Unlocking the Secrets of a Successful Freight Agent with Dino Del Grosso
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Gear up to unlock the secrets of a successful freight agent as we host an inspiring chat with Dino Del Grosso, an esteemed agent at SPI Logistics. He unwraps his journey of transitioning into the freight world, revealing how he discovered a company that became his professional family. As Dino paints the vibrant picture of SPI’s support-centric, family-oriented culture, it’s easy to see why he describes it as a place where agents truly thrive.

But the conversation doesn’t stop there. Dino also opens up about his unique business model of building sub-agents, providing a golden opportunity for those aspiring to become freight agents themselves. Through his lens, we get to understand how this model is mutually beneficial, offering a secure safety net for all involved.

See more about becoming a freight agent with our new Digital Dispatch Guide to Becoming a Freight Agent.



Are you experienced in freight sales or already an independent freight agent? Listen to our Freight Agent Trenches interview series powered by SPI Logistics to hear directly from the company’s agents on how they took the leap and found a home with SPI.

CartonCloud provides easy-to-use Warehouse Management and Transport management software (WMS/ TMS), designed to remove barriers for smaller players in the industry and provide intuitive workflows, data automation, and integrations that allow logistics companies to scale and grow with ease.

Maximize your website’s performance and security with Digital Dispatch’s web hosting and management.



Everything is Logistics is a podcast for the thinkers in freight. Follow the podcast to never miss an episode.

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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:00

LinkedIn presents. Welcome into another episode of Everything is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. We are in Vancouver, canada, british Columbia, right now. I actually think I said that backwards Vancouver, British Columbia, canada is the right thing. I'm still trying to work out what Celsius and Fahrenheit are. It's a little bit of a different change, but we're here with Dino Del Grosso.

Dino Del Grosso: 0:32

Grosso Delgrosso. Delgrosso it doesn't really matter.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:35

That is a show. I don't know if you ever watched that show. That was like on Disney Channel Degrossi.

Dino Del Grosso: 0:40

Yes, Degrossi junior high or something.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:42

That's where my brain went. So, Dino, for folks who may not be aware of you and your company, your freight agent SPI Logistics Logistics. That's the reason why we are here and Vancouver right now. So give folks a little bit of a sense of your business within SPI.

Dino Del Grosso: 0:59

Well, thank you very much for having me Blith Appreciate it. And I'm from Montreal, canada, so being in Vancouver for this conference is really cool, beautiful city. So, like for me, the company SBI, that I work for or that you know I broke her for that I'm an agent for is like a real family oriented type of company that really caters to the agents, and when I was looking into the business, that's what I was looking for. I was looking for a company that would take me in and let me do what I do best and let them do what they do best. So it was like a marriage made in heaven kind of, because they really give you great support and let me do what I'm good at.

Blythe Brumleve: 1:50

So it's not just like, I think, for a lot of companies or maybe a lot of folks out there who hear like oh, they treat us like family. They kind of roll their eyes or like I don't care about that.

Dino Del Grosso: 1:59

That's true, but the truth is that they treat us like family.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:04

Yes, I was going to say there's a very distinct. There's a lot of companies that will be yes, that way.

Dino Del Grosso: 2:08

No, no, no. This is. This is like it feels like home. You know what I mean Like everybody, from the president to the support staff, to operations, just anytime you need them. It's not like just they push you aside or they give you some bull type answer. They wanna help you and it comes from within. You know what I mean and it's really you can feel it. You know you can tell when somebody's not forthcoming or just like giving you an answer you wanna hear or whatever. You know they make you feel right at home. They make you feel like you know what do you need to be successful? We're here to do it for you and for me. You know I've got the gift of gab and I like to talk and that's when you're in a podcast. And you know I like working with my customers and I like to give my customers that homey feeling and that support and knowing that I have it behind the scenes it makes it easy for me. You know what I mean.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:16

And so, before you joined SBI, how did you get into freight, how did you get into the world of logistics? Was it family, was it? You just kind of fell into it.

Dino Del Grosso: 3:24

It was a buddy of mine a buddy of mine, actually. So I came from the network marketing background and he was part of my team in my network marketing.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:34

What is network marketing?

Dino Del Grosso: 3:35

So network marketing is have you heard of Amway? Yeah, okay. So it's kind of like Amway, but for a telecom company, okay. So I started doing that a little over 10 years ago no more than that. I'm getting old, sorry. Probably about 15 years ago and my friend was doing freight, was an agent, and he would come over to my place and I would teach him the network marketing business. Oh, wow, and after him, like coming over to my place four times a week for two hours, I was like don't you work? Like what do you do for a living? And he explained brokering, right, and the freight part of it and that there is like residual income and I'm all about that passive income. You build something and then you reap the benefits as it keeps growing. So I asked him to explain a little bit about the business and he said, yeah, well, you get a customer, you move freight, and then they move other freight and then just keep calling you to move their freight and it's like a reoccurring thing. And I said, well, explain and then tell me. And then so I got involved and then I started working with his company, you know, part-time. It wasn't the perfect fit. And then I found SPI.

Blythe Brumleve: 4:56

Oh wow, so you never worked inside like a major brokerage office. You pretty much started off as a at-home freight broker.

Dino Del Grosso: 5:02

Oh yeah cold calling and just like getting you know a friend, who knows a friend, who knows a friend who moves freight, and you know I'd go have a meeting with him and so on and so forth, and started to get a few customers and build a little customer base. And then you know, within a couple of years it just wasn't the right fit, Didn't like the management, they weren't what I was looking for. And SPI, you know I sent out an email to. I responded to like one of their ads that they had out, and sent out an email, and then Joe contacted me, Joe Chandler, our CEO, and that was it.

Blythe Brumleve: 5:42

Oh, wow. So how did you know what to look for when you knew the situation wasn't gonna work out? What did you do?

Dino Del Grosso: 5:49

So I basically just Googled you know, companies that move freight, like freight brokers, right and like a bunch of names came out and luckily SPI was one that I called, like within like I don't know, my first two or three, wow, and got a response. Do you remember what you Googled? Ah, probably freight Freight gold mines Freight brokerage, I don't remember. I really don't remember what my search was, but SPI came up. There was a few other companies and I called a few or I emailed a couple of companies and I liked SPI.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:24

So what were the, I guess, the type of questions that you initially had to make sure it was a good fit?

Dino Del Grosso: 6:29

So number one is how much do you pay? That's like what's my worth. So that was one of my questions when are you located, like is it? What kind of support do you have? How many people are in the company and how many agents do you have across Canada, north America, the US? And those were my main questions and just a feel Like I like to feel the person out. And I just got good vibes from Joe Chandler and we met. They had a rendezvous like this. So what happened was, before joining, they had a rendezvous in Arizona in January and I believe I started getting involved in like December and then when I came down to their rendezvous, they flew me down and I just fell in love with everybody and that's how it got going.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:29

During your search, were there any sort of red flags from other, without, I guess, mentioning the company names? But what were those red flags?

Dino Del Grosso: 7:36

Just the hard sales pitch, just we're the best and you need to come with us and so on and so forth, and just I don't know I didn't get the right feeling of the person I was talking to. You know where Joe is more soft spoken and warm and I just truthful.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:57

It's like a calm confidence about him. For folks who may not be familiar with Joe, they're very much as like a calm confidence with him.

Dino Del Grosso: 8:04

Amazing human being.

Blythe Brumleve: 8:05

And so, after you make the decision, you're going to join SPI. So what does that initial sort of onboarding process look like? Is it a complete overhaul of your entire company? Like business processes, Like talk to me?

Dino Del Grosso: 8:17

about the onboarding process. So you've got customers that you move over, right? You start with getting this customer you know from company ABC. Well, I'm moving over to this company and it's really easy. A lot of people are worried about that.

Blythe Brumleve: 8:31

I was going to say it Because they're scared, right.

Dino Del Grosso: 8:34

But your customer is really moving free because of you. It's you, it's not anybody can be free. You know, like you can move my customers free. But if you can't deal with my customer the way I deal with my customer or the relationship that I've built with my customer, they'll move. They'll go with you. You don't have to be scared. Like you know, like it's yourself that they're buying, it's you know. Like people always ask me what kind of freight do you move? Honestly, I don't care. No, niche I don't care what I'm moving, I'm basically yes, that's the answer. Yeah, I'm moving this from here to here. Tell me what it is, I'll let the you know, the trucker know, and I will get it there.

Blythe Brumleve: 9:22

So from because I always hear the advice, especially from a freight worker perspective you should absolutely niche down, and the riches are in the niches. You just found success by just saying yes to everybody.

Dino Del Grosso: 9:33

Yeah, absolutely I didn't. I never turned away business Like I do now, and it's not because I want to turn it away. I will never do that. But if I can find my customer that I'm dealing with now, who's giving me a lot of freight over somebody who's not giving me the time of day, like this person, well, I'm going to cater to him and I'm going to serve as him as best as I can, or her, and then, yeah, sure I may take this person and move him over to someone else or let him figure it out with a different type of company.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:10

And so most of them were completely most of your customers were completely fine with moving to SBI.

Dino Del Grosso: 10:15

Oh, every single one.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:16

Did it sound like almost like a selling advantage to them?

Dino Del Grosso: 10:19

So basically I said listen, I've got a company that I feel is more a long haul kind of deal, like a company that's not in for the quick buck. They're here to service me and you forever. Because I don't want to like. I always tell my customers I might not always be the cheapest, but you know that I'm there for you forever and whatever you need, you can reach me on a Saturday or a Sunday or whatever. I don't shut down and SBI is the same thing. And that's what I basically sold to my customer the idea of we're here, they're here If you don't have me. You've got a big support network behind.

Blythe Brumleve: 11:01

Are you in freight sales with a book of business looking for a new home? Or perhaps you're a freight agent in need of a better partnership? These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called the Freight Agent Trenches, sponsored by SBI Logistics. Now I can tell you all day that SBI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America, who helps their agents with back office operations, such as admin, finance, it and sales. But I would much rather you hear it directly from SBI's freight agents themselves. And what better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SBI? Hit the Freight Agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations or, if you're ready to make the jump, visit spi3plcom. In our industry we talk. We talk about what works and what doesn't, and Carton Cloud's easy to use warehouse and transport management software sure has people talking. Carton Cloud's WMS and TMS is designed for growing 3PLs, giving you the tools you need to compete with the major players with flexible pricing, no lock-in contracts and expert local support. They've helped nearly 500 logistics companies worldwide with hundreds of five-star customer reviews. Want to check it out for yourself. Everything as logistics listeners can get 50% off your first three months with Carton Cloud. Head on over to the cartoncloudcom website and see the show notes for more information. Now, before we started recording, there was a little bit of a heated debate on whether you didn't get that on tape?

Dino Del Grosso: 12:42

No, unfortunately we didn't get that on tape?

Blythe Brumleve: 12:45

I wish we did, but we were discussing one of the earlier educational sessions because we are one of SPI's rendezvous. Is that how you pronounce it?

Dino Del Grosso: 12:53

Rendezvous yeah, that was perfect.

Blythe Brumleve: 12:54

Good, Thank God. So we were listening into a couple different discussions and one of the leaders executive leaders said that you should be making 100 cold calls a day and you vehemently agree with that or disagree with that, and why?

Dino Del Grosso: 13:10

You're going to get me in trouble aren't you?

Blythe Brumleve: 13:11

Anytime we have a deep sigh before an answer. I know something good's happened.

Dino Del Grosso: 13:17

So I believe in Blast it, just trying to find everybody that you can, and then, once you do that, then you can start to pick and choose. Then you can start to really take a certain customer and nurture them and work with them. But until you find that specific customer, there's millions of customers out there. So why settle it just trying to talk to one person today? Try and get your message out to a million people and then you can start picking and choosing.

Blythe Brumleve: 13:55

Or I guess, your cold outreach strategy. So talk to me about it's cold email, what you focus on as far as, like, email blasts, letting people know your services, and what you do. Talk to me about, I guess, like, what other software that you're using. Is it just email provider and you just copy and paste?

Dino Del Grosso: 14:16

Listen, I'll tell you a little story, okay, of how I got a really big customer that is over 50% of my business today and it was through an email from a friend of mine who flipped an email from somebody else and in the body of the email it was about hockey. I'm a big hockey fan and what happened was is I took the names that were copied on this email and I basically used it as like a warm market kind of tool and I just so. There was like about 200 names and out of the 200 names, a hundred of them had either a Gmail or a Hotmail account that I just deleted and disregarded, and the other ones with a company name attached to it. I just sent out a generic email saying, hey, my name is so and so I know that we have a common friend, and that friend basically mentioned that you may be interested in having a conversation about freight. So out of the hundred that I sent out, I got about 30 responses. Out of the 30 responses, I booked 10 meetings. Wow, out of the 10 meetings, one of the guys who's today my biggest customer I started moving freight for introduced me to another agent, another branch manager, in a different city. Then I started moving freight with him and from that point he introduced me to another and that gave me my whole North America-wide 900 branches. And it was just luck and just, I guess, persistence and just thinking outside the box and that's what I tell all my reps is like do what somebody else is not gonna do. Like if you think that's the wrong thing, maybe it might not be, think it over. And if you can generate somebody breathing, think like, do it.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:24

And I think you just hit on a key word there. So you talk to a lot of your agents because you have sub agents that work underneath you, which is interesting because you come from that Amway background. So tell folks, I guess, how this business model works for you to have sub agents under your own agency.

Dino Del Grosso: 16:42

So what I started to think because I like the residual passive income, I would get people involved that are already involved in the business, moving freight and stuff, and give them a percentage. Example let's say I get 50%, well, I bring them on, give them 45%, I would keep 5%, but I would help them build their business and help them get customers and have a support system that way. So we have I've got a group of about eight people and they're happy with the way we work it because they're doing really well and we have a customer customers that we share and I'm always there to support them and help them with their questions and so on and so forth.

Blythe Brumleve: 17:40

So that's interesting because I know for a lot of agent programs they'll have almost I don't want to say like a conflict of interest. But when you have an in-house brokerage team and then you also have an agent network, I think that there is sometimes that can be naturally just a conflict of interest. But for a lot of those freight brokers they can't just go out and become a freight agent. You have to build that book of business, you have to get those customers and then be almost recruited by a larger agent platform like a SBI. So there's that jumping off point I think is missing from a lot of the industry and it sounds like that's what you're providing is almost like that pathway. Is that a safe assumption?

Dino Del Grosso: 18:19

100%. So when I first thought about doing it this way, I spoke to SBI and they said well, we have this already in place. I said but I'd like to put it in place for myself, but for SBI and if I can bring some people over that I know that have business and nurture their business, is it okay? And they basically said you know what, we see where you're going and we're here to help you. So it was cool, it was fine, they were okay with it.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:51

And from the I guess the subagents perspective, it almost maybe creates less of a, because it's risky to go out on your own to do your own thing and a lot of people are risk averse. They don't want. They like the safety of being working within a company. So it almost sounds like you're providing that security safety net for them.

Dino Del Grosso: 19:10

You know what I'm going to tell you straight. There's a lot of people that are they like the salary right? They're nervous about giving up that security blanket, that they're bringing home 40 or 50 or 60 or whatever that salary is. But I don't believe they're getting their worth. I know what I'm worth, I know how hard I work, I know what I can achieve and there's tons of people out there that have that. But they're scared because they have that stability of no. You know your $50,000 salary. If you go on your own and you just pound the pavement, that $50,000 salary can be a $100,000 salary and it'll grow to infinity because you're not at that platform where you can only grow 1% a year or 2% a year or whatever it is. So I tell people, if you are somebody who is driven and you know what you're worth, it's time to just be a commission-based agent and forget about that salary, because within a year you're gonna be doubling your lifestyle.

Blythe Brumleve: 20:25

And so what does that onboarding process look like for them? I'm curious.

Dino Del Grosso: 20:29

So it's tough at the beginning, right? Because not everybody says yes. But once you get one, and then you get another, and then you get the warm market and then you start to grow your business. It's basically it's a book of business, like a financial advisor. At the beginning you're trying to help people with their money, and then you've got one customer and then you get another, and so on and so forth. But within like three, four or five years you've got a book of business where you don't have to really pound the pavement anymore. That's just recurring income. And it's the same thing with freight, like it's not gonna happen. And I tell people all the time if you think you're gonna start this business and in a month you're gonna become a millionaire, it's not gonna happen. But if you pull the punches and do what you gotta do year to two years, you're gonna be in a nice lifestyle.

Blythe Brumleve: 21:19

And so it sounds a lot like I think that that can be attributed to many things in life, like if it comes quick, like fast money is fast problems, and so when you are, I guess, onboarding these subagents, and even for yourself, what are some of those I guess, early moments that they can find traction? Are you doing cold outreach? Is it social media? Is it maybe a combination of the two? How are they getting their first customers, or is it?

Dino Del Grosso: 21:45

Well, it's basically about you. Like I tell people, put things down on paper, so write a list of everybody you know, and that person may know somebody who works in a company that ships freight. So start with that. There's leads. You know like SPI generates leads for the agents? Yeah, so you can go on to our site and generate. You gotta make phone calls. Okay, the bottom line is is you need to reach out, and the only way to reach out is by picking up the phone, knocking on the door, sending out an email, just generating opportunity leads.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:29

What about from a social media aspect? Do you guys use that at all in your strategy? Honestly, I really don't.

Dino Del Grosso: 22:34

But you know what? I'll be very honest with you. I was very interested in what you were talking about with LinkedIn and I'm gonna start doing that more. I'm gonna start following exactly what you put out there, cause I believe in life. You gotta learn. Like you know, if you learn something new every day, it can only benefit you, and I appreciate what you did today. Oh, thank you. Yes, it was very, very, very educational for me. I'm, you know, an old foggy where I still have pen and paper, but I will start to, you know, build a little bit more through my LinkedIn.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:07

And, for folks who may not be aware, we or I gave a talk earlier on using LinkedIn as almost like your digital handshake and if you, even if you don't publish a lot on that platform, you can still resonate with your potential audience just by simply making some profile changes, so like turning your profile photo on, writing out your headlines so that it's appealing towards your target customers, things like that. So that way, if you do ever interact with other people on LinkedIn, you know whether you like their posts or engage with them or reach out to a customer. At least when they look at your profile, they'll be able to get a good sense of who you are, what you do and if they should continue the conversation 100%.

Dino Del Grosso: 23:47

I'm telling you, like you know, like I don't use LinkedIn as much as I should, and but after today's topic I will be. You know and it was you hit the nail on the head. You know that 10 or 15 minutes at lunch or whatever, if you just update a few things and you just make your profile look better, it'll definitely go along.

Blythe Brumleve: 24:05

What yes, and that's. I'm a business owner, so I struggle with the time management aspect of the social media. Waste of time and my I get annoyed with it. I very much like go ebbs and flows with it, but you, I look at it as an investment. I'm gonna invest the first 30 minutes of my day into writing out a LinkedIn post and if I'm not checking it for the rest of Damn day until later on because I got stuff to do. But that is an opportunity to give yourself, like that keynote stage For the day that you can talk about something that's going on within the industry and then folks check out your profile and even if you don't ever post, you can still spend that 15 so minutes waiting in line at the bank, at their grocery store, see what other people are doing and engaging with their content. So letting them do the hard work and then you can kind of piggyback off of them.

Dino Del Grosso: 24:51

I agree 100%.

Blythe Brumleve: 24:52

What are the things in? Are you doing anything else in sales or marketing that you think is is noteworthy, that you want to bring attention to?

Dino Del Grosso: 25:00

No, you know, like I think I think we covered basically most of what you're supposed to be here is when you wake up in the morning, you know, like I'm a glass half full type of person. You know, people always say to me there's a problem here or this or that, and I don't look at that, I look at. You know there's no problems in life, there's only solutions. So if you, if you have a positive attitude and you, you know, you look at, you know the light at the end of the tunnel, only good things will happen.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:31

It's awesome. I think that's a perfect place to end the conversation. Do you know any? Any other information you want folks to know about or be aware of?

Dino Del Grosso: 25:37

well, you know, first of all, I really appreciate the time that you've, you know, put into this and If anybody is looking to make a change, you know, if you want to, you know, become a freight broker and or you are and you want to make a lot of money, well, you can definitely reach out to me. Names Dino do grosso. You can. My email is Dino at SPI 3plcom. Send out an email or check out my LinkedIn page, which I will be there we go. And send me a message and we can definitely have a conversation Awesome.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:13

Great insight. Thank you so much for your time.

Dino Del Grosso: 26:15

Absolutely, have a great day. I.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:20

Hope you enjoyed this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get From point A to B. Subscribe to the show, sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at everything is logistics calm. And in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let y'all know about another company I operate, and that's digital dispatch, where we help you build a better website. Now, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a co-worker's child, a Neighbor down the street or stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the Dang website. Well, that doesn't happen at digital dispatch. We've been building online since 2009, but we're also early adopters of AI, automation and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts, recruit new employees and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business. Our new website builds start as low as $1500, along with ongoing website management, maintenance and updates starting at $90 a month, plus some bonus, freight marketing and sales content Similar to what you hear on the podcast. You can watch a quick explainer video over on digital dispatch I. Oh, just check out the pricing page once you arrive and you can see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I'll see you all real soon and go Jags.

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.