In Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi, a successful businessman and marketing expert, takes us through the secrets to successful networking. He focuses on building lasting relationships rather than merely exchanging business cards, which seems to be many people’s idea of networking today. He summarizes his findings in a system of tried and tested methods.
Many people fear rejection, and this fear can prevent them from approaching others and hence building a supportive network.
Fear of rejection is familiar to all of us and is nothing to be ashamed of. Few of us are natural networkers with the courage to approach strangers to try to win them over.
Yet there are a few tricks that can help even the most shy among us take that first big step:
And sooner or later, you simply have to take the plunge. Like with all things in life, the best way to learn is by practicing. It can be helpful, for example, to set yourself a target of getting to know one new person a week. Every little bit of experience and practice you gain will make building your network that much easier.
The fact that networking can be so easy on the one hand and so difficult on the other is perfectly demonstrated by the example of Keith Ferrazzi’s father. As a laborer of humble means, he wanted something more for his son, so he approached the only person he knew who might be of help: the head of the firm. In other words, his boss’s boss’s boss’s boss. The head of the firm was so impressed by his courage that he paid for Keith to attend the best school in the country.