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Learning how to Network with Andy Lopata – by Jane Hunt

Jane Hunt

Jane Hunt

SDHG is a 12 month experiential learning programme offered free to leaders of small businesses in their area by Birmingham City Council and the Working Neighbourhoods Fund. The programme is delivered by Birmingham City Council and Deloitte with the Academy for Chief Executives.

During one of our opening sessions, professional speaker Andy Lopata (pictured below),  gave a thorough and concise overview of how to network effectively – a topic particularly relevant to the 24 leaders who are all wanting to grow their businesses. He challenged (and explained):

Andy Lopata

Andy Lopata

1) Why you want to network (referrals NOT sales!)

2) Who you want to network with and the importance of building a trusting relationship with them

3) What you want them to be saying about you / your business

4) Who you want people to refer you to (individuals / types of businesses / issues you can resolve)

5) What you can do to help others with referrals

He hit home as indicated by a sample of comments:

“Great to hear from an expert about the benefit of knowing why we network”

“Am not a networking fan but feel like giving it more of a go – once I can work out what I’m looking to achieve”

“Good practical advice that explained the benefits of networking. Opened my eyes and made me think more positively about networking and the benefits of it”

“Very informative and enlightening, has made me evaluate the reasons for joining a networking group”

Find out more about Andy on The Academy for Chief Executives website

Good business leaders, like you, often feel very alone. Running a business is tough. Key decision making, company direction, clarity of strategy, personal development; it’s a huge responsibility and it’s entirely yours. Little wonder you’re sometimes sleepless in the small hours or struggling to answer those really big questions.
Who can you turn to for totally impartial advice?
The above is an example of the type speaker session you could experience every month as a member of The Academy for Chief Executives. Find out more about our peer group learning organisation for CEOs, MDs and business leaders at

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