Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi is one of those books that is hard to put down. It‘s funny, engaging and full of useful tips.

Keith Ferrazzi, is a an expert networker who bumps shoulders with presidents, business leaders and celebrities. He originally penned his strategy of winning people over in 2005 but the book has since been updated in 2014 to include a chapter about social media and content marketing.

The author has had an interesting career spanning various industries. He became a member of the executive board at Deloitte before moving to Starwood hotels, becoming the youngest CMO at a Fortune 500 company when we was 32 years old. He left Starwood hotels to found YaYa Media, a startup in the field of media and entertainment and now he heads up Ferrazzi Greenlight a management consultancy.

In short the book is about how you can network your way to the top. Everyone knows how valuable networking can be but many people dislike to do it. It is hard work and it can be tough to put yourself out there, trying to reach out and get to know someone. Using some of Ferrazzi‘s tips you can make the work easier for yourself as well as more fun!

A Few Key Points:

Pay It Forward

Opening doors for yourself can pay off huge gains. Opening doors for others can lead to even more rewards. By introducing two people who benefit of knowing each other you create value for at least three people – the people being introduces as well as yourself. The people who are being introduced obviously have something to gain in the short term. But in the long run, you may have helped getting someone hired that you want to work with in the future.
Some people like to sit on their contacts like a dragon on gold but by sharing your network with others you have an opportunity to grow it exponentially. That being said, you shouldn’t have your phone book published on your personal blog or introduce anyone to everyone. But don‘t be afraid to open up your network, you will reap the benefits down the road.

Think Strategically

Keith Ferrazzi actually uses a system that he calls „The Relationship Action Plan“. When trying to make a network you cannot just sit down one day and start cold-calling random prospects and ask them to be your friends. You have to do your homework, determine who you want to get to know, find out what their interests are and establish some kind of value to them. An example of this type of value can be having a mutual friend, thereby leaning on the trust that another person has of you.

Map out the major players in your industry. They don‘t have to be CEOs or world leaders. The main point is to start out with a plan and then continually revise it as you acheive your goals.

Keith Ferrazzi © Wikipedia

Stop networking, start making friends

Networking has such a bad name. We’ve seen people at conferences who seem to have a goal to hand out as many business cards as humanly possible without making any meaningful relationships. Would you not rather go out, try to connect with someone who has similar interests and you would actually like to hang out with outside of work? We tend to think of ourselves as cold and analytical in a business setting but in real life we want to work with people who we actually like. Granted, those folks also have to be good at their jobs, but personally, I‘d rather work with a talented nice guy than a talented asshole.

McKinsey & Co spends a lot of money on team building, not only to keep up a good working morale, but also because they know that down the line, the people who leave the company become valuable clients through their old compadres.

The Verdict

Honestly, I loved this book. I thought it was very insightful and gave very actionable tips and advice. It inspired me personally to create a strategy on how I am going to go out and network better and just make more friends. The book is funny and Ferrazzi is a great storyteller. There are two things that I did’t like or felt like should have been different. First of all, the chapter about social media feels like it was just added because these are the time – it did not add any real value and therefore got a bit tedious to read. Second of all, the book was a bit too positive. I very much would have liked to hear some stories about how he tried and tried but didn’t succeed. It was all made sound so easy.
Overall though, Never Eat Alone is a great read and Coffee & Reviews highly recommends it.

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmailby feather