Networking Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

The fact is, networking truly is a marathon of an endeavor–it’s most definitely not a sprint.  I have met so many people who practice what I call ‘hyperactive networking’ and they mistakenly approach networking at the speed of an all-out sprint–they want to be absolutely everywhere and meet absolutely everyone and they go, go, go ALL of the time until they soon inevitably burn out, ‘collapse,’ and give up.

It’s a real shame because if these people would, from the beginning, just slow down and take the time to develop a networking strategy and understand that networking takes time, patience, hard work, dedication, commitment, and endurance, they would be reaping great rewards from their networking efforts instead of exhausting themselves with nothing to show for it in the end.

Networking at its core is about taking the time to build genuine, trusted relationships.  Sure, visibility is important, but without building trust right along with it, visibility won’t get you very far in the long run.  You can run around all day long going to networking events and shaking people’s hands, but if you’re not spending time following up and developing trust with the people you meet, then you haven’t really achieved much of anything that will actually give you results from your networking efforts–do not confuse activity with accomplishment. 

So, what are your tactics for pacing yourself in the marathon of networking?  What actions do you take to strategically build relationships?  I’d love to hear from you so please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment forum below–thanks!

6 thoughts on “Networking Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

  1. I agree, if you’re not spending time following up and developing trust with the people you meet. I think mastering the follow up is key. What do you feel is the best way to manage contacts that you meet networking?

  2. Hi Ivan,

    I’ve been reading a lot of your content and see that you’re focused on highlighting the long term value of networking. I too believe that networking is lifelong process which you can learn to optimize over time, but there’s no real short cut. As a younger professional, I didn’t really see any of the benefits of networking until the last few years. Now I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that is focused on helping people grow better relationships.

    If there’s one networking habit that someone could do every single day, what would you say that might be? Would love to hear your thought on this topic.

    All the best and look forward to more great content!
    Kevin Hurley

  3. Good video. This is so true. I have met many people who think it is a sprint. One lady attended several networking events each month. I was the director of her BNI chapter and spoke with her several times over a 2 year period of time. She visited the chamber in the next county and they told her, you need to meet James Barber, he is one of our ambassadors. She called me and tried to sell me her service. I explained to her that I have known her for at least 2 years and was her BNI director. Afterwards, she was somewhat embarrassed. She was a beehive of activity but very little honey was being produced.

  4. It is applicable in the virtual world too. Specially on LinkedIn, People try to do business without having to build credibility first. Thank you for reminding us again.

  5. Your words couldn’t be more true! I have been teaching this philosophy to my clients for the last several years. It’s about building true, genuine relationships and fostering those relationships. Thank you for that video.

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