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10th Anniversary Interview with Claudio Venneri

Claudio Venneri started working at Willson International 10 years ago.  Before becoming one of our favourite team member, Claudio gained extensive sales and service experience in a couple of different industries. He sold cars at a dealership as well as life insurance to consumers. He ultimately found his home as an Account Executive with Willson Intl.

Why did you choose Willson International and the customs brokerage industry?

Claudio laughs as he answers, “I’ve always wanted to be a customs broker!” The truth is most people do not know what a customs broker is, unless they are using one. One seldom hears a three-year-old child say, “Daddy, I want to be a customs broker.” Everyone grows up wanting to be a firefighter, superhero or ballerina.

What brought Claudio to Willson International? The people. Willson International has the most dedicated, enthusiastic and friendly people that makes going to work amazing every day. Who would have thought that a referral from a friend would turn into 10 years with the company?

What is your favorite book or movie?

I love to read and relax with a good book, so it’s hard to choose just one. I enjoy history books and biographies the most. 

What has changed most in the customs brokerage industry since you started working here 10 years ago?

The customs brokerage industry has gone through a lot of change in the last decade. According to Claudio, the most prominent change has been competition and technology. “The speed at which transactions are completed has improved drastically. Everything is so much faster now.” Claudio also says that customers also looking for more. They don’t just want the best price; they want the best service with speed and accuracy at the best price. Thus execution becomes vital. And that’s just something we seemed to have mastered at Willson! 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I like to spend time with family and friends. I like to play with my two grandchildren. I also enjoy bike rides and traveling.

What has been your greatest accomplishment at Willson International? How do you define your successes?

Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” When you love what you do, the rest comes naturally. Consequently, one of my greatest accomplishments at Willson International was becoming the leading sales representative; and not just once.

For Claudio, defining success comes from the gratifying feeling of achieving results when striving to improve. “It’s gratifying when make a change and see the results.”

How do you build strong relationships with your customers?

In any sales role, building relationships with your customers is extremely important. So what’s Claudio’s secret to success? He says he likes to spend time with his customers from the beginning. He likes to actively listen to the people, for everyone has a story.  He says that by taking the time to listen, he learns not only about their business but the people themselves. It is also important to “do the leg work”; going into the meeting prepared means having done your research ahead of time. 

If you could go to any place in the world, where would it be and why?

Claudio would love to explore more of Europe, and when I asked him about his Eiffel Tower LinkedIn profile picture, he said he would go back to Paris in a heartbeat.

Do you have any advice for your fellow colleagues, or those following in your footsteps?

My advice is to just enjoy what you are doing every day. Not to say that the job you love will be “fun” every day, but you have to take a genuine interest and passion for what we do.


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