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Andy Lopata

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Leading business networking strategist, author on networking and blogger for The Huffington Post

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He has been labelled ‘Mr Network’ by The Sun.  Keynote speaker Andy Lopata was called one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists by the Financial Times.

Leading Business Networking Strategist

What’s Your Networking Strategy?

Whether for new individual career development, business generation or simply for getting the job done, networking is an increasingly vital tool for business. Yet very few people take a strategic approach to it.

The experience, expertise, connections and ideas that other people offer can really make all the difference to your personal or collective success. All of the resources you need are, with networking, at your disposal to achieve your best. The question is…..do you understand how?

Andy Lopata is the coauthor of two books on networking and Andy’s third book, Recommended: How to Sell Through Networking and Referrals, was published in late July, 2011 by Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Andy is a blogger for The Huffington Post and he frequently writes for a number of business magazines in the UK as well as being quoted in the media in both the UK and overseas.

Andy Lopata was the Managing Director of UK network Business Referral Exchange for eight years. Since then, Andy has spoken internationally and worked with companies from one-man bands to organisations such as Merrill Lynch, Sage and Mastercard to help them realise their full potential from networking efforts.

He is also a Fellow and the former vice-president of the Professional Speaking Association (PSA) and a Fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI). He is also a Member of the Institute of Sales Management (ISM) and a Member of the Global Speaker Federation (GSF).

See keynotes with Andy Lopata

    Keynote by Speaker Andy Lopata

    It’s Who Knows You

    Participants will learn:

    • Why Networking is important both for business or career development.
    • How to manage their personal brand and what people say about their business.
    • The importance of mentor and peer group support.
    • How a strong network can help achieve more effective results with a lower cost of sale.
    • The power of Six Degrees of Separation and how to connect with anyone through your network.

    Keynote by Speaker Andy Lopata

    Bigger Than You – The Hidden Power of Your Network

    Whatever you think about your abilities, and whatever you’d like other people to think, you will achieve so much more in your career , in you role and for you business if you’re open to the support of others. Yet, unfortunately, whether because of time pressure, the need to save face or sheer lack of focus, very few of us achieve anywhere near the level of success that our network could help us reach.

    This session is designed to help you change that. Over the course of this presentation, we look at:

    • Why we don’t like to let anyone help us.
    • The importance of a trusted network and where to find it.
    • When and where to share.
    • The role of mentors and sponsors.
    • Mastermind groups.
    • How networks can give us key business intelligence.
    • Innovation and creating new ideas with the help of our network.
    • The support offered through online networks.

    Keynote by Speaker Andy Lopata

    How NOT to get Referrals

    • With growing competition and more demands on budgets, it’s becoming harder and harder to win new business. Yet still so many sales people leave potential new revenues untapped and unexplored.
    • The reason is very simple. Across a range of industries, referral strategies range from tired and predictable to passive to simply non-existent. A large number of sales people and business owners become complacent when it comes to referrals and simply expect them to appear. Networking is still treated as a skill, not a core business strategy. Where referrals do exist they tend to be lazy, poorly timed and ineffective.
    • In this talk, Andy will share with you the key mistakes he sees practiced by so many unsuccessful companies time and time again. The mistakes that ensure that they don’t get anywhere near as many referrals as they should.

    Keynote by Speaker Andy Lopata

    Connected Leadership

    Why is networking relevant to top leaders? How can you make a difference by connecting with key employees, stakeholders, influencers and others?

    Andy interviewed a number of top leaders on why networking is so important to them and in this presentation he shares their thoughts, combined with his experience of the power of networks.

    What You Will Learn:

    • The role networking plays in successful businesses.
    • How to identify your brand as a leader.
    • Why your values need to be congruent with the values of your organisation.
    • How your network can communicate your brand and your values.
    • The importance of mentoring.
    • The role of strategic alliances.
    • How your network can keep you in tune with that is happening in your company, in your industry and beyond.
    • The importance of long term relationships.

    Keynote by Speaker Andy Lopata

    Make the Room Work for You

    Does the word ‘networking’ simply leave you cold? Do you avoid all networking opportunities if you possibly can?

    When you go along to a networking event, do you find yourself standing on your own, talking to your work colleagues and watching the time wondering when you can leave?

    A session that focuses on some of the key skills which make networking so much more effective… and enjoyable.

    What you will learn:

    • What is Networking?
    • Overcoming fear of a room full of strangers.
    • Who to approach.
    • Moving on.
    • What do you talk about?
    • Exchanging business cards.
    • Leaving the elevator pitch on the ground floor.
    • Following up.
    • How to build and develop relationships.

    Keynote by Speaker Andy Lopata

    Being Social – Navigating the Online Networking Jungle

    LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram..

    • The list is seemingly endless. Every day new social networking sites are formed and invitations to create another profile appear in our inboxes. In a world where digital communications mean ever growing demands on our time, how do we decide which social networks we should join, and how can we possibly justify the time needed to use then effectively?
    • In his talk Andy will share a simple approach to deciding which online networks are right for you and how to decide just what role they will play in your business or career.
    • Online networking offers so much more than sharing a picture of your latest cup of tea. With the right degree of focus they can be a fantastic business tool, offering valuable shortcuts, answers, brand building and introductions.
    • But without a clear idea of why you should engage with them you might as well just have a break and a cuppa.

    Keynote by Speaker Andy Lopata

    How to Use LinkedIn as a Referral Tool

    Social media has exploded in popularity as a business tool in recent years and LinkedIn has been at the heart of that explosion. A large number of business people now have profiles on LinkedIn, but how many truly understand how to use it effectively?

    What will you learn

    • Where the power of LinkedIn really lies.
    • How to put together an effective profile to attract key prospects.
    • Who you and shouldn’t connect to.
    • How to raise your profile and connect to key influencers in your prospects’ industries.
    • The difference a good testimonial can make, and what is should say.
    • How to search for key connections through your existing network.
    • How to ask for referrals through LinkedIn.

    Conferences by Speaker Andy Lopata

    Conference Chairman

    • Every Conference thrives with the help of a Chairman who can involve and inform the delegates, ensure the speakers can look their best and ties together the information covered to deliver the key messages to the delegates.
    • Andy brings his experience of networking and speaking to the platform when Chairing conferences and works hard to understand what the speakers are covering and what the organizer wants to achieve to ensure a memorable experience for the delegates.
Watch speaker Andy Lopata in action!

Vulnerable Leadership - Highlights

Watch speaker Andy Lopata in action!

The Seven Stages of Professional Relationships

Watch speaker Andy Lopata in action!

Meet My Favourite Ever Networker...

Watch speaker Andy Lopata in action!

Why We Don't Like to Ask For Help

Watch speaker Andy Lopata in action!

Are You Asking Your Network for Support?

See keynotes with Andy Lopata

Interview with Andy Lopata

What is the message you hope people take away from your presentations?

First of all, I want them to see networking as a positive tool that can help them to achieve both their business and their personal career objectives. In many countries and cultures, networking has a negative image associated with self-promotion and manipulative behaviour. If I can change that perception and encourage people to embrace the support they can both give to and receive from other people then I will have made a difference.

The core message then comes down to which presentation I am delivering, whether it is a renewed confidence when attending networking events, a greater understanding of who to approach for which challenges and how or the understanding of how to generate referrals.

How do you prepare for speaking engagements?

Conversations with the client as far in advance as possible are key to understanding their objectives from booking me. I like to understand how my presentation will be considered a success – from the organiser’s perspective, from senior management’s perspective and from the delegates’ perspective.

I read through the organisation’s website and speak with  the meeting planner and, if appropriate, some of the people who will be in the audience, to understand the culture of the client and the demographic of the audience.

Where I know them I will speak with speakers who have been booked by the client before to get the benefit of their experience and also look to speak to other speakers on the same programme if there is a chance our presentation topics will overlap.

Finally, if it is a full day event I will spend as much time as possible at the event so that I can understand and reference what has gone before when I speak.

What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?

I thrive on the feedback from people who have implemented the ideas I talk about and succeed as a result. The constant challenge of speaking to different audiences with different backgrounds, experiences, challenges and from different cultures also gives me a sense of achievement. I also learn a tremendous amount simply through the process of understanding my audience and their needs.

How much does humor factor into your keynotes and other speaking engagements?

I’m not a comedian so don’t try to force humour into presentations but I do like to make people laugh. My approach is to do so naturally, although over the years you do learn what works and what doesn’t.

Why is networking important in business?

Networking is a vital tool for both individuals and for businesses. Many people make the mistake of thinking of networking just as online networks like LinkedIn or events where people exchange business cards over wine and canapes. Those, however, are just tools in the networking process and a strong networking strategy is focused on the people you already know rather those you have just met.

A network of people around you, people who have ideas, experiences, expertise, contacts and a worldview that complement your own, can help you overcome challenges much more easily.

I believe that networks help us achieve three things. They help us become better known, better equipped and better connected. All three areas are vital both to business growth and career progression.

How are your keynote presentations unique?

Although I do speak about networking skills, many of my talks focus much more on the strategy behind networking, which not many speakers entertain.

In addition, where a meeting planner has the time and capacity to allow me to do so, I make my presentations interactive. This has the benefit of encouraging participative and experiential learning rather than me just sharing ideas and tips. It also means that I can bring together delegates from different parts of an organisation or audience and ease them into a strong conversation with each other, forging relationships for the rest of the event and beyond.

Do you have any unique memorable moments in your speaking career?

Many! Perhaps the biggest moment for me so far was speaking alongside former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner F W de Klerk.

Can you provide 3 tips for successful networking?

  • Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, who can help you reach those goals and what you need to ask for.
  • If attending a networking event, overcome fears of approaching strangers and make sure you follow up with the people with whom you have a rapport, something in common or should be pursuing a business relationship with.
  • Don’t try to sell to people you have just met  and don’t ask a stranger ‘what do you do?’. Get to know the individual first and pursue the relationship rather than the sale.
See keynotes with Andy Lopata
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Keynote topics with Andy Lopata