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Never Eat Alone is a rare, detailed glimpse into how those with no special access can connect to those they want to meet. For many people who are good at connecting, this activity becomes a way of life. It's a profession and a hobby. As such, connecting can become all consuming. Many will find that aspect of Mr. Ferrazzi's story to be unattractive. But I found his candor in this regard to be refreshing.
If you step back from his enthusiasm for connecting, the mental attitudes and processes he describes are just what everyone needs to use who wants to be better connected and accomplish more.
All of us know more than any one of us. If you take two equally talented young people in any field, the one who is better at connecting will live a more successful life than one who tries to go at everything as a lone ranger.
I have known dozens of master connectors. They all do some variation of what Mr. Ferrazzi describes in this book. Here is how I would distill those lessons:
1. Decide who you want to meet to further your objective of accomplishing more.
2. Learn more about the person.
3. Find what you can do to help that person in an area where they care.
4. Develop a strategy to meet briefly face to face.
5. Share what you want to do to help when you meet.
6. Stay in touch with more ways to help.
7. Attend events where other master connectors attend and link into fields which are not naturally yours by becoming acquainted with these master connectors.
8. Study those who are very good at this.
If you keep in mind the sheer pleasure of making a difference as you do this, you'll soon be a superb connector. I recommend undertaking this task on behalf of something you are passionate about such as a charity you support.
One of the best parts of this book is that Mr. Ferrazzi is generous in sharing his mistakes. The world doesn't end for you as a connecting queen or king if you offend a poo-bah. You just pick yourself up and do better next time.
I liked his humility about his limitations in other fields. Peter Drucker would have approved of Mr. Ferrazzi's decision to work on what he has a talent and love for, connecting, rather than try to become more competent at things that are difficult and unpleasant for him . . . like quantitative analysis. The story about how he got his start at Deloitte is worth the price of the book.
Another strength of the book can be found in the excellent description of why people find President Clinton to be so compelling in person.
Skip books about networking and relationship building. Read Never Eat Alone instead!
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on 17 May 2005
An excellent introduction to, and perspective on, the 'art' of networking. Rec. to me by a friend after watching him in action at a convention in the U.S. I bought it at the airport & had read most of it on the return flights to Ireland. I just couldn't put it down and wished I'd read it earlier.
Even the title conveys a subtle message and indicates an interesting read rather than just 'How to Network' which it could have been called. You don't have to be in Sales or Marketing to read it - I'm not - it explains how some people network badly by being selfish and self promoting and valuable points on networking 'etiquette'.It helps you not to be a 'wallflower' in a room full of strangers - without being over bearing and trying to collect a fistful of business cards. Rather the authors concentrate on the 'personal' touches, so, if you are looking for deep rooted theories and phrases to 'learn' its not for you.It does indicate the right buttons to push and how to treat people - no matter what their position - in a polite and courteous manner to maximise results.
A great read truly reccommended.
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on 26 April 2009
Never eat alone is a well written, interesting guide on both the benefits and mechanisms of Networking. I particularly like the authors confession as to never having attended a networking event. I can sympathise with this - the networking events I have attended in the past have involved a string of people trying to sell me things.

One of my concerns though, is this guy networks 24/7. In one area he mentions the breakdown of his marriage - perhaps he is a bit networking obsessed and should consider a more balanced measure of success.

Still, a great read with many good suggestions. I have two massive stumbling blocks with networking - fear of talking to strangers and procrastination. I'm sure if I could overcome the first the second would follow - and I'm not sure how much this book has helped me with this.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 8 February 2015
‘Never Eat Alone’ written by Keith Ferrazzi back in 2005 is one the business books that somehow survived the test of time because what the author was talking it’s still valid today in business only by yourself, without the people that surrounds and supports you, and what could be a better place for socialization than the plates during lunch, summer, autumn…

The edition released this year is not only way for publisher to get some more money, but actually it comes with updated content both in content and scope, therefore as result the book is now 400 pages long compared to the original 300 pages.

In the very beginning author presents two crucial things – networking became one of the common used words these years, seen as inherently human pursuit that drive human development and collaborative economy; and second, he presents a formula of success in life as combination of the people you meet in your life and the things you do together.

The author in introduction chapter emphasizes the main goals of his book such as creation of fulfilling, authentic, effective networking strategy, building and aligning social capital in order to achieve ambitions goals, combine strategy and serendipity to keep in constant contact wide a wide network of people, and others.

Book is divided into five main chapters, listed in order: The mind-set, The skill set, Turning connections into compatriots. Connecting in the digital age and Trading Up and giving back, that each speak about the particular aspect of becoming successful maintaining the relationships with people in your vicinity.

Overall, the book provided the many details which together make a decent guide of own network improvements and personal soft skill virtue of relationship building.
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on 29 August 2015
As one of those poor beleaguered folks who falls into Mr Ferrazzi’s “connector” category, I see all the techniques and tricks promulgated by this author on an almost daily basis. In fact, my motive for reading was to try and gain some insight into why the sort of crass behaviour recommended in this book is so common in today’s business climate. This author tells us that his father talked him into a smart prep school and got him a job caddying at the local country club. He then attended both Harvard and Yale and so started out with one of the best alumni networks in the world. After a short (and unremarkable) career in Marketing, he had an even shorter spell as the CEO of YAYA (never heard of it, can’t find it) and then turned to writing/promoting himself 24/7. Read if you must.
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on 29 April 2009
As a knowledge worker who dies all of his work by referral I thought I was pretty practiced in the art of networking but this book gave me some top tips for building up my contacts, pinging, handwritten notes all of which I am using to great effect. I bought mine used, it arrived in excellent condition but trust me now it's looking a little dog eared as I have referred to it so much. A must buy!
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on 2 February 2006
I read this book during last week of Dec ( christmas break) and was very impressed. In fact, I was so inspired that I made few new year resolutions on the same line as Mr. Keith and I am happy to say that the results are starting to show.
I work in sales and some of the idea picked up from this book have been really useful. The networking action plan is a real gem (as with many things in life simple but very few people implement it).
If you want to buy one good book today, I would recommend you buy this one.
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on 17 July 2008
If your a foodie like me then this book will give you an easy way to network. Sit at the dinner table with colleagues and clients and do everything exactly the way he describes to you in the book. The stories are short and to the point and when put into real life they actually work....Go on buy a copy (****)
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on 21 July 2007
I read Never Eat Alone after attending a Keith Ferrazzi seminar. So I was already familiar with his approach to networking. The book provides a deeper and more structured perspective to relationship management in various settings - in the office, before/during/after a seminar, on the plane and many more.

My main takeaway from the book has been 'even very small details make a big difference to build your network and you should build it before you need it'. 'Do your homework, share your passions, follow up or fail, build your brand' are some great sections from the book - very useful and practical.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 January 2014
The author - Keith Ferrazzi - is one of those 'super connectors', or put differently, one of the people who always know everybody and who get ahead more through networking and interpersonal excellence than through analytical prowess. In this book he packages up lots of useful advice on how to transition from leading a wallflower existence towards achieving more through cooperative efforts.

This is not to say that reading of the book will per se make you a networking wizard but at least many of the necessary steps for getting there will be laid out and described, the rest being mostly down to getting out there and doing it.

The book covers a wide variety of topics, including upward as well as horizontal and downward management (as the author correctly concludes from his own experience, upward management on its own falls woefully short), subjects such as mentoring, publicity, writing, network maintenance activities, and many more.

The examples given are almost exclusively from the author's own experience, with some limited research findings thrown in on occassion. This is not to say that the findings are any less valid for that, even though the author admits himself that his is not the only possible way.

If you are an experienced manager and / or networker, there may be little in here that is fundamentally new. At the same time, the content is reasonably well packaged, easy to read and sufficiently comprehensive and the book is likely to be a very helpful guide to readers about to enter the job market or being in their early professional career.

Some may be a bit put off by the author's style (somewhat too often praising himself) and the fact that parts come across as a thinly veiled advertorial for his consulting services. A more general area for improvement in my opinion is the light 'ageing' of the advice - not that it is in any way obsolescent but a chapter or so on how some of the lessons can be usefully applied in today's 'compliance' obsessed business world, where many large companies get a shock of occurences as common as business lunches or conference invitations, would certainly be a welcome addition (and bring the book that much closer to five star status in my opinion).

In the end, experienced networkers will likely find much confirmation of what they do and aspiring ones potentially be helped in avoiding unnecessary mistakes and being more successful at it sooner after reading this book - so you can hardly go wrong with giving it a try.
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