30 June 2011

Are you REALLY doing business at the golf club ?

Lots of businesspeople are joining golfclubs, businessclubs or serviceclubs with the idea in mind that it might have a positive return for their company.But how does this work ? Will you really get sales through your membership?

Earlier this month I read a great article with the subtitle “Why relationship building on the golf course may be as important as ever for business networking”
(Link to the article :

Basically this is very simple : People like to do business with people they know very well.
It’s an easy way to avoid negative surprises.
When you are playing a round of golf with another businessman or –woman, you are out for at least four hours in a relaxing, quiet and natural environment in which often mobile phones aren’t even allowed. This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know each other and watch with your own eyes how the other person is handling stress. A golfball won’t always do what you want it to do and this may lead to an occasional explosion of emotions. Of course this never happens to you and it’s strictly against the rules of golf etiquette ;-)

Networking is nothing more or less than building a database of high quality business contacts.
These are people you know very well professionally and they also know you very well.
Will you do business with these people? Will you sell your products and services to the other members of your club ?
This might happen occasionally, but it’s not even the intention of business networking.
What we really want to happen is that people will remember you and actively refer others to you when they think you might be able to help them. When you are building a network in the proper way, you will create a network of active promoters for your business.
Will this lead to real business? Will this lead to sales? Absolutely !

Here we also come to the point where tax control services hit their golfballs into the woods. I have seen several examples where tax controllers demand a 100% evidence of sales directly linked to a membership of a golfclub, a businessclub or a serviceclub. That just isn’t the way it works …

29 June 2011

#TwunchQ 28/06/2011 - Economy and Social Media

Yesterday, June 28, Vincent Van Quickenborne organized the 4th #TwunchQ, a lunchtime networking event at the rooftop terrace of his official address in the heart of Brussels.

More or less 160 people had registered for this event (+75% showed up which is a record !). The concept is adapted from the original #Twunch formula where people just get together at lunchtime to catch up and eat something together. Mr. Q had a truckload of sandwiches prepared for us as well as a top level guest speaker : Economist Geert Noels.

What I will probably remember from this event is the fact that self-named economy nerds can also be very funny. Geert Noels knows his trade, but is also a gifted public speaker. Vincent Van Quickenborne is a Belgian Minister and speaks in public almost every day, but his charm is definitely his 'Tintin' like style. He loves to meet people and feel the pulse of society. The audience included Belgiums better bloggers, a few journalists and almost every early adopter of platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. A very exciting buzz was constantly present.

There were lots of opportunities to ask questions, live and via Twitter. I also got my 5 minutes of fame by asking Geert Noels if he could share a good Economy 2.0 tip for small business owners. The answer was more or less that small businessowners don't necessarily need to grow. You can be an exceptional baker or florist and the top of your trade in your region. Nothing is wrong with that. An economy of successful and high quality microbusinesses can be great too.

Mr. Q is closing up for the holidays, next #TwunchQ is scheduled for September. I'll be back !

Missed it ? The recorded Live stream is still available at http://www.vincentvanquickenborne.be/blog/2011/06/herbekijk-de-live-stream-van-4e-twunchq-met-geertnoels/

1 June 2011

Privacy on Facebook - Problem of our generation ?

Privacy on Facebook is still a very popular topic. During each speech, presentation, panel discussion, interview or workshop I still get loads of questions on this tricky topic.
I already tackled this topic in an earlier blogpost :

This is still a short summary of my vision :
Whenever you want to post something on Facebook, stop and think.
Is this something that anyone would be allowed to see ?
If yes, click the button
If no, think twice before posting !
Maybe you are not prepared to make this consideration each time you want to post something ? Facebook is a platform that allows you to configure what your friends can see. Make sure to do this !

Our friends from Talking Heads have written a great manual (
blogpost) with tips on how to protect your privacy on Facebook (in dutch). Use this as a guideline and you can be sure that those wild or drunk pictures can only be seen by your drinking mates who were with you at that wild party.
Your boss or colleagues will NOT be able to see this photo album.

Another great blogpost (in english) on protecting your privacy on Facebook :

When looking at the angle of the questions I receive on this topic, it seems to me that this privacy problem is really a problem of my generation.
Young people have a very different way of handling this and are much more open toward each other. Mark Zuckerberg is also part of this young generation and in his vision it’s very normal to share a lot of stuff with each other. If you don’t want to do that, the necessary tools are available to protect whatever you want.

I also hear a lot of rants on how Mark Zuckerberg is abusing our privacy by selling our profile details to the highest bidding advertisers.
If you really think this through, this isn’t so bad at all …
Facebook allows us to use this fantastic platform for free, while it costs millions to keep it running. Ads are one of the only ways to support these necessary investments.
Would you choose to see some ads of stuff that might interest you while using Facebook ?
Or would you rather see ads that are of no interest at all for you ?
Personally I’m joining forces with the younger generation and choose to see ads that might interest me.

When I was thinking about this blogpost, my thoughts drifted away to the memory of my grandparents. I remember from my childhood years, that at my grandparents’ house the doors were always open. Through the backdoor of their house family, friends and neighbors were walking in and out all day long. I think they were much less concerned about their privacy than we are.
Maybe privacy is most of all a problem of our generation ?