“Being a trusted advisor is key for connecting with my customers"
“Trust is a meaningful part of my everyday life – be it private or business related. As an Account Executive in the Oil & Gas industry at Brenntag Southwest in Texas, I stay close to our customers, even when it means travelling hundreds of miles through the vast Texas landscape.
Meeting the customers in person is important to gain a complete understanding of their complex businesses. Only then am I – together with my team – able to earn their trust and gain the knowledge that is necessary to find the perfect individual solution for them.
While connecting all of Brenntag’s capabilities and people, I try to act as a trusted advisor for both the customer and my team – always keeping in mind our common goal of a successful partnership.”
Aaron Booth works as Account Executive, primarily in the Oil & Gas industry, at Brenntag North America. He is based in Elmendorf, Texas, a US state that regularly associated with large oil fields and pump jacks. Aaron builds long term partnerships with his customers and feels more like an extension of their team than a consultant from the outside. In the interview he shares with us how he went from starting his career focused on the oceans and on television to where he is today.
Eleven years ago I started off as a sales assistant. Right from the beginning I pushed our Regional Manager to give me a shot to go out and work directly with the customers. He gave me eight accounts and said “see, what can you do at these accounts and then we’ll figure out what to do with you”. Well, I grew the accounts very quickly, did quite well with them and so after that he said “You’re out, go for it”.
Today I’m Account Executive and within this role my goal is to become a trusted advisor to my customer base. My job is to find solutions to the customer’s needs such as logistical challenges, supply chain management, local warehousing, providing just-in-time delivery systems, custom blending and new product development as well as sharing safe practices and current market conditions.
Out of college, where I studied Environmental Biology, I did go into the marine’s fisheries career path. I was a fishery observer for three years in Hawaii and Massachusetts. From there I got the chance to work as a host of an outdoor television show. Through that particular job that was very heavily sales oriented, I figured out I had a neck for sales, so naturally just gravitated towards a sales career.
Once I started with Brenntag I noticed that I had more success calling on the oil & gas customers – I just had more in common with them. Most of the oil & gas folks enjoy the outdoors – they hunt, they fish. So we had some common ground to start with as opposed to not having any common ground. So I just naturally gravitated towards that industry due to the passed times that we share.
A typical day at work begins with a review of the customers I will be meeting for the day and key topics that will be discussed. As the day progresses I will handle a broad spectrum of challenges needing solutions. This can include logistical needs, product supply chain, technical product trouble shooting and sometimes safety recommendations to meet the customer’s needs. The oil and gas industry is very demanding, time sensitive and forces you to come up with solutions safely and quickly.
Being part of my customers’ solutions to any challenges they may have or new opportunities on the horizon. At some point I figured out that this wasn’t just about selling a product at a certain price. It’s about helping the customer’s overall needs, being the person, they come to for advice, or any challenges they need solutions to. Truly in the meaning of “ConnectingChemistry”.
Since that has clicked, every day is just as exciting as the next. Just recently one of my largest customers said “Aaron you are not just a sales rep to us, you are part of our team and success in the growth
growth we’ve experienced. Without your guidance, management and connecting Brenntag’s capabilities to our needs our growth would have never happened the way it did.” Well, what can you expect to hear more…
In the recovery of tight oil there is a product that is polyacrylamide-based known as a friction reducer. It’s very logistically challenging, because of where it comes out of and the volume demand. Most of the major players will buy direct from a manufacturer. So, in order for me to find a place in that business I offered up our logistics abilities. Instead of competing directly with the producers I approached it from the logistics side.
The customer buys direct from the producer and we utilize our rail spur which is somewhat rare in this area. We rail in the product, load ISO-tanks and store them at our Brenntag facility. It was a way of thinking a little outside the box, because we are typically used to asking “what can I sell you?” – from a product standpoint. So, in this case we are selling a service for this particular opportunity. For
another customer we currently blend five different custom blends that go into the stimulation and production side of the oil & gas industry.
These opportunities were discovered by asking probing questions that uncovered the customer didn’t have enough man power to handle the work load required to keep up with the demand. Instead of the customer hiring more personnel we were able to propose a finished blend price that offered cost savings with the benefit of managing inventories for raw materials.
It means a lot of different things, but the first thing that pops in mind is: You got a customer that, for example says, “I have got corrosion problems at my well site.” So, what can we do to help with that? – Right there you are carrying out our slogan “ConnectingChemistry”. You’re taking a product to Brenntag, carry the product that Brenntag obviously gets from a manufacturer, and you’re taking that product and connect it to the end user.
I don’t feel as if I’m just a number in the company. The Brenntag organization makes you feel as if you are part of a family – the Brenntag family – that cares about you as an individual.
I don’t think it matters the industry you are in, Brenntag offers everything from A to Z. It’s literally a one stop shop with a huge buying presence but you also have the local presence of individual branches with sales reps that can offer that local support. We are truly vested in finding solutions for our customer’s needs.
I’m married and have two sons.
I studied Environmental Biology at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi.
I started at Brenntag in April 2007 as sales assistant and quickly asked for the opportunity to go out and interact with the clients. My boss thought I did quite well and since then I’m working closely with our clients, currently as Account Executive.
I grew up in Boerne, TX together with my older brother. He and my relatives still live there.
In my free time I enjoy being outside especially while fishing and hunting with my family. We also like to travel – our favorite spot is the Texas coast and Florida Keys
Jacque Cousteau. Watching Jacque Cousteau’s national geographic specials and other programs really blossomed my interest in the ocean environment. It led me to go to a college located on the Texas coast, allowing me to be involved in a curriculum that was heavily based on the marine environment. From college I went into the fisheries observer program and still have a deep passion for the ocean environment.