“I have already received three emails and two telephone calls from attendees who have expressly advised that as a direct result of the presentation they will without doubt be changing the way in which they network. A huge success. ”
Michael Strawbridge, Head of Member Services, Learning and Performance Institute
“It was the best talk I’ve ever been to. Loved the content, pacing, delivery, structure. Your message was very memorable (imparting that much information can leave listeners forgetting what was said) and you managed the balance between substance, detail and memorability well. ”
Rebecca Aguilar, BBC Worldwide
“Andy certainly made a difference on how I normally approach / perceive events such as this. ”
Ann Azzopardi, Category Buying Manager, Pret a Manger
“At each stage of the event from planning to delivery to follow up, Andy’s approach was extremely impressive. He spent time at the outset understanding us, the way we work and our key objectives and this continued with discussions with us in the run up to the event to shape the session to our needs. ”
Andrew Kelly, Director Human Capital Services, BDO llp
“The feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive and we will continue to run the training in other offices in EMEA. ”
Astrid Huijssoon, Senior Marketing Manager Cross Border Trade - PayPal CEMEA
“In the three months since Andy delivered his sessions, I've noticed a clear change in the approach taken by everyone who participated. We have already received a number of referrals as a result. ”
Andy O'Sullivan, Head of Sales - Hospitality, Wembley Stadium
“I would recommend Andy to come and spend time with any team that wants to maximize the time of its busy people out in the market ”
Tomas Freyman, Partner, Valuations. BDO llp
“The process to gaining the right referrals does not happen overnight, but executing Andy’s strategy into your daily business routine will lead to referral success. ”
Tom Price LLB DipPFS Hodgson Wealth Management
“It is great to work with a speaker like Andy who really wants to understand the audience he speaks to and tailors his content to them. ”
Galina Lebedeva, Education & Events Senior Co-ordinator, Wella UK & Ireland
“Not only my individual life has had a total makeover after I met Andy, as a result of my personal improvement, the networks that I lead are now making a much bigger impact in the society. I can never thank Andy enough and would highly recommend him any time without hesitation. ”
Ruth Lau, Central Marketing, HSBC Private Bank
“Andy is an energetic presenter who quickly captured our audience's attention. The content of his presentation was excellent and fostered lively commentary and questions. We will definitely have Andy back for another session and are looking for other ways to partner with him. ”
Jennifer Rademaker, Head of Strategy Development Europe, MasterCard
“In the pre-event correspondence, you were the most professional speaker we’ve ever had. By asking great questions as you did, it helped to make us more professional event organisers. ”
Jackie Barrie, Co-President, Professional Speaking Association South East England
“Andy's 'The Networking Mindset' networking event was fascinating. I've been to loads of networking events over the years which are always full of people who don't quite know why they're there.... myself included. ”
Nicholas Harkin, Head of Risk & Governance at Close Brothers Retail Finance
“As a direct result of Andy’s workshop, we are now implementing a “networking strategy” that is aligned to supporting our key business goal. Andy’s advice/insights have made me re-think all my customer interactions and even in the short term I am getting results. ”
Adam Newman, Health Outcomes Consultant, GSK
“Andy is really engaging and left the audience wanting more which is a rarity when you work in Finance! He is extremely professional and personable and it felt like Andy really knew the topics and had researched the audience. ”
Nicola Hradek, Co-Chair HSBC Balance Employee Network
“Andy's enthusiastic and interactive presentation at our National conference was very much appreciated by all and his series of workshops for my leadership team has been put to significant positive use. ”
Shona MacDonald, Business Director UK & Ireland, Wound Care. Molnlycke Health Care
“Andy, thanks again for making our Balance HK event a huge success. The audience gave you their undivided attention and you could hear a pin drop when you were speaking. I have never witnessed that before, with a room of 170+ people! ”
Maggie Suttie, Chair Balance Network, HSBC Hong Kong
“Wherever I go, Andy is held in very high regard and I can personally endorse him as someone who is easy to do business with, professional and also great to work with. ”
Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director, Brother UK
“Andy has successfully elevated networking into more of a strategic arena ...................rather than it just being a "skills" thing. ”
Phil Jesson, Director of Speaker Development Academy for Chief Executives
“There is a handful of people who I would consider really an expert in networking, and Andy is one of the few people on that list. ”
Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and CEO, BNI
“Andy Lopata is a true role model for any aspiring professional speaker in my view ”
Heather Townsend, author of The Financial Times Guide to Business Networking
“Andy has a can do and flexible attitude and is happy to develop and shape the content in line with the clients changing needs. Feedback from participants on Andy's workshops has been consistently very positive. ”
Una Murphy, Manager BBC Careerlink
“Andy’s style suited our company values perfectly as it is very much based around letting people learn at their own pace and be part of the sessions instead of just being presented to. There was a mixture of experience, job roles, nationalities and seniority in the room and Andy ensured that everyone felt this training was directed at them, such is his way with words. ”
Robert Kenward, Global Development Director, Banks Sadler
“The feedback we received from members was overwhelmingly positive, making it one of the best sessions we had all year. ”
Aileen Parsons, Relationship Manager - Strategic Client Services, Paypal
“"I was captivated by Andy's insightful and thought-provoking workshop. You could feel the energy in the room at the end. Several people commented that the event had changed their lives!" ”
Miranda Abraham, Chair, Women in Banking and Finance
“I would not be exaggerating in saying that last night was the most well received and successful event YEN London has had in over two years. ”
Jairo Jaramillo - Chairman, London Young Engineers Network
“Andy worked with my business partner and me for a number of months as a referral and networking coach. Our business has demonstrably grown due to the new techniques and skills learned through working with Andy. ”
Dan Hall, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
“There are many motivational speakers on the circuit who leave behind them just a short lived glow and then there are the subject matter pragmatic, passionate presenters who can potentially change the long term way their audience thinks or operates. I’d put Andy Lopata in the latter category. ”
Trevor Salomon – Director, Corporate Marketing, IFS
“I found the session with Andy really interesting and helpful. It offered a different perspective to development sessions I have been to before and it made me really think about how I was positioning myself at work and what I needed to be doing differently. ”
Tori Henderson, Senior Public Policy Manager HSBC
“Several people were surprised to find out that Andy didn’t work in our sector as he related his knowledge so well and confidently, which was key to getting the audience to buy into his advice. ”
Suzanne Rowse, Director, British Boarding Schools Workshop
“'Networking' as a topic can often seem forced... about tools and techniques to 'work a room' or 'get noticed' - Andy's take on it in this talk was so far removed from the glib truisms we've all heard before. ”
Bryony Thomas, Watertight Marketing

How to lose friends and alienate people you meet at networking events

Following up promptly after meeting people at events is one of the golden rules of networking. Doing so as soon as possible, while your conversation is still fresh in the minds of the people you have met is one of the ways good networkers start quickly to forge relationships with new contacts.

Note, I mentioned 'forge relationships'. There are still too many people who think networking events are purely an opportunity to sell, and anyone they meet is 'fair game'.

Even many who have begun to understand the mantra 'sell through the room, not to the room' seem to lack the patience to network effectively. There is an apparent belief in some quarters that shaking hands and having a pleasant conversation at an event is enough of a foundation to ask for referrals. 

Jackie Barrie, author of The Little Fish Guide to Networking, sent me this email she received from someone she met for the first time at a networking event earlier this year:

Dear Jackie,

Thank you for your time at the recent Networking meeting it was a great pleasure to meet you. Should you have any leads for [this, that and the other] please feel free to contact me. I have included my contact details. Thanks.

I have received many similar emails too, and it indicates a clear lack of understanding of the networking process, a short-term approach to getting results and, I feel, a lack of respect for the people the author has met. 

Strong networks are founded on deep and long-lasting relationships built on trust and respect. You may meet people at your next event who are perfectly positioned to refer you. If so, bite your tongue and take time to get to know them. Find out what you have in common (outside business as well as within), how you can help them and spend time building a relationship.

If you do so, the people who are now firmly entrenched in your network will not only be happy to introduce you to key contacts, they will want to and, in many case, proactively seek to do so. 

When you follow up with people after an event don't sell (unless they have clearly stated they want to buy) and don't ask for referrals.

Just kick-start a long term relationship. 

Comments

Thanks for mentioning me and

Thanks for mentioning me and my book. As it happens, I wrote a blog a while ago 'How NOT to write a networking follow-up' where I analyse and edit a similarly bad follow-up email: http://writingwithoutwaffle.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/how-not-to-write-a-...

Good points raised, also if

Good points raised, also if you say you're going to do something for someone you've met, whether its forward some contact details for a possible lead/ JV partner etc, send some helpful info or links, etc whatever it is, damn well do it.

For me, too many people go networking maybe too much and too often, they meet someone, promise to do something specific and agreed for them, then go to another networking event a day or so later, meet some other people, commit to doing something for them still not having delivered for the original person, then go off to their third meeting of the week, make another 'contact' commit to doing something for them, constantly chasing the shiny object and rarely if ever delivering on their promises that they freely offered.
If you say you're going to do something for them, and that commitment wasnt forced from you, then deliver else confess up.

Thanks Mike. Your comments

Thanks Mike. Your comments are spot on. Indeed, too many people promise to follow up and fail to. It's a source of constant frustration, they are wasting both their time and that of the people they engage with at events.

When I book a networking

When I book a networking meeting in my diary, I also schedule in time for preparation and follow-up. The follow-ups usually take the longest.

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