Before & After: A Tale of a Frustrated Salesman

Andy Horner, Founder & CEO, Ace of Sales

Andy Horner, Founder & CEO, Ace of Sales

I started my career as a junior web designer at a creative web agency around 1998 when the internet and websites were just exploding. It was a gold rush for those of us pioneering the new industry of website design and development. I worked my way up to senior designer, then art director, and finally creative director. 

By the mid 2000's, I 'd reached the ceiling of my earning potential. The only way to climb higher was to transition to sales. So I did. The websites my agency developed ranged from ten thousand dollars all the way up to a quarter of a million. I was selling to municipalities, manufacturers, telecom, and universities. It was high dollar sales and the competition was fierce. 

I quickly learned that for enterprise websites, which often had a sales cycle of six months to a year, the sale was often won during the follow up and stay-in-touch process. The combat skills of this battlefield were communicating creatively, giving value, building trust, exhibiting professionalism, and most importantly – connecting with the prospect.

Just like today, the prospect almost never answered the phone. Texting didn't exist and even if it had, it'd be as inappropriate to text a prospect as it is today.

So that left email as my only way to reach out.

My emails looked like everyone else's – black text on a white background. Bland. Blah. Boring. Not only did my emails look like my competition's, they looked just like the other 100 messages my prospects received on any given day.

So, I started to ask myself...

What could, and should, email be?

I discovered a few email marketing programs, like Constant Contact, but they really didn't fit my needs for one-on-one communication. Ecard services were fine for inviting parents to a birthday party or sending my aunt a get well greeting, but didn't apply to business. There just wasn't anything out there. Since my only options were boring Outlook emails or mass email tools for marketers, I realized the only solution was to build an email program for salespeople.

Soon we hooked up with Jeffrey Gitomer (which is a tale on its own), and we transformed the  prototype system I'd created into Ace of Sales. The primary goal was simple – give salespeople a tool that actually helped them make sales. That was over four years ago. Now used by almost ten thousand salespeople, our mission hasn't changed. We continue to ask...

What could, and should, email be?

A recent study reveals that email is 40x more effective at customer acquisition than both Facebook or Twitter and is still growing compared to organic search.

What could, and should, sales-making, customer-connecting, and relationship-building emails be?

Our amazing customers are showing us. I never imagined how they would help shape the tool, drive ideas for improvement, and apply their creativity to our product. I also never dreamed how many customers would become friends along the way.

Ace of Sales is my story of before and after. It's Jeffrey's story of before and after. And it's our customers' story of before and after. 

I invite you to watch our new video to learn how it could be your 'Before & After' story too.