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

Why the ABC has Changed

This morning someone retweeted one of my tweets with the tired, clichéd ABC of sales advice 'Always Be Closing'. 

My original tweet reads: 

My advice does not suggest sales or closing at all. The message is, in fact, the complete opposite. I'm suggesting that you don't write people off or focus on them depending on whether or not they could be a prospect. Instead, get to know them, develop a relationship with them and build trust to a degree where they would happily support you, advocate for you and be your Champion. 

The misguided retweet this morning started me thinking. If not closing, what should you always be doing? 

Always be listening

Take yourself out of the equation and listen to the people around you. What are their needs, challenges and interests? What are they passionate about? Make your conversations about getting to know and develop relationships with other people, rather than solely focused on how you can benefit. 

Always be connecting

The more you listen, the more you'll be able to spot opportunities to make introductions between people in your network. Add value to their lives and soon you'll gain a reputation both as a great person to know and as someone who makes a difference. 

Always be generous

If you can be of help to people in your network and it is easy for you to do so, then just do it. Whether it's offering connections, support, advice or anything else, if you know that it would both make a difference and be appreciated, you should grasp the opportunity. 

Always be in touch

Try as hard as you can to stay in touch with your network. Whether it's 'touchpoints' on social media (retweeting something they've said, commenting on a new job on LinkedIn) or more tangible phone calls, emails and coffee catch ups, do your best to stay 'in sight, in mind'. And make as many of those touchpoints about them, rather than updating them on what's happening to you. 

Always be strategic

While the activity of networking should be focused on building relationships and helping other people, you are not doing it for your health. Be clear about why you are networking and have a strong focus on developing networks in the right areas, with a clear message and towards a specific end. 

Always be yourself

Don't try to be someone different in your professional or networking conversations to the person you are elsewhere. It's hard to build a relationship from behind a mask. Let people see and get to know the real you and, with the right people, you'll be able to develop deep connections more naturally. 

Always be honest and authentic

It's human nature to want to put on a brave face and not admit to weaknesses. Sadly, such an approach can leave you drowning with no one to throw out a lifebelt. Surround yourself with a network of people you trust and in whose company you are comfortable being completely honest and vulnerable. And allow them to help you. 

Always be clear

Make sure that your message is easy for people to understand and simple for them to act upon or repeat. Make it simple for your network to support you by not leaving them guessing. The better you know them, their strengths and their own networks, the easier it will be for you to enable them to help you when appropriate. 

Always be prepared to ask 

When the relationship is strong enough and people are in a position to help you, be willing to let them do so. People hold back because we worry about being a burden, yet so many people get pleasure from helping those they care about. Don't prevent people who care about you getting pleasure from helping you. 

 

Just seeing networking conversations as sales opportunities restricts the opportunity to both give and receive so much more over time. An 'always be closing' attitude is more likely to shrink a network rather than grow it. People don't like to be sold to. 

That doesn't mean that you can't allow your network to buy from you if the opportunity arises but, if you focus on building the relationship, that should happen naturally. 

What do you think we should 'always be' doing when networking? 

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