There are two Stoney deGeyters. The first is the one you see at networking events and try to make small talk with. He’s awkward. The other is the guy you’ve known for a while and can have all kinds of conversations with ranging from time travel theory to the business applications of time travel. (And some other stuff too, I suppose.) The only thing awkward about him is his lack of filter when he talks. The book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi attempts to teach the first guy how to be the second guy. All the time.
I am not, by nature, an easy person to talk to. I don’t do small talk well, mostly because I’m not passionate about, well, the weather, I guess. Or whatever else it is you people talk about when making conversation and getting to know each other. That small talk stage of getting to know people is my Kryptonite. Knowing this about myself I picked up Never Eat Alone hoping that I’d learn a few things about how to get better at networking.
And I did! Unfortunately, though, for me–and if I were to have one criticism of the book, it’s this–it assumes that everyone can small talk. Almost all of the strategies provided in the book require this vital skill. While he never really mentions small talk directly (or the art of starting a conversation), Keith does provide some insight on what you can do to improve these skills. And it’s all about being prepared. Which is really what the book is about; preparing yourself to be a good relationship builder.
Never Eat Alone takes the reader through the tools, skills and mindset needed to be the type of networker that people actually want to connect with. You’ll learn how to build a genuine network of business assets relationships. (Hint: You need to make yourself a valuable asset to others!) Never Eat Alone provides lots of actionable ideas and strategies for the wannabe master networker like me. Just implementing a handful of these strategies will do wonders for anyone just starting out, and even seasoned business professionals that are looking to build a core of solid business relationships.