Frankly any book with blueberry muffins and coffee on the front are going to grab my attention…but better yet Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi is a tips and tricks guide (with a few good stories thrown in) to networking like a pro, and that really hits the nail on the head for me.
I think a lot about networking and it’s power…during my career I have often heard the phrase:
‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’
And frankly that makes no sense.
Surely the reach of who you know is only as beneficial as the power you hold with them. Let’s look at this way – I should imagine/hope that everyone in the company you work for knows the boss…but that doesn’t mean they are going to treat everyone in the business equally…it is those who hold influence with the boss that get all the perks/pay rises/bonuses right?
After discussing this with a few friends I was recommended getting hold of a copy of Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone. The primary messages of this book cover two aspects of networking 1) how to grow your network and 2) how to build your influence within it. Throughout the book Keith lays out his impressive networking past and marketing career as CMO at Deliotte Consulting and Starwood, so you get a feel that his advice is sound when it comes to his ability to network with the best and brightest in the corporate world.
Not only does Keith highlight the benefits of networking for your career and personal life but he gives some great tips and tricks of how to do so…the book is full of these but the two clear messages that I took away and have worked to apply are:
Stay in Touch
Keith refers to it as ‘pinging’…consistently sending out tweets, emails, texts to contacts. Initially I was dismissive of this…what are you supposed to contact people about constantly? Of course this question was answered….you contact people about things you think will interest them…whether that is a link to a website, or an event you have heard about or a business deal you think they could benefit from. This type of communication always keeps you at the front of peoples mind.
Don’t be Selfish.
This is a key message throughout Never Eat Alone…networking is not about what you can get people to do for you, but what you can do for other people. I remember my first job in business development, walking into a room of recent graduates with one of my senior colleagues – who quickly announced ‘I’m finding the bar, there is no one of interest here’…I was gob smacked…who the hell did he think he was? I quickly got about chatting to people – fyi graduates are mega easy to talk to…two questions – ‘what did you study’ and ‘what are you going to do with it’ will keep them talking for hours. This was only 4-5 years ago and I know for a fact 2 of them are already senior engineers working on major multi-million pound projects….good contacts to have I think.
Great writing style and some actionable tips on networking (I dislike books where it’s all theory). So grab a coffee, two blueberry muffins and Never Eat Alone.
I’m going to give this a solid 8/10.