- Hardcover: 309 pages
- Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (February 22, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385512058
- ISBN-13: 978-0385512053
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (578 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time Hardcover – Laser printed, February 22, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
The youngest partner in Deloitte Consulting's history and founder of the consulting company Ferrazzi Greenlight, the author quickly aims in this useful volume to distinguish his networking techniques from generic handshakes and business cards tossed like confetti. At conferences, Ferrazzi practices what he calls the "deep bump" - a "fast and meaningful" slice of intimacy that reveals his uniqueness to interlocutors and quickly forges the kind of emotional connection through which trust, and lots of business, can soon follow. That bump distinguishes this book from so many others that stress networking; writing with Fortune Small Business editor Raz, Ferrazzi creates a real relationship with readers. Ferrazzi may overstate his case somewhat when he says, "People who instinctively establish a strong network of relationships have always created great businesses," but his clear and well-articulated steps for getting access, getting close and staying close make for a substantial leg up. Each of 31 short chapters highlights a specific technique or concept, from "Warming the Cold Call" and "Managing the Gatekeeper" to following up, making small talk, "pinging" (or sending "quick, casual" greetings) and defining oneself to the point where one's missives become "the e-mail you always read because of who it's from." In addition to variations on the theme of hard work, Ferrazzi offers counterintuitive perspectives that ring true: "vulnerability... is one of the most underappreciated assets in business today"; "too many people confuse secrecy with importance." No one will confuse this book with its competitors.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ferrazzi grew up in rural Pennsylvania, the son of a steelworker and a cleaning lady, yet his ability to connect with others led to a scholarship at Yale, a Harvard MBA, and a prestigious partnership at Deloitte Consulting. His skills at creating and maintaining a network of contacts are nothing short of those of a serious presidential contender. All business hopefuls seek to enter a sphere of players more powerful than themselves, and Ferrazzi says that sometimes all it takes is asking. The book is dense with suggestions. Seek out mentors to guide you and introduce you to the people you need to know and then become a mentor yourself. Use your initial conversation to show the other person what you have to offer them, and never keep score. Make others feel important by remembering their names and birthdays. And don't be afraid to open up and show vulnerability--it's a great icebreaker. Ferrazzi presents a whirlwind of ideas to widen your circle of contacts that goes way beyond the usual stale concepts of "networking." David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
I think the most powerful message in the book is being able to offer something of value to someone regardless of their status or title. My interactions with others, professional and personal, have changed after reading this; as Keith says, networking isn't a zero-sum game, if you help someone out it doesn't mean there's less "pie" to go around. There's an abundance of goodwill in this world and helping others creates a chain reaction which can then create serendipitous moments which change the course of our lives. I no longer reach out to people with any motives or feelings of "what can they do for me?", I reach out for the sole purpose of enriching my own life by connecting with other individuals who may have a completely new world view from mine. I may fail in the process in making that connection but I feel happy for having tried, and Keith makes it as clear as possible that he's failed many times. His stories of the people he knows and how he came to know them may make him come across as a "name dropper" or high-and-mighty but I believe it serves a purpose. He is extremely bold and audacious in his attempts to connect with people and many, including myself, are too modest and bashful when it comes to making those types of introductions and connections. I was always the one to shy away from senior executives at networking events but Keith shows that whatever your title or position in life, it pays to have a high degree of chutzpah.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to enhance their lives with the connections they make. This book will help you grow as a person by allowing you to know what types of relationships you want to have and with whom you have those relationships with.
Ferrazzi begins by laying out his experience with networking in the first section – but he doesn’t call it “networking.” Instead, Ferrazzi calls it “connecting.” He writes that “like business itself, being a connector is not about managing transactions, but about managing relationships.” He stresses that while some gather names and phone numbers just to add contacts to their list, the most beneficial way to connect is to share knowledge, resources, time, energy, friends, associates, empathy and compassion. By doing this, value is provided for these connections – and perhaps most importantly, your value is increased in their eyes as well.
This first section is a smooth and engaging introduction to the book. Ferrazzi’s conversational tone makes his suggestions easy to follow and understand. He writes often about his personal experiences with networking, which strengthens his argument of the importance of connecting. Without connections, he would not have made it to where he is now. His impressive education came out of the relationships he and his father developed with connections, which definitely drives home his argument.
Ferrazzi lays out how to actually make these connections in the second section. He writes that the first step to connecting with someone is to do your research. He suggests Googling them, reading their work history on LinkedIn, checking out their Twitter, and reading information about their company or work. The next step is getting their contact information. Ferrazzi suggests starting with those already in your network: relatives, current colleagues, customers and clients, neighbors, past connections from school, former teachers, etc. Ferrazzi writes, “the real challenge isn’t tracking anymore… Our challenge these days is to figure out, in the mass of contacts we’ve collected, which ones matter” (76). His approach to building a network is to reach out to those you already have relationships with, and to build on them.
This section is helpful, but nothing stood out as exceptionally different from other networking books. Networking is meeting people through other connections and cultivating relationships – Ferrazzi just stresses its importance in this section.
In the third section, Ferrazzi discusses building on these connections. He breaks down three motivations that he tends to find in people: making money, finding love, or changing the world. He says that “the only way to get people to do anything is to recognize their importance and thereby make them feel important” (175). He also emphasizes building connections in different areas, and being able to “parcel out as much information, contacts, and goodwill to as many people – in as many different worlds – as possible” (188). He highlights the importance of meeting people and connecting, but building on these connections and stretching them to all aspects of business and life.
This section is informative, but Ferrazzi’s reasoning seems manipulative. The purpose of networking is to gain value from those we connect with, but Ferrazzi seems to imply that the only reason to help others is because of the future benefit you may receive from them. For Ferrazzi, connecting with others is ultimately for your gain. His approach seems to disregard the fact that you might receive something other than just professional gain from helping someone.
The fourth section focuses on “Connecting in the Digital Age.” Ferrazzi tackles the wealth of knowledge and people that we have at our disposal because of technology. He writes that even though you can be bombarded with information on your social network, you can make use of the content by curating and structuring it to what you want to see, and what will help you. He also says that in sharing your content, you have to give people “something useful.” “Give them an article, a film trailer, a restaurant review. Something that allows for more communication than 140 characters, introduces them to something new, and gives them an action” (242-243).
This section is beneficial in laying out all the ways for you to make use of the technology at your fingertips. Instead of getting overwhelmed at the content on social networking sites, you can make use of it. Now, more than ever, taking advantage of technology is important in the professional world, and this portion of the book provides tools to help you do that.
The final section mostly provides techniques for strengthening your connection circle but also marketing yourself. As Ferrazzi wrote earlier in the book, “each of us is now a brand” (22). According to him, you have to be an expert with a unique point of view – you have to be interesting. Image and identity are just the start of your personal brand. With a network, your brand “establishes your worth” and “takes your mission and content and broadcasts it to the world” (291).
This chapter on personal branding – Chapter 26, “Build Your Brand” – was probably the most useful and informative out of the book. Ferrazzi discusses developing a personal branding message, “packaging” the brand (which involves appearance and style, and asking yourself how you wish to be seen), and broadcasting your brand. According to Ferrazzi, “the world is your stage… Look the part; live the part” (297).
Overall, Never Eat Alone is an informative networking book. Its main idea is innovative – connecting and sharing as opposed to just collecting important names in your network – compared to the majority of other networking books. Ferrazzi, in his conversational tone, makes the 376 pages go fast. The only downside to Ferrazzi’s approach is his push to do all of this – connect, share, network – just because in the end, it helps you advance the most. His method comes across as slightly egotistical, but it still provides you with helpful tips to connecting and branding yourself.