‘Skippy…Skippy…Skippy the bush kangaroo-oo’ – no I haven’t finally lost it, it’s just that that’s the tune that instantly pops into my head whenever I attend a Fresh meeting and see a ‘hub hopper’.
What’s a hub hopper you ask? A hub hopper is a serial visitor, someone who hops from hub to hub, never settling, never making a commitment, always moving on. They think that they can get the benefits of Fresh without making a
commitment. They’ve got more bounce than Skippy.
But guess what – they’re not true networkers and their strategy simply doesn’t work. Here’s why…
Business networking is based on relationships
In the hub hopper’s mind, the trick to networking is to keep going to business networking events, meet loads of people, hand out a card and…bingo, referrals come pouring in. But as any true networker will tell you, the secret to business networking success is relationships – getting together with the same people, time and time again. It’s about getting to know, like and trust them. You can’t possibly do that by going to a hub once, and then moving on.
Consistency builds trust
Building trust is at the heart of any good referral relationship – you’re simply not going to refer your valued clients, friends and contacts to someone unless you know 100% that they’re not going to let you down. Trust comes from consistency – if someone shows up actively participating in every meeting, you’ve got good reason to trust that they’ll do what they say they’ll do.
Building your business networking muscles
We all know someone who joined a gym for a short while and then stopped going, complaining that they hadn’t got that awesome gym body. We all know that getting toned comes from consistent, committed training, not just popping into the gym every now and then. It’s the same with our business networking ‘muscles’ – pitching, listening, presenting, referring, and Getting Fresh. These are skills that need to be honed, and it’s only with regular workouts that they get stronger.
Committed networkers are serious businesspeople
Yes, we like to have fun at Fresh, but true networkers take one thing seriously – business. We understand that business growth takes effort. So when we see a hub hopper, who dips in and out, and isn’t willing to make a commitment to the business networking group, we don’t see them as serious, and we’re less likely to refer to them.
Giving before receiving
Hub hoppers are looking for benefits – but true business networking success comes from putting others first, and giving before receiving. By investing the time to get to know your hub mates, you can think about what you can offer them.
One hit wonders
Hub hoppers are like the one-hit wonders of the music world – who remembers Patrick Hernandez, or The Buggles, or Aqua? You might know their songs if you heard them, but I bet you don’t remember their names or know anything about them. Hub hoppers turn up, have their 40 seconds of glory and are then relegated to Fresh history. They’re not remembered, and their names aren’t on anyone’s tongue when it comes to thinking about referrals.
Compare the one-hit wonders to the musicians who are there year in, year out, keeping the hits coming, building up a solid fan base. Think Kylie, think Beyonce, think Madonna. Artists who have sustained the journey for a long time, who are constantly working, seen and visible. That’s what Fresh is about – great business networking groups are made up of people who keep showing up, keep having referral hits, and whose name is on everyone’s tongue.
Networking takes time
I have seen first-hand that the really successful networkers are the ones who stick at it. Typically the benefits take an exponential curve upwards after the three-year mark. To continue the music analogy, year 1 is your first single – you’ve made an appearance, and you’re on people’s radar. But if you stop now, you’re just another Buggles, or Patrick or Aqua. In years two and three, you’re releasing your second and third albums, building your fan base.You’re seen as a serious musician, you’re visible, and you’re remembered. After the third year, you’re into legend territory – you’ve got a loyal fan following, everyone’s singing your songs, and they’re telling others how great you are. Now you’re Kylie!
Breaking the hub hopping habit
Maybe you recognise yourself as a bit of a hub hopper? Maybe you’re guilty of inviting someone time and time again, even though they don’t commit? So how do we break the hub hopping habit and get true business networking happening? The short answer is ‘Put a ring on it’. Make a commitment.
We’ve all met people in our personal relationships who are frightened of commitment (perhaps you’ve been one!). Hub hoppers are the business networking equivalent – scared to commit, wanting to ‘keep their options open’.
But business networking, just like a relationship, really does offer way more if you make a commitment. Our members not only grow their businesses, but they also learn new skills, gain confidence at speaking in front of an audience, get the satisfaction of helping others and make some fabulous friends.
So to you hub hoppers, I say ‘What are you waiting for? What are you scared of? Why not make a commitment and see how much more you can get from your networking?’ Check out some of our and see what a difference committing to Fresh has made to our members.
Don’t be a Skippy, make a commitment and become a successful true networker.