“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“Andy certainly made a difference on how I normally approach / perceive events such as this. ”
Ann Azzopardi, Category Buying Manager, Pret a Manger
“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
“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
“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
“"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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“'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
“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
“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
“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'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
“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

Facebook Groups - Where choice goes out of the window

It's not how you want to start your Sunday. Waking up on a rainy morning, checking your phone and finding your email inbox inundated with messages from strangers. Overnight you've been subscribed to a Facebook group by a well meaning friend and now every message posted on that group's forum has found its way into your email inbox. 

The problem is, you didn't ask to be subscribed to the Facebook group. You weren't invited to join, you had no option or decision to make. Someone else took that decision away from you and just put you in there.

This happened to me this morning and it's not the first time. It's a relatively new function on Facebook and one that they need to act on quickly. You can leave the group but most people I asked aren't aware of the fact, or don't seem to know how to do so. To do so-  go into the menu of all of your groups and then click on the cross alongside each respective group you wish to leave.

My main issues with this so far have been ones of inconvenience and annoyance. I don't want to have to change settings every time someone chooses to put me in a group, and I certainly don't want to have even more irrelevant mail traffic than I already face. In addition, I simply don't like the fact that other people choose which groups I join without consulting me. 

However, what would you do if someone decided to join you to a group celebrating an extremist cause without your permission? Perhaps they chose to add you to a group supporting a racist or sexist cause. You then face the problems of being seen to support and be associated with a cause when the truth may be the polar opposite. What is in place to stop this happening?

Facebook have introduced some fantastic innovations to the world of social media. This is not one of them. They need to change the situation sooner rather than later. In the meantime, Facebook users need to consider their 'friends' and ask their permission rather than adding them to a group without it. For my part, I have resolved to leave any such group on principle as soon as someone adds me, I want to make that decision myself.

I think I might start a Facebook group to campaign for a change. Expect to be added soon!


I agree that we should al

I agree that we should al have a choice here and that much of hat is done is well meaning.

I've learned to deal with large volumes of email so a couple of hundred additional notifications overnight never winds me up any more, after all, that's a choice I make to, to be frustrated and annoyed, or not to be. I also don't think that I ever receive irrelevant email, it's just information and when you design and put in place the right filters and rules it can be used to your advantage. I joined a couple of very active Empire Avenue related Facebook groups recently and that generated hundreds of emails, but enough of them had relevant information to help me learn that the (very short) time scanning the rest is worth it. I am learning new information, I'll change the settings when that stops.

The issue of a cause which I don't support is an interesting one, but I think here too there's a lot to be gained form being engaged on line and being ruthlessly consistent. This then becomes a risk management strategy, because someone adding you to a group that is at odds with your beliefs it will be obviously at odds. The challenge comes for those who are less consistent in their online presence and then association with a 'strange' cause can affect their reputation.

So, what's the answer, we are after all, all different. I think here Facebook should give us a setting allowing others to add us to groups if we wish, or to send an invite instead of just adding, or to refuse both as a default. That way, those who work in different ways can approach things in different ways.

Thanks for your comment

Thanks for your comment William.

You're right, everyone has different styles and tastes. I know that you interact in a very organised and interactive way both with social media and email, more so than almost anyone I know. Most people won't be as open to additional large volumes of email as you. Equally, I believe that most people would like the right to choose what email is relevant to them or not, not have that decision taken away from them.

On your other point, however consistent you are in your online strategy you are at risk of being placed in groups that go against your belief system. In your case I would argue that this is more likely to be the case as, to my knowledge, you have a completely open approach to accepting connections.

By the way, I am sure that you do receive irrelevant email. Either that or you have phenomenal spam filters or welcome unsolicited approaches from displaced African princes and....(well, we won't go there!!).

You do, in conclusion, reach the same point as me. Facebook should give us the right to choose whether or not we are happy for others to add us to groups, which they don't at the moment. As the title of the blog says, at the moment choice goes out of the window. That is simply unacceptable.

You may have missed my

You may have missed my points, let me provide a bit more detail - firstly I do support giving people the choice, there's a risk that your reply implies that I am happy not to have the choice. That's not the case, I'm just highlighting that my choice would be to allow (perhaps some) people to put me into groups without my pre-approval. I took from your article that you would prefer FB to change policy to your preference of not allowing it, I want them to change to allow any preference, so you can choose yours and others can choose theirs.

My point on being put into groups that cut across your values is that by being consistent other can tell that you wouldn't align with that group, not that you wouldn't be put into it. Because of consistency the risks to your reputation are minimised.

Consistency won't stop others adding you to their groups, but in some ways this is just a symptom of the open and transparent world of being on line. I just choose a different approach from seeking to control what others can do, because they will find ways to doit anyway, and minimize risk through my actions. It's a special case of 'doing what you control' one of the ten key things you have to do network effectively on-line that I discuss in my book.

To provide more clarity, I really have nothing to fear for my reputation because if I was put into an innapropriate group those that matter would know it wasn't my choice, and would tell me so I could take action to remove myself. I prefer that to being inconsistent and leaving others in doubt about my values.

Some act differently in different environments online, and that inconsistency is the real risk that they face, because they leave doubt in their networks about who they really are.

Finally, yes, I don't get very many of the gold dust, Nigerian scams or love notes. When some does get through it's informative about the source of the spam and let's me take further action to ensure that I have the right filters and rules in place. That makes it relevant, even if only momentarily, curiously when these sorts of mails stopped annoying me I seemed to stop getting them. it certainly doesn't take up any time or brain space.

Thanks William I didn't miss

Thanks William

I didn't miss your points at all, as I stress in the last paragraph of my response. You and I regularly agree to disagree, happily amicably. You make some valid points, but, I believe, so do I and my key point stands, the lack of choice will affect many more people adversely than please those who embrace it.

Andy this is also a pet hate

Andy this is also a pet hate of mine.

I've just checked and I have been "added" to 270 groups. Yes I could manually go through and leave them but why should I waste my time? I'm not even going to count how many emails and notifications I receive from them, it's something ridiculous like 200-300 a day!

Out of those 270 groups I'm only active in around 5-10 and only 3 or 4 on a regular basis.

I don't have a group myself but do have a Fan Page where I obviously can't add people (Facebook only allows you to add people to groups) so have to work pretty hard at getting my fans (currently just over 3,200).

The question for me is does the group marketing work? Most of the groups that I belong to are not that active with the majority of the members themselves being added to without their permission. So if the majority of people within the group have been added against their will are they going to participate and network?

Unfortunately there isn't a huge amount you can do if you've been added to a group celebrating an extremist cause or a group supporting a racist or sexist cause. The only thing you can do is leave the group and block/report them.

As much as I love Facebook there are more and more people who are using it purely to spam and with the introduction of groups being able to automatically add people this just aides people to abuse Facebook.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Enter the characters shown in the image.

By posting a message, you accept that your message and other personal details about you will be analyzed and stored for anti-spam and quality monitoring purposes, in accordance with Mollom's privacy policy. For more details see our privacy policy.