You can learn from a guy who has shaken more hands than you ever will.
In an excerpt from his New York Times bestseller, Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi describes networking techniques Bill Clinton practiced way back in 1968:
[While] a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, he met a graduate student named Jeffrey Stamps at a party. Clinton promptly pulled out a black address book.
“What are you doing here at Oxford, Jeff?” he asked.
“I’m at Pembroke on a Fulbright,” Jeff replied. Clinton penned “Pembroke” into his book, then asked about Stamps’s undergraduate school and his major.
“Bill, why are you writing this down?” asked Stamps.
“I’m going into politics and plan to run for governor of Arkansas, and I’m keeping track of everyone I meet,” said Clinton.
Even while an undergraduate at Georgetown, Clinton used index cards to record the vital stats about everyone he met each day.
Two take-away points: First, Clinton knew where he was headed. Second, he was genuinely interested in people, and that made him popular.
A quarter-century after that Oxford party, Clinton delivered his first inaugural address.