November 20, 2011


thanks for visiting this blog.

From Nov 2011, LinkedIn tips can be found on the website of the book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” (which you can download in English or Dutch for FREE!) together with co-author Bert Verdonck.

From October 2014 my new project “Life is a Game!” including the Soul Business program is available on




What Are Your Expectations When You Are Going To Events?

August 18, 2011

Many people in our workshops tell us that they don’t always feel comfortable when going to business events.

The main reason seems to be more about them than about the other participants.

These are some of the things they say to themselves:
– I’m probably not interesting enough.
– I’m not an expert so I don’t know enough to meaningfully contribute to a conversation.
– I don’t know any other people so other people will think I don’t belong here.
– I just graduated from college/university and don’t have enough experience yet so people won’t find me interesting to talk to.
– I’m not worthy of getting attention from other people.
– I’m an introvert so I lack social skills.

These are all judgments you have about yourself. 95% of the people you will meet, don’t think this way. The other 5% are probably not worth your time (and please don’t let them discourage you!)

The problem is that when you have these thoughts, the expectations you will have from attending an event will probably be low as well.

What the human mind does, is looking for confirmation of its thoughts.

So if your expectation is that nobody wants to talk to you (for whatever reason you have made up), you will look for the confirmation that they are not interested in you.

When someone looks briefly at you and then looks away, you might think they are not interested. The fact that they turn away makes you think they don’t want to talk to you.

However someone who expects that other people want to talk to him, will interpret this brief look as a sign of interest. He will notice the brief contact moment.

In other words: the way you expect things to happen will influence the results in a big way.

What do you expect when you go to events? That people will talk to you or not?

To your success !


Want To Professionally Network on a Plane? Use Planely with LinkedIn.

June 9, 2011

One of my favourite networking stories that I tell in my training courses is how I met Charlie Jones on the plane.

Nowadays it becomes more and more easy to find interesting people who are on the same flight as you.

One of the companies that facilitates this is Planely.

How does it work? There are 3 steps:

1) You let Planely know when and where you are flying.
2) Planely lets you know who you are traveling with.
3) You can reach out to make contact.

Planely now also integrates with LinkedIn. Planely CEO and founder Nick Martin explains, “The really interesting part is that if both you and your Match integrate, then as part of that summary we show you if your Match is 1, 2 or 3 degrees of separation away from you or in any of the same Groups.”

I haven’t tried it myself yet, but it looks interesting!


PS: get your free light version and free updates (50 pages in the meanwhile!) of the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (or in Dutch: het boek Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken)

Why Having an Attractive LinkedIn Profile is Important for Managers? (Hint: it has to do with Recruitment)

February 3, 2011

A few weeks ago we got an interesting question from one of our corporate customers.

They asked us to give them a LinkedIn workshop for their managers.

Not very special you would say.

But what was different, is that they didn’t want to learn how to attract new customers, new employees, new partners, new investors or help some of them find a new job in an outplacement program (these are the questions we normally get), but they only wanted to have a workshop to create an attractive personal LinkedIn Profile.

When I asked them why they didn’t want any other topic and why it was so important to them to have good LinkedIn Profiles, the answer was: “These are managers from our IT department who don’t have to find new customers, suppliers, partners or investors and who are not in an outplacement program. The reason why they need to have an excellent LinkedIn Profile, is that potential employees check their LinkedIn Profiles out before even considering applying for a job with us.

So let me share what is important as a manager:
– Create an attractive Summary with words that show what you do and how interesting your current job is.
– Share what a specific function you held in the past entails. This might be the job the other person is applying for.
– List all the jobs you did in the past. This shows the career path other people might be interested in following as well.
Link to the job site of your company in the “Websites” part of your LinkedIn Profile.
– Use SlideShare, Google Presentation, and other applications to upload the presentations you have given. This shows the topics you are working on. This might have a very appealing effect on potential employees.
– Use SlideShare, Google Presentation, and other applications to upload job openings in your team.
– Use SlideShare, Google Presentation, and other applications to showcase what your team or department does. (Note: this might also be beneficial for your visibility WITHIN your own organisation)
– Ask your team members to apply all these tips as well. They might be an even better example to the potential employee.

This is what you can do as a “passive” strategy. If you are looking for new employees I advice to work together with your recruiters to come up with a “proactive” strategy. When you combine the experience of recruiters with the networks of managers in the business units, you will get real recruitment power!

To your success !


PS: get your free light version and free updates (50 pages in the meanwhile!) of the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (or in Dutch: het boek Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken)

What to Expect from New Year’s Receptions

January 20, 2011

January is typically the month of New Year’s receptions and other networking events.

Many people have the feeling that they don’t get the results they could get from them.

In the past I have already given many tips about making the most out of networking events like:

(+ look at the categories bar on the right hand side for more tips about networking at events).

In this post I would like to add that there is a difference between most New Year’s Receptions and other networking events.

Traditionally many New Year’s receptions attract a lot of people. If they are hosted by an organisation like a Chamber of Commerce there is also a variety of profiles, industries and backgrounds.

Many people who are in sales get frustrated with this since they don’t find many new customers. And that’s most of the time no wonder. The percentage of participants that has buying power (= they can make the decision to purchase a product or service) is very low. On top of that the percentage of participants who might be interested in your product or service is even lower. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack!

As a consequence a lot of sales people and business owners who attend our training courses then comment: “So I better not attend these events anymore?”

That might be a conclusion.

However I suggest to look at it from a different point of view.

In my opinion “general” networking events are good to stay in touch with your current network. Many times you can see a lot of people in a few hours time, which is a very efficient use of your time. The benefit of this is to stay top of mind.

If you want to find new customers, then I suggest you start from your goals and your target group and look for smaller networking events where they gather.

To your success !


PS: for more networking tips download a free light version of the networking book Let’s Connect in English (or het netwerk boek Let’s Connect in Dutch)

Winners Overnight Stay

December 9, 2010

We got overloaded with reactions of people telling us how LinkedIn worked for them. More than 149 people send us their experiences.

We read great stories and are looking into ways how we can share them so you can be inspired by them as well. So come back to this blog to read about them.

In the meanwhile: these are the 5 people who win an overnight stay:
– Madeleine Heynens
– Jasmijn van den Borne
– Monique Sulmann
– Walter Slotboom
– Martin Borsboom

Together with the Networking Coach team I wish you lots of fun !


Mooi voorbeeld van een netwerk concept: De Beursvloer

October 31, 2009

Sorry for the English readers of the blog, this one is in Dutch.

Deze week kreeg ik een email van Joris Nees. Hij had vroeger een open “Proactive Networker” training gevolgd en vroeg me of ik al van De Beursvloer had gehoord.

Dat was niet het geval en aangezien ik altijd interesse heb in verschillende vormen van hoe de kracht van een netwerk wordt ervaren, ben ik direct op de website gaan kijken. Het is een heel leuk concept. Niet meteen supervernieuwend van werkvorm, maar het idee om verenigingen en bedrijven bij elkaar te brengen om zo win-win situaties te creëren is schitterend.

Dit is een stukje tekst dat ik van Joris kreeg wat het hopelijk wat duidelijker maakt:

Een concrete deal met een win-wingevoel, daar gaat het om bij de Beursvloer. Op dinsdag 15 december gaat de tweede editie door in de Lessius hogeschool in Antwerpen, en komen verenigingen en ondernemingen terug samen om de handen laten schudden boven een winwinovereenkomst.

De Beursvloer is een evenement waar verenigingen en bedrijven elkaar twee uur lang ontmoeten en ‘matches’ maken tussen de vraag van de enen en het aanbod van de anderen.
Wat de Beursvloer origineel maakt, is het wederzijdse karaktervan de matches. Aan de verenigingen wordt gevraagd om een tegenprestatie te leveren voor de diensten aangeboden door de bedrijven.
Alle partners ondersteunen de beurs ook omdat ze in duurzaam ondernemen geloven, ondernemerschap dat oog heeft voor omgeving, mens en milieu. Een Beursvloer is goed voor de lokale samenleving door partijen uit verschillende sectoren bij elkaar te brengen.
Met concrete matches. Met als resultaat: winst voor de samenleving.

Aangezien ik helemaal voor dit initiatief gewonnen ben omdat het toont wat de kracht van een netwerk is en omdat het niet gaat om sponsoring (wat vaak eenzijdig is), maar echte win-wins (lees de cases maar eens op de website), raad ik iedereen aan om op 15 december naar de Beursvloer te gaan.

Have a great networking day!


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