by Dave Clarke
This month sees the launch of the third book from my fellow National Networker Columnist, Andy Lopata. The book 'Recommended: How to Sell Through Networking and Referrals' is both a good read and a useful manual that you can dip in and out of to help build an effective referral strategy for yourself. It is published by the Pearson Group with the imprint of Prentice Hall Financial Times. It follows hot on the heels of the updated version of '...and Death Came Third!', the definitive guide to networking and speaking in public.
I chatted with Andy this week at our NRG Metropolitan Networking Group in London.
1. Why write this third book, Andy?
"Far too many organisations, of all sizes, either fail to consider referrals in a strategic way for their business, or have a half-hearted and ineffective approach to generating word of mouth. Businesses need to have access to a simple, yet much more focused, process of referral-based lead generation and treat it in the same way they do other routes to market.
From a personal point of view, much of my work over the last three years has been focused on networking and referrals strategies, rather than the skills covered in '...and Death Came Third!' In addition, my approach and content have evolved, so there was a need to write something more representative of what I do now and who I work with.
I have also worked increasingly with larger organisations and wanted to be able to make my approach easily accessible to smaller business who weren't necessarily in the position to bring me in to work with them direct."
2. What’s the reason for the title, Recommended?
"I had been struggling to find a strong title throughout the writing process. I then heard a good friend of mine, Grant Leboff, speaking to promote his new book Sticky Marketing. In his talk, Grant discussed changes in buyer behaviour and how we have moved from people being open to others selling to them, to finding out for themselves what they want to buy. And they find out using two methods; they search the internet or they ask friends, family and colleagues to recommend a supplier.
If we accept that our prospects are more likely to buy from us if a third party recommends us, surely we should have a strategy to encourage those recommendations and, even better, referrals. Hence the title."
3. What's the most important thing you want people to take from reading the book?
"That a strategic approach to generating new business through referral is both essential and also can pay huge dividends. Knowing that people are successful applying my Referral Book process would be fantastic. But if each reader takes away one or two key tips and implements them, they will win more business more easily.
I hope it's an entertaining and engaging read, but that is far more important."
4. So what’s next for Andy Lopata?
"I have a couple of exciting speaking engagements coming up, starting with my first trip to Vietnam this month. I've already spoken with my publisher about future projects and we have settled on a couple of ideas for new books which I'll come back to look at early next year.
We are also looking to develop a wider range of resources to help companies and individuals implement their own networking and referrals strategies."
As it says on the cover, if you want to grow your business, get Recommended!
Until next time...
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