Never Eat Alone : And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

  4 min 58 sec to read

‘Never Eat Alone’ straddles that careful line between self-help and a useful playbook for one’s career. The secret, master networker Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered in early life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships-so that everyone wins. 

The Mindset
The book opens with a story of Keith employed as a caddie in a wealthy town adjacent to his boyhood home. During this time carrying clubs, he watched as the country club members found each other jobs, invested time and money in one another’s ideas and helped each other’s kids get into the best schools, get the best internships and the best jobs. “Before my eyes, I saw proof that success breeds success and, indeed, the rich do get richer,” says Ferrazzi. “Poverty, I realized, wasn’t only a lack of financial resources; it was isolation from the kind of people that could help you make more of yourself.”

The Skill Set
Some of the things Keith talks include doing research on people you wish to meet who will be attending the same conferences as you. By knowing what their business does, how their business is doing and even some personal stuff about the person, you’ll be ready to make small talk that they will want to engage in.

Warming the Cold Call
If you’ve ever had to call someone for business purposes without a prior connection to them, you know how terrible it can be, but sometimes you have to do it. Ferrazzi makes a couple of recommendations for how to make this go a lot smoother. First, try as best you can to find a connection to the person you’re calling - someone you both might know. Second, make it clear to them right off the bat why this call is valuable by taking the homework you should have done on the person and connecting it with whatever the purpose of your call is. Be efficient with your words and try to pique their interest - don’t ever drone on and on. 

Connecting with Connectors
On connecting with people who already have large networks is one of the easiest way to expand relation. Keith lists seven types people who typically have large networks-restaurateurs, headhunters, lobbyists, fundraisers, public relations people, politicians and journalists—and gives advice on why and how to connect with them.

People’s Plan
Keith Ferrazzi proposes a goal setting path with a twist: adding people to it.Devise your goals in the next three years, then break it down by months and smaller goals. Then connect those goals to people who can help you obtain them.And then find what you can give these people and how you will reach them.

The Art of Small Talk
This chapter is full of the “typical” stuff people think of when they imagine what a course in interpersonal relations is like: Smile at others, unfold your arms, relax, lean in, shake hands, and so on. 

Build Your Brand
Ferrazzi goes beyond merely making yourself interesting into figuring out exactly what value you have for others. What do you bring to the table that others don’t? What do you want people to think of when they hear your name? Figure that out and cultivate it when you can by focusing and behaving in ways that will cultivate that image that you want.

Social Arbitrage
The idea here is that one should strive to build connections in as many different areas as possible. Have connections in tons of different professions, social circles, and so on, and then make connections when needed between people who exist in completely different social universes. This makes you seem indispensable to both people that you’re connecting, as you’ve benefitted both of them in a way that neither one was capable of independent of you.

Pinging - All the Time
Ferrazzi highly recommends just contact everyone once in a while, to keep that connection alive, because without some maintenance, even the best connection can wither on the vine. The chapter particularly recommends using birthdays as an opportunity to deliver a sharp ping, with a handwritten birthday note.

Find Anchor Tenants and Feed Them
The anchor tenant concept is where you find someone-a friend of a friend-who’s one rung up the social latter from you and your peer group. That anchor allows you to reach beyond your circle in subsequent invitations and pull people who wouldn’t otherwise attend. “To put it in terms of the company cafeteria, now that you have the CEO eating lunch at the manager’s table, other executives will jump at the opportunity to eat at the table, too.”

Compiled by : Nabin Shrestha,
Brand Consulting and Design [email protected]

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