“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
“'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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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 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
“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
“"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 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
“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 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 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
“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
“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
“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
“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, 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 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
“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
“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 '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
“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 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 A-Z of Networking. F is for...

Follow up
Why would you waste time making new connections or building relationships with people only to let all of the effort fall by the wayside because you don't follow up? 
 
Whether building the conversation with people you've met at events (NOT just sending a LinkedIn connection request) or maintaining that conversation once a relationship has been established, the value in your network lies in how deep it is as much as in how broad or diverse it is. 
 
And that depth is built through ongoing contact. 
 
Fun and Friendship
Networking should be fun! 
 
Yes, it is an important part of your business strategy but it's one of the processes in your business that you can fully enjoy, whatever your personality. 
 
If you're networking at events, many of which take place outside normal office hours, that experience needs to be one you look forward to. And the same goes for conversations you have with the people in your network. 
 
If you don't have fun, it will show. And people don't tend to enjoy the company of people who don't want to be with them. Be yourself, find people whose company you like, make friends and enjoy time spent with them. 
 
 
F is also for...

 

Farming, not Hunting
Traditionally, salespeople have viewed networking events as an opportunity to 'capture' new business and stalk their prey. People don't go to networking events to be sold to. Sow the seeds and allow a relationship to bloom. The rewards will be way above the short term sale chased down by the hunters. 
Focus
Results from networking don't just happen by chance. You should be focused on what you want to achieve and how you will get there if you want to get close to maximising your potential return.  
First Impressions
Make sure you make a positive first impression on everyone you meet. Consider the way you present yourself, how you speak, your confidence and courtesy and the importance of a smile.  
Filter
You meet a lot of people at events and through networking. How do you filter those you want to build a relationship with and those you can't? With time limited, you need to work out how to filter. There's no simple answer though.  
Facilitate
Don't just network for your own ends. Always look out for opportunities for other people and facilitate introductions wherever possible and appropriate. 
Face-to-Face
With the growth of social networks it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you can simply network online. But you can't build a relationship online to the same depth that you can when you meet someone in person. Find time to meet people face to face wherever possible. 
Facebook
Written off as a distraction or simply a social tool by many but a great opportunity to share, promote and engage. And where I turn to for many of the ideas in this piece! 
 
Yet again, it was tough leaving out a lot of good ideas that came from people, mainly on Facebook. Thanks for all of your suggestions Laurence Lowne, Ian Steel, James Nathan, Jo Simpson, Arvind Devalia, David Bingham, Mark Lee, Debbie Tarrier, Shelley Jenner, Birgit Neu, Paul Skinner, Agnes Fitzgerald, Tim Houston, Phil Williams, Baiju Solanki, Richard Carman, David McQueen, Ravi Jain, Jim Ewan, Eithne Treanor, Paul Brown, Clive Wilson, Annie Brooks, Renee Rosenberg, Prith Biant and Lottie Hearn Ross. 
 
If you want to find out the host of excellent suggestions that have been missed out, check out the discussion on my profile on Facebook.

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