The value in one sentence: Genuine networking requires a clear vision, lots of preparation work and a genuine and passionate desire to add value, all of which this book provides actionable strategies for.
Who is it by?
Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, a research and consulting firm focused on relational marketing. Prior to that, Keith attended Yale and Harvard. He was the Chief Marketing Officer at Deloitte and then Starwood Hotels. He also was the CEO of YaYa media for a period of time before the company was acquired by American Vantage in 2003.
Who should read it?
This is a book for professionals that want to add value to the lives of others. This is a book that teaches you how to make purposeful and personal relationships in business and for personal growth.
How will I take action after reading this book?
I will no longer be afraid of small talk, and I will not be afraid of having vulnerabilities in my conversations.
Two Main Takeaways from Never Eat Alone:
Chapter 12 Share Your Passions:
Building relationships via shared passions is better than building relationships via conversations.
In this chapter, I learned that the best relationships come from outside the networking events. I learned that passion brings people together more than formal networking events ever will.
If you want to get out there and meet more people, instead of going to a networking event, pick up a sport or a hobby. According to Keith, friendship is created out of the “quality of time spent between two people, not the quantity”. If two people are having fun they will naturally grow closer.
You can network on a hike, at the gym, on a blog, at a conference, in a church and more. Also, you should always intentionally put yourself out there to meet, add value to and learn from people.
Other than this I also learned that you can use activities to keep in touch with people. Sure you can ask them out for coffee, or you can:
- Go to a conference together
- Workout together
- Eat together
- Go to a special event together
- Invite them to your home
Chapter 17 The Art of Small Talk:
‘When all else fails, say this: You’re wonderful. Tell me more’ – Keith Ferrazzi
I learned a lot from this chapter in Never Eat Alone because I’ve always had trouble making conversations with other people to ‘break the ice’. Needless to say, I was super curious on what Keith had to say on the topic.
Keith says that when you meet a person, the goal of the small talk is to leave the other person thinking: ‘I dig you’. He continues by saying that many ‘experts’ advice is to avoid ‘unpleasant, overly personal and highly controversial issues.’
‘Wrong!’ He states. Keith says that showing vulnerability –being yourself is the way to make a real connection. This makes sense. If you want to have a real relationship, be real.
Other tips he gives in the chapter include:
- Have non-verbal cues: smile, unfold your arms and relax, mirror the amount of eye contact, lean in to pay attention
- Be sincere
- Develop conversational currency: Keep up with current events or develop interests so you have things to talk about
- Learn to Listen by appreciating their words
Above are just some of the lessons I learned in the chapter. I think the value in chapter 17 is worth the price of the book alone.
I learned many other lessons, such as the importance and art of building your network before you need it, how to meet someone you don’t know and navigating through gatekeepers, how work-life balance should really be work-life integration and much more.
Never Eat Alone has 31 chapters and I only went over two chapters with you. Every chapter has actionable advice so you can only imagine the value that is between the covers.
I highly recommend Never Eat Alone to anyone that wants to build life-long personal and professional connections.