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

People Do Business with People

The role of trust in a referrals strategy

When we first meet people we typically start from a position where we don’t trust them. As soon as I say that people assume I am being negative, but I’m not.

When I say that I don’t trust someone, it’s not the same as suggesting I distrust them. Trust seems to be very black and white in many people’s perception; you either trust someone or they are deemed not to be trustworthy, implying distrust. I would argue that reality works differently.

When you meet someone for the first time, all things being equal you will start from a position I call ‘trust neutral’. Of course, the level of your trust in someone may be slightly higher or lower depending on a variety of factors such as whether they have been recommended to you, whether you have mutual acquaintances or even if you support the same sports team.

The initial levels of trust or distrust can also be influenced by factors such as their industry, for example doctors are traditionally trusted while used car salesmen might sometimes feel they have a mountain to climb when first meeting people!

First impressions

Your appearance and the first impression it helps you to create also has an impact on whether or not people are likely to trust you. Angela Marshall, an expert in managing your appearance and author of Being Truly You believes that how you look is vital.

“Having the right image is very important as it affects how people perceive you,” she told me. “How you present yourself, whether it is face to face with your grooming and the way you dress to how you communicate when you speak to people either on the telephone or when you directly meet them, is very influential. Looking good, being polite and courteous, having positive body language and good communication skills are key to having a positive personal image.”

It’s not just your appearance that impacts on the trust that people will place in you though. Personal Branding expert Lesley Everett, author of Walking Tall, believes that your core values will play a vital role.

“If we build our personal brand consciously and effectively in line with our authentic core then we can more effectively be consistent with how we project it”, said Lesley. “If we’re viewed as authentic and consistent then others trust us more – it’s as simple as that.

“Having a clearly defined set of values, strengths and motivators is the basis of a strong personal brand. Then you need to make sure you package yourself to project these with every communication. In other words you’re consciously adding positive and reinforcing layers to your brand reputation. Others then build an expectation of you that they come to trust and rely upon.”

Expectations, needs and promises

Australian Vanessa Hall, the author of The Truth about Trust in Business, has developed a model to show how and why we trust and why it is so important in everyday life and in business.

Vanessa defines trust as, “our ability to rely on a person or a group of people or an organisation or on products and services to deliver a specific outcome.”

Vanessa looks at the key three attributes that make us trust.

“The first is understanding that we have expectations. Those expectations come from places, it comes from previous experiences, if we’ve had a previous experience with that person or that organisation, or that product or service; it comes from things that we read or things that we see.

“Marketing material for example creates expectations of what our experiences are going to be like. It comes from things that other people tell us. Referrals actually create expectations about our experience.

“So we all have these expectations. We often don’t articulate them but we expect people to meet them and we get disappointed when our expectations are not met.

“The second thing is our needs.

“What I’ve found, is there is generally one core driving need for people, and that need drives them in all the different kinds of relationships and interactions they have.

“So we have expectations and needs, then there are the promises that are made to us by the other person, the other organisation and the other products and services.

“Making a statement like ‘this person’s fantastic’ or ‘they’re a real go-getter’ or ‘they’re really friendly’, you’ve made an implied promise and built up an expectation in that person’s mind about how their interaction might play out, and if it doesn’t play out exactly in the way they expect and the way they believe it was promised to them and it doesn’t meet their needs then their trust in you can break down very quickly.

“Being able to trust, our decision to trust, is based on our belief that our expectations will be met or managed, our needs will be met and the promises made to us will be kept.

“So the whole purpose and the whole process of building trust is understanding the expectations and needs and being clear about those, knowing which ones are the most important to people and being very, very clear about what promises we’re making and delivering on those promises.”

Referrals are primarily based on trust between two parties, a trust that is then assumed by the third party.


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