In case you have never heard of Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi, it is considered to be one of the ultimate guides on networking.
It will help you to not only build a network, but to also to manage and foster those relationships well.
Here are a few of the practical lessons you can learn from this literature to start improving your networking skills today.
Keith learned at an early age that effective networking is a vital part of a successful life and career.
Most people do business with people they like.
Having knowledge is only a piece of the puzzle.
Knowing the right network of people can help you to leverage that knowledge into success.
Whether you find yourself at a party or at a formal event, make friends.
Don’t overdo it.
Help them to solve problems if you can.
The goal is to share solutions, just like friends would, without an expectation of anything in return.
If you are authentic in your generosity, the people you help will often reciprocate.
Today, networking is no longer defined by how many business cards you handed out or collected at a function.
It is about what you are planning to create after making these connections.
This is what Keith calls having a relationship action plan.
In practice, it means you have to understand who will serve your purpose for the goal you aim to achieve.
You can begin by listing all your prospects, friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may have the knowledge you need.
Then start cold calling, keeping in mind that the goal is not to exploit their knowledge, but to also help that person attain a goal of their own.
Bottomline: Successful networking comes down to facilitating the success of others.
The universe often reminds us that success does not come down to talent, being smart, working hard, or even what socioeconomic class you belong to.
Success is about who you know and what you decide to create together.
Success is often about knowing the right people for the right reasons, and then leveraging these relationships towards your goals.
Your network ultimately becomes your destiny.
It will either keep you stagnant where you are, or it will lift you to greater heights.
Keith spent his youth working as a caddie at an exclusive club and found himself exposed to some very successful people at a young age.
This also unveiled some truths early in his life:
These are people whom you trust and can seek out their advice and counsel in your career as well as your personal life.
These people can help you reach your goals by influencing your decisions.
What Keith realized at a young age was that poverty was not only a lack of financial resources.
It also was the result of isolation from the kind of people who could help you make more of yourself. Seek these people and their counsel out.
You need a goal, but the more specific you make it, the easier it will be to develop a strategic plan.
Once you have this mission in place, you will know what you need and who you need to connect with.
Developing a successful networking plan absolutely requires that you have a mission in place.
Real leadership is highlighted by what people do because of you, not for you.
You need to visualize those below you as partners to be rallied towards achieving your and their long-term goals, and not simply as people who complete tasks for you.
You work for them just as much as they work for you.
When you genuinely want to help people, you will find they want to help you too.
However, when they can sense your interests are only self-serving, they will be looking for a way out.
The recurring theme throughout Never Eat Alone is that if you focus on helping others to reach their goals, you will continually build your network effectively and they will help you to reach your goals.
By making meaningful connections in the spirit of achieving mutual benefit with real solutions that solve real problems in ways that really help to make a real difference.
How you engage with your target audience is essential to building trust in relationships and because people buy from people they like, it makes sense to think of networking in the same way you think of making and keeping friends.
Building and maintaining meaningful relationships lays the foundation for ongoing mutual benefit and improvement within communities and industries.