An expert on building, nurturing, and leveraging professional relationships, Andy Lopata was once called ‘one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists’ by The Financial Times, and ‘a true master of networking’ by Forbes.com.
He believes that networking and communication is one of the most important tools in business, from generating sales to developing your career. He believes that knowing the reasons why you are networking and what you want to achieve, it is possible to improve and gain tangible results.
As well as his networking strategies, Andy is also a podcast host, and successful business author. In 2017, he was awarded the PSA Award of Excellence.
He is a two-time board member and former President of the Fellows Community of the Professional Speaking Association UK and Ireland, a member of the Association of Business Mentors and the Meetings Industry Association, and a Fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute.
Contact Great British Speakers today to book global #1 Networking speaker Andy Lopata for your next event.
Prior to stating up his own business, Andy Lopata spent many years in management positions across industries. He worked as a Project Manager for West Anglia Great Northern and Thameslink parking systems, then Distribution Manager for consultancy firm Lawrence International. He also spent eight years as the Managing Director for BRE Networking, one of the UK’s leading referral-focussed networking groups with over 2,000 member companies, and then as Director for World of Mouse – a social business network.
In 2020, Andy became the host of ‘The Connected Leadership’ podcast, exploring the premise that professional relationships underpin all executive success. He has interviewed a range of people from a former Royal Navy commander, an orchestra conductor, an Olympic medallist, NASA astronaut, authors, and senior Disney executives.
ANDY – WRITING
Andy is the best-selling author of several business books: Building a Business on Bacon and Eggs (2005) – which he co-wrote with Terence O’Halloran and Stephen Harvard Davis – …and Death Comes Third (2011), Recommended: How to Sell Through Networking and Referrals (2011), Just Ask (2020), Connected Leadership (2020), and The Financial Times Guide to Mentoring (2024).
He has also contributed to The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, and The Guardian.
ANDY – KEYNOTES
Just Ask: Whatever you think of your abilities, you cannot do it all alone. No-one can. You can achieve so much more if you ask for and accept the support from others. Over the course of this session, Andy will share some stories from his book Just Ask, and will focus on:
– Why we don’t like to ask for help
– The importance of finding and keeping a trusted network
– When and where to share
– The important role that sponsors and mentors have
– Why vulnerability is important and can be a positive experience
Participants will go away with a clearer focus on how to find, use and harness the power of their networks to help improve their work, challenge their work, and to drive their career to the next level.
Vulnerable Leadership: Employees of all levels look to their leaders for strength and direction, particularly during times of uncertainty. But leaders don’t always have all the answers, all the time. At a time when people are being encouraged to share their vulnerabilities, how can leaders do this whilst maintaining a level of respect? Andy explores the contradictions between vulnerability and strong leadership, arguing that vulnerability can be an asset, and can also be a sign of strength.
This can be delivered as a keynote talk, facilitated discussion, or a combination of both.
Speak Up! – Creating a Culture Where People Feel Comfortable Being Vulnerable and Open: There is a lot of focus on the importance of being vulnerable asking for help, mental wellbeing and psychological safety in the workplace. But it’s not always that simple. It’s not possible to just tell people it’s OK and expect them to instantly open up. In this three module programme, Andy will explore what leaders can do:
– To be more vulnerable personally and transparent with people around them, and how that will enhance their leadership
– As an individual leader to ensure that their teams are comfortable being open with them
– To ensure their corporate culture is one that encourages and rewards vulnerability and openness
Just One Reason – The Power of Professional Relationships: Successful companies and careers rest on strong professional relationships. Whether with your colleagues, your clients, or suppliers, if you have a network based on developed relationships, you then have people who will help you refer you, advocate for you, and support you. In this talk, Andy explores the fundamentals of building and leveraging strong relationships, discussing:
– Where are the gaps in your professional relationships?
– Understanding the ‘Relationship Matrix© and how it helps projects thrive
– The important of cognitive diversity
– The 7 Stages of Professional Relationships
– When to be transactional and when to be friends
– Knowing how to make it easy for your connection to support you
Just One Reason – Developing Strong Relationships as Part of a Referrals Strategy: Referrals lie at the heart of any successful business development strategy, and yet they are often left to chance. While we may invest in every other route to market, such as PR, cold calling, and advertising, a lot of companies simply expect referrals from a happy client. Ady explores the fundamentals of building, nurturing and leveraging strong professional relationships. He will particularly focus on:
– How to develop a strong strategic network with key stakeholders in a position to refer you both inside your organisation and beyond
– The importance of the Six Degrees of Seperation, and why so many opportunities get missed
– Understanding the Relationship Matrix, and how it can help projects to thrive
– The seven stages of professional relationships
– How to nurture professional relationships so that people will want to refer you
– What stops us from asking for help
– Why so many intermediary relationships fail
– How to make it easy for people to help you
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 his thoughts, combined with his experience of the power of networks.
What will you 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 what is happening in your company, in your industry, and beyond
– The importance of long-term relationships
Can be delivered as a 30-45 minute talk or a 90 minute interactive session.
How NOT To Get Referrals: With growing competition and demands on budgets, it’s becoming harder and harder to win new business. Yet still so many salespeople 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 salespeople and business owners becomes 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 strategies do exist, they tend to be lazy, poorly times, and ineffective. And as a result, the potential new business goes elsewhere.
In this talk, Andy will share with you the key mistakes he sees practised 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. This talk is ideal for audiences who have members who feel that they know how to generate new business through referrals but who may be making many of the mistakes outlined in the presentation.
Managing Professional Relationships While Socially Distanced: The period of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic shone a spotlight on the important of professional relationships and human connection. But it can be challenging to maintain this connection with people if you never actually see them in person. So, how can we maintain and nurture remote relationships, and what can we learn from the challenges faced during the pandemic that we can apply to our professional relationships going forward?
Designed as a short presentation or discussion, or a longer presentations incorporating key points from the ‘Just One Reason’ keynote.
Strengthening Links – Building Stronger Connections and Generating Referrals Through LinkedIn: LinkedIn is often dismissed as ‘just’ a job search site or a hunting ground for cold leads. However, it has the potential to be an incredibly powerful tool to support strong professional relationships. By using LinkedIn effectively, you can attract and seek referrals, new talent, and influential contacts. Whether a keynote talk, short programme, or masterclass, Andy will help you understand:
– How LinkedIn can support your professional relationships and referral strategy
– What is needed to get your profile right so that your first impression leads to more
– With whom to connect and how to manage connection requests
– How to engage productively with your connections
– How to use LinkedIn to generate strong referrals
Clients include Allen & Overy, Amazon, the BBC, Brother International Europe, Dyson, GlaxoSmithKline, Hong Kon Broadband Networks, HSBC, PayPal, the Prime Minister’s Office in Dubai, Said Business School, Wembley Stadium, and Wella.
From the get go, Andy captured his audience with his engaging personality. The title ‘Just Ask’ felt very personal but looking at my fellow attendees I could see the light bulbs come on in the room as he brought the topic to life. Asking for help, for me, has always felt like a sign of weakness. Andy completely blew this reasoning out of the window. I have kept his flyer in my notepad for easy reference. A thoroughly compelling presentation that has left a memorable impression.
Maria McNamee Private Client Director, Metrobank
Andy Lopata’s presentation on vulnerability is immensely powerful. He makes a wonderful case for true openness with others and for putting aside the mask of pride we sometimes wear when we should be more direct especially when we are hurting. His message deserves wide distribution.
Lou Heckler Veteran US Hall of Fame Speaker & Speaker Presentation Coach
At Mindset, we had the pleasure of working with Andy Lopata on a series of executive sessions with an international bank. These sessions were designed around the principle of fostering an environment of respect and trust in the workplace, with an emphasis on the free expression of opinions and concerns. Andy brought his expertise and tailored it specifically to the needs of the industry. His insights into leadership and vulnerability were particularly powerful, encouraging a shift from a traditional hierarchical approach to a more vulnerable and authentic leadership style. The group dynamics created during the sessions allowed for an open and safe space for discussion, fostering a deeper understanding of concepts such as ego in our interactions and the importance of sharing both successes and challenges. Andy’s techniques for building resilience, promoting psychological safety and addressing biases and behaviours were incredibly valuable. In addition, his focus on creating inclusive workspaces that respect diversity and foster trust has been instrumental in shaping a strong culture within the organisation.
Julia Montes Alonso Project Director, Mindset
Andy delivered an excellent session at a recent leadership event I attended. If you had asked me beforehand whether I enjoy networking, my honest answer would have been no, because I probably viewed it as a timebound, transactional thing. Andy really changed my thinking. The key thing I took away was that networking is a long-term, organic thing.
Robert McNair Strategy & Change Manager, RBS
Andy has successfully been working to support me at Molnlycke over the past few years and in a number of different ways. His 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. Effective networking is critical to our organisation and like many others, resonates strongly within the challenges we face as an industry.
Shona MacDonald Business Director UK & Ireland, Wound Care. Molnlycke Health Care
I first got to know Andy as he gave an eye opening keynote during a kick off held in Barcelona. Following this keynote, I was given an opportunity to join a training that Andy gave on building professional relationships. The training gave instant results. At the time I was engaging a global enterprise within my region. Leveraging the techniques learned through Andy, my main contact provided an important referral on the operational side. This was a fantastic experience and a solid proof on what wisdom Andy shares. Andy is a thought leader, speaker and fantastic trainer within the field of building professional relationships.
Jesper Olsson Solutions Account Manager, Corporate Business, Brother Nordics
Andy’s presentation on Professional Relationships was by far the most cogent and useful presentation on the subject I think that I have heard in 30 odd years in the industry. Andy’s insights felt like the lightbulb moments when one puts into conscious thought something that has been staring you in the face for some time. I particularly found useful his stakeholder mapping, looking at how people relate to each other, together with understanding the level of influence you have with those individuals.
Simon Gravestock, True Potential LLP
We were delighted that Andy contributed to the Rapid Response Team we launched during the Covid19 crisis. He was able to bring fantastic value at short notice to a mixed group of CEOs in a compelling 60 minute ‘Game Changing Conversation.’ More importantly for me as a client, Andy was highly responsive to mastering the brief and flexing to the highly interactive workshop style we required.
Charles McLachlan Founder, The CEO Growth Academy
The sessions were very well structured and gave clear advice on how I can improve my digital sales strategy. I would be happy to recommend your sessions to anyone trying to raise digital exposure through these tools and I look forward to seeing how my changes improve my visibility and outward facing profile.
James Comley Senior Consultant, CGI