GLR Spotlight is an interview series featuring Matchmakers, Dating Coaches & Relationship Experts
Global Love Report – May 20, 2021
Interviewed by Adrina Ong
GLR Spotlight was created to feature some of our industry peers as a way for our community to get to know one another – Learn from what has worked successfully, as well as gain different perspectives and insights into various business strategies. We hope to continuously grow as an industry together by sharing these best practices with everyone!
About Radboud Visser
Radboud Visser is the CEO of Men’s & Relatie, the largest and longest-standing dating agency in the Netherlands. Men’s & Relatie has an outstanding track record of over 75,000 successful matches and has been around for more than three decades! Get to know Radboud in our exclusive interview with him.
GLR: Hello Radboud! Tell us more about your company!
Radboud Visser (RV): Our matchmaking agency is in The Netherlands. It’s the most beautiful country of nothing. No mountains, no big cities, no great lakes, almost no resources in the ground. Only 17 million people. I believe that is about as big as New York. More interestingly, the people residing in our country come from various other countries in the world. So, we have a great diversity of great people.
Our company is located in a small town named Venlo. However, our matchmakers are based and spread across major cities in the country. Our business was founded about 38 years ago and in that time, we’ve made over 75,000 successful matches!
GLR: Your country sounds amazing! Do you have a niche market in this industry?
RV: We don’t focus on a niche. We believe every single person should be happy. If you are single not-by-choice, then you should contact us! We match straight, gay, and lesbian singles. Our services include e-coaching, dating coaching, psychological consultations, personality questionnaires, and most of all, we have 40 matchmakers working diligently on matchmaking our clients.
GLR: What was your career before and why did you choose to change the industry?
RV: There was no big plan behind it. I’m a second-generation matchmaker. My mother started this business. My sister joined the company when she became a psychologist. But she did not desire to take over the family business. She wanted to have a career elsewhere in training and consultancy.
At the time I was a professional in the army (Air traffic control with the Royal Dutch Airforce). But there were some challenges within the company that our mother asked for our help with. And so, first, my sister joined our mother with her small group of staff and a few years later I came on board too, to tackle the challenges that came with a fast-growing business. My mother had asked my sister again to become CEO, but my sister refused. I was next in line, and I accepted the position in 2003. Almost 20 years later, both my sister and I are on the board of directors, along with our younger brother, who is an educational scientist.
GLR: Do you have any unique stories about working in this industry?
RV: We have fantastic clients, ranging from middle class to millionaires and even billionaires – All looking for a long-term relationship. We have clients who managed to only finish primary school while some are university professors. Each one of them has their own unique story, and for each client, we work towards their goal of being in a committed relationship.
One of my most memorable clients was this older lady. Her son was a famous TV producer and she would constantly call us to tell us how to do our job. We have a saying in the Netherlands, when badly translated it would sound like: She got blood out from under my nails. Loosely translated the saying means that she was very, very annoying (to say the least). A day wouldn’t go by without her calling us to tell us we had to do this, and we had to do that. If we wouldn’t comply immediately, she threatened to call her son. She was always threatening us to do things, making it hard for us to focus on our job.
I will always remember this because since that client, I now only choose to work with nice and decent clients, where I can do my job. As a professional, we do what we think is best, not what the client thinks is best. That’s the reason our clients hire us, for our expertise and experience in helping them successfully find a long-term relationship. And that is what this business is all about ♥
GLR: Do you have any words of encouragement for fellow Matchmakers or someone who is new to this industry?
RV: I think you must care with your heart and work with your brains and not the other way around. I see a lot of matchmakers work with their hearts but without results. The clients come for love, but not your love, not your happiness, but the love of someone they can love. So do your job, be smart about it, be wise and get the results needed, get the job done.
GLR: Thanks, Radboud! For our last question, we’d like to know if you’ve had any experience collaborating with other matchmakers and dating coaches?
RV: I think it should be mandatory to collaborate. We can’t be taken seriously as an industry if we don’t learn from each other. We should both compete, in a healthy manner, and help each other if needed. Helping both with knowledge, helping with referrals, and helping with matches. We have only one job to do, and that is to get our client set up with a partner. And we will see more success in that when we do things together. Alone you might be faster, together you get further.
We match with other agencies, and we do that with closed wallets as we say here. We don’t pay each other for matches. We only pay for referrals from other agencies. That works great, both for us and our partners.