Anna Ruiz calls herself “a little different” among her Worldwide Express peers, noting that many of her fellow account executives are in their first or second job out of college. For Ruiz, a career in sales is her third profession.
She graduated from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, with an education degree in 1998. After starting out in teaching, she shifted to real estate when her family moved to Arizona. A move back to Laredo, Texas (she’s from nearby Asherton) led to Ruiz joining Worldwide Express in 2012 as part of its San Antonio office.
The Laredo market is unique, Ruiz says, because of its proximity to the Mexico border. That translates into big import-export business. Products come from Mexico into Laredo, and get shipped out to the rest of the country, she says. Her knowledge of the area has helped, she says, as has her fluency in Spanish.
“Most of my cold calling and getting into doors is because I speak Spanish,” she says. “If you don’t speak Spanish, they pretty much don’t open the door.”
Ruiz (in the long black dress above) calls her role with Worldwide Express “an amazing journey.” When she’s not working, she has a busy family life with three children — ages 23, 14 and 10 — and a San Antonio Spurs-loving husband. Here’s more from her on life and work in Laredo:
What attracted me to a career in sales: “It was a change, coming to a different place, a different market. I had to look for a job that would be compatible. Reading about Worldwide got me interested, in that it’s almost the same thing as selling real estate. I have to go out there and build relationships. I have to sell. Nobody pushes you. You drive yourself. It’s even better because at least I know where I stand and where I want to be.”
My start with Worldwide Express: “It was a challenge. The biggest challenge was the product knowledge, what I was selling, and then understanding it. It gets a little complicated when you deal with freight, and my area is very freight-heavy. So I had to learn that and that was a challenge. Also, I had to figure out my own ways to get in the door, make these people trust me and believe in me.”
The best part of my job: “The best part of my job is going to work every day. Going out there and making it happen. It’s exciting just to get the new businesses. It’s a challenge. I like it.”
How I build trust with clients: “I’d have to say speaking their language. Going in there and speaking Spanish. That’s how I get them to trust me, to give me an opportunity. And a lot of times, anything can happen — it can be good or bad. Good or bad means I still communicate with them, and that helps. That’s where I gain their trust and I’m able to go back and take it from there.”
My hobbies and interests: “I like to spend time with friends and family. My time in the morning, I get to the gym as early as possible, just to get my day going and to get focused and not have any distractions. While everybody is still sleeping, I try to hit the gym.”