Meet Our People: Laurens Zanoli

Commercial Director in The Netherlands

In our series #WeAreCustomsSupport, we invite you to meet the minds behind our success. Today, we present an exclusive interview with Laurens Zanoli, who is the commercial director in The Netherlands.

Who are you? 

I am Laurens, a 47-year-old Dutch guy who loves to work with people and have fun whilst doing it. I live in the north of the Netherlands, near Amsterdam, and I joined Customs Support two months ago as a commercial director. 

What does a commercial director do? 

It’s my role to help build up the organisation about revenue and results, not just looking to scale and see what happens but doing it in the right way.  

I am also a coach and find that the best results come from happy people, so I am here to guide my colleague’s development whilst ensuring that they balance that work with their health and other elements in their life.   

What does your typical working day look like? 

I am still in the process of onboarding at the moment, getting to understand my colleagues, their roles, our processes, our customers, and their businesses. I am spending a lot of time working with our team to understand them and how we can develop together, and also driving to see all of the Customs Support sites within the Netherlands so that I can meet my colleagues face-to-face. 

What do you like most about your role? 

The teamwork; that’s what I love. Working together at every level across an organisation, playing on each other’s strengths, and achieving the results at the end because of it.

What excites you about joining this network of customs agents? 

The potential to achieve something great here. It’s a really niche market, and it’s also a very complicated industry that is essential to trade. Our customers and prospects are looking for an organisation they can trust because they depend on us.  

When it comes to what we do for our clients, we are talking about their money; we are talking about their compliance with the law; we are talking about which regulations we can leverage and which we need to ensure we work within. Customers trust us because we manage these concerns and their business in the right way. 

It’s exciting for me to work with specialists in a niche market to create happy customers, and that’s one of my personal goals: to ensure our customers are happy with us as their partners. 

Tell us about your career before Customs Support. Have you always been in customs? 

I have always worked with and adjacent to customs, but my background is mainly in eCommerce sales across both B2B and B2C functions – which I began working in back in 2007.  

My clients were mostly B2B, but the operational fulfilment was usually B2C. I have also worked with some large forwarders, overseeing airfreight and sea freight teams as well as auditing internal processes on an interim basis. 

What do you like to do when you aren’t at work, and how does that influence your work skills? 

I am a keen runner, and I find that running always helps me to organise my thoughts and be more forward-thinking. I can assess scenarios, creates solutions, and get a lot done during a run. 

I also have animals at home, and taking the time to take care of them and be in nature helps me to be away from work and get that peacetime in. 

Having that balance is essential to being productive and reaching my targets, which is why I encourage the people I coach to be happy and peaceful inside and outside of work. 

What's the most important thing a client should look for in a customs broker? 

Confidence in us that we can do the job. We are trusted with our client’s entire business, so they need to both know we can do the job and be confident in what we do. It’s the whole experience, not just the results. 

You now work with the Europe-wide network. If you were to visit an office location of Customs Support, which country would you like to go see first and why? 

Priority number one for me is to visit the rest of our offices in The Netherlands, but after that, I’d like to see Italy. The weather, the atmosphere, the food, it’s all that I like.