracts to oil companies. This is especially true because I now own Geospect Instruments and talk to other owners of mudlogging companies, some big and some small on a daily basis. I am going to try to explain the way I go about doing it in this short article. Of course, I’m going to hit the high points here because I’m sure I could probably end up with a book if I went into enough detail. So let’s get started.
You should have some sales material available and make it look professional. Make sure the spelling and grammar are correct and that your material is well organized. I made up a small booklet was professionally bound for my sales presentation. I also used very good paper for this. Also, you will need business cards. Because of the fact that you are selling your product to oil company geologists who typically have a master’s degree or above, I would suggest a good quality business card and other sales material.
First things first, you should subscribe to a service that sends out daily well permits for the area that you are interested in doing mudlogging work. These permits will give you a general idea of where to start. I would not waste any time trying to sell mudlogging jobs for wells that are being drilled shallower than 10,000 feet. This is because it is just as easy to focus your efforts on wells that will pay you the most money. Of course, you can bid on jobs that will come up that are below 10k feet, but concentrate your sales efforts on the higher paying jobs. This being said, almost all of the wells that have been permitted that are using mudlogging services have already contracted with a mudlogging company. Most of the companies that are permitting wells today will be permitting wells in the future so drilling permits offer a wealth of information to you about your future potential clients.
After you get the permits you should start some kind of file. Index cards work great, but you can use a computer Customer Relations Management program (CRM) if you like. I have found that some CRM programs do nothing but eat up your time trying to learn them. Unless you are already very familiar with one, I’d steer clear of them at least at first. Use the index cards to record any information you find out when calling on oil companies. This information can be name of the geologist, phone numbers, emails, when they will begin new projects, etc. In the mudlogging sales game information is crucial. The more you have the better.
Now start calling the oil companies and ask whoever answers direct you to the geologist in charge of the “sample well #1” or whatever well is on the permit. Sometimes it is extremely difficult to get to talk to the geologist on the first call, however, at least try to get his name, email, mailing address, or whatever information you can get about contacting him or her in the future. Also note his secretary’s name if that’s who you get to talk to. Ask that person if it’s OK to mail him some information about your company to get the mailing address.
Never try to sell a geologist a mudlogging job on the phone. You need a face to face appointment. Ask him if you can stop by his office to discuss mudlogging with him. Petroleum geologists are very busy people so their time is at a premium. Tell them you will only take five minutes of their time and mean it. When you do get an appointment make sure you remember this. It also helps if you have a date and time in mind so that you can quickly make an appointment and get off of the phone. When you make an appointment to see the geologist GET OFF OF THE PHONE! Your job as far as the phone call is concerned is done. While on the phone always remember, sell the appointment not the job. Once you have secured the appointment, nothing good can come from a continued phone conversation. Be polite. Say thank you for the appointment, look forward to meeting with you and goodbye. You always want to take a two-step approach to selling mudlogging jobs. Step 1 is selling the appointment Step 2 is selling the Job.
Always show up and be in the lobby at least 15 minutes ahead of your meeting time. Be well dressed. I would suggest a coat and tie, although a very successful colleague of mine always wears slacks with no tie and never forgets to tell me that I should too. Nevertheless, dress sharp. You should have a good pen, a watch and be dressed in professional attire. I know and you know that you’ll probably be knee deep in mud on location the next day but today you are a businessman so dress and look the part. Make sure you are nice to the secretary or receptionist. They can make or break you in many cases. Sometimes, while in the lobby you may find some company literature. Check and see if you can glean any useful information out of that. Normally, the geologist will meet you in the lobby and take you back to his office or a conference room. Sometimes there will be other geologists present for the meeting. When that happens it is usually a good thing because the other geologists will probably be in charge of other prospects and may be interested in your services as well. After everyone is sitting down and introductions are made exchange business cards. Now ask if it is ok if you get started. Give a quick presentation of the mudlogging services you offer. If he interrupts or starts talking let him. Just listen. Pay careful attention to the time. You promised five minutes. He may ask you to stay longer but remind him when your five minutes is up. Make sure you ask about his upcoming projects and ask for the work. When it is time to leave Look at him in the eye, smile, tell him it was nice to meet him and that you hope to do business with him in the future.
Within 24 hours send a follow-up letter (snail mail) thanking him for the appointment and that you hope to do business with him soon. About every month or so send another sales letter and call to touch base with him about any upcoming projects he may be working on.
You should try to line up no more than four appointments per day in the same city. Two before lunch and two after. If you can get a chance to take a geologist to lunch, even better. Everyone loves a free meal including petroleum geologists. Just remember no more than four per day.
Repeat the above process as many times as practical and you’ll do great.
If you live Texas and want for your mudlogging jobs to be in Texas, don’t overlook the companies that are based in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Denver. They often drill down in Texas but are neglected by mudlogging company salesmen because of the location of their offices. It may be well worth your trip to pay them a visit.
I hope this helps you in your quest to sell your mud logging services.
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