Who is Andy Lopata?
I believe that networking is a vital tool in business, from sales generation to career development. Unfortunately, it's still not treated with the same strategic consideration as other business methods, leaving many companies and individuals failing to realise the potential their networks offer.
By knowing why you are networking and what you want to achieve, it is possible to plan accordingly and get great, measurable results.
A business networking strategist, I work with companies on how to use networking tools to develop their businesses. Networking is not just about sales. Whether for lead generation, breaking down silos internally, recruitment and retention of top staff or developing future leaders, networks and collaboration have a key role to play. I work with my clients to help recognise that role and put the strategy and skills in place to leverage it.
I have a regular blog in The Huffington Post and have been quoted in national press, including The Sunday Times, The Financial Times and The Guardian. I have also co-authored two books on networking, with my third book published by Financial Times Prentice Hall in August 2011. Once a month I co-present The Global Networking Show with BNI Founder Ivan Misner' www.globalnetworkingshow.com'
For eight years, I was Managing Director of one of the UK's leading referral-focused networking groups with over 2,000 member companies.Since then, I have worked with companies from one-man bands to global names such as NatWest Bank, Merrill Lynch and Mastercard to help them realise the full potential from their networking.
I am a Fellow and a former Vice-President of the Professional Speaking Association (PSA) and a Fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI). I'm also a Master of the Institute of Sales Management and Member of the Global Speakers Federation (GSF).
When I'm not networking, speaking or training I have the dubious pleasure of being an avid Charlton Athletic football fan. I like sports generally, attending British athletics, Wimbledon and the cricket most years and having been to the 2007 Rugby Union World Cup Final.
I also try my hand (very badly) at golf, where my handicap is my swing, and waterskiing. I also swim regularly, although that's also what I spend most of my time doing when I waterski!
Culturally, I love music and have a very eclectic range of taste. I was a typical moody teenager listening to The Doors, Hendrix, Lou Reed and Bowie while at Uni. I hasten to add, they had all long disappeared from the scene by then! My taste these days ranges from classical to punk, with a lot in between. But certainly not Coldplay!
I also go to see films on a regular basis and enjoy going to the theatre several times a year.
My other passion is cooking. I make a mean Chocolate Truffle Torte!