Book Review: “Never Eat Alone: And other secrets to success, one relationship at a time” by Keith Ferrazzi

One thing that stood out for me is how audacious his father was in setting an example of asking for help, specifically, the author got his first tricycle and bicycle because of his father’s forthright manner in asking for them, and author got his private school education because his father asked his company’s CEO for help. The rest is history. Now that’s courage!

Another that stood out for me is author’s advise in possessing the virtue of generosity and not keeping score. This counters most people’s understanding of reciprocity in networking. But I think this is really the truth. The most successful and connected people are generous and giving.

This book is a a gold mine, full of strategies, concrete steps and tips on networking. The author is a fanatic and a pretty good one at networking. Here is a summary of the book.

On Goal Setting:
1. Find your passion. “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” a. Look inside. b. Look outside. “Human ambition is like Japanese carp; they grow proportional to the size of their environment.”
2. Putting goals to paper. Relationship Action Plan: a. develop goals that will help you fulfill your mission. b. connecting those goals to the people, places things that will help you get the job done. c. find the best ways to reach out to the people who will help you accomplish your goals. Criteria for the goals: a. be specific, b. be believable, c. must be challenging and demanding.
3. Create a personal “Board of Advisers”

What you can do to be audacious: 1. Find a role model, 2. Learn to speak, 3. Get involved, 4. Get therapy, 5. Just do it.

How not to be a networking jerk: 1. Don’t schmooze: Make sure you have something to offer when you speak, and offer it with sincerity. 2. Don’t rely on the currency of gossip. 3. Don’t come to the party empty-handed. In connecting, as in blogging, you’re only as good as what you give away. 4. Don’t treat those under you poorly. In business, the food chain is transient. 5. Be transparent. People respond with trust when they know you’re dealing straight with them. 6. Don’t be efficient. Reaching to others is not a numbers game. Your goal is to make genuine connection with people you can count on.

Do your homework before meeting the persons. Do your research: on internet, public library, literature from company’s PR, and annual reports.

Take names: identify the people who can help you get to your mission.

Warming the cold calls: 1. Draft off a reference. Credibility is the first thing you want to establish in any interaction. 2. State your value. Selling is, reduced to its essence, solving another person’s problems. 3. Talk a little, say a lot. Make it quick, convenient, and definitive. 4. Offer a compromise.

Managing the gatekeeper – artfully: There are a couple of examples worth reading.

Never Eat Alone: clone the events – dine with a few people instead of one on one.

Share your passion: Your passions and the events you build around them will create deeper levels of intimacy. When your day is fueled by passion, filled with interesting people to share it with, reaching out will seem less like a challenge or a chore and more like an effortless consequence of the way you work.

Follow up or fail: Follow up the key to success in any field. Reminders to be included in your follow-ups: always express your gratitude, include an item of interest from your meeting/conversation, reaffirm whatever commitments you both made, be brief and to the point, always address the thank-you note to the person by name, use email or snail mail, timeliness is the key, follow up with those who have acted as the go-between.

Be a conference commando: 1. Help the organizer (better yet, be the organizer), 2. Listen (better yet, talk), 3. Guerrilla warfare: organize a conference within a conference. 4. Draft off a big kahuna, 5. Be an information hub, 6. Master the deep bump (quickly make contact, establish enough of connection to secure the next meeting, and move on). Get people to like you first. 7. Know your targets. 8. Breaks are no time to take a break. 9. Follow up. 10. It’s the people, to the speakers.

Connecting with connectors: 1. Restaurateurs , 2. Headhunters, 3. Lobbyists, 4. Fundraisers, 5. Public relations people. 6. Politicians, 7.Journalists.

Expanding your circle: 1. You and the person you’re sharing contacts with must be equal partners that give as much as they get. 2. You must be able to trust your partners. Not a free for all – exchanging contacts should take place around specific events, functions, or causes.

Art of Small talk: Don’t talk small. 1. Learn to power of nonverbal cues: a. hearty smile, b. good balance of eye contact. c. unfold your arms and relax, d. nod your head and lean in, e. learn to touch people. 2. Be sincere. 3. Develop conversational currency. 4. Adjust your Johari window (small window for introverted people). Envision yourself as a mirror. Tweak your style to ensure that windows remain wide open. 5. Make a graceful exit. 6. Until we meet again. 7. Learn to listen. 8. If all else fails, five words that never do. “You’re wonderful. Tell me more.”

What motivates people: 1. making money, 2. finding love, 3. changing the world. The most successful relationship builders are amalgam of financial guru, sex therapist, and all around do-gooder. Every person’s deepest life long desire is to be significant and to be recognized. Health, wealth and children gender deep emotional bonds.

Social arbitrage: a constant and open exchange of favors and intelligence. Don’t wait to be asked. Just do it. Real power comes from being indispensable. Indispensability comes from being a switchboard, parceling out as much information, contacts, and good will to as many people as possible.

Pinging – all the time. By email, phone call, and face-to-face encounter. 2 ~ 3 pings a year. Divide to 5 categories: personal, customers, prospects, important business associates, aspirational contacts.

Find anchor tenants and feed them. Anchor tenants are people who are in relation to one’s core group of friends, different, like Journalists, artists. Six to ten guests is the optimal number to invite to dinner. “Bonus guests” came before or after the dinner. Thursdays are good days for dinner. A few other rules: 1. create a theme. 2. Use invitations, 3. Don’t be a kitchen slave. 4. Create atmosphere, 5. Forget being formal, 6. Don’t seat couples together, 7. relax.

Being interesting: Be a person of content: have a unique point of view. 1. Get out in front and analyze the trends and opportunities on the cutting edge. 2. Ask seemingly stupid questions. 3. Know yourself and your talents. Not work obsessively on the skills and talents that you lack, but to focus and cultivate your strengths so that your weaknesses matter less. 4. Always learn. 5. Stay healthy. 6. Expose yourself to unusual experiences. 7. Don’t get discouraged. 8. Know the new technology. 9. Develop a niche. 10. Follow the money.

Build your brand: 1. Develop a personal branding message (PBM) 2. Package the brand. 3. Broadcast your brand. Look the part. Live the part. a. You’re your own PR representative. b. Know the media landscape, c. work the angles. d. Think small: go local first. e. Make reporter happy. f. Master the art of soundbite. g. Don’t be annoying, h. It’s all on the record, i. Trumpet the message, not the messenger, j. Treat journalist you would any other member of your network or community of friends, k. Be a name dropper. l. You’ve got to market the marketing. m. There is no limit to the ways you can go about enhancing your profile.