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The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself Hardcover – May 13, 2010


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The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself + Duct Tape Marketing Revised & Updated: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide + The Commitment Engine: Making Work Worth It
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (May 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843115
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As lean times force businesses to reduce advertising and marketing budgets, more and more companies are trying to develop new clients through word-of-mouth referrals. Jantsch (Duct Tape Marketing) champions such an approach, asserting that many widely referred businesses do very little when it comes to traditional advertising and that happy customers and actively engaged partners account for a great deal of their efforts. According to Jantsch, referral behavior is a primal activity rooted in our survival instinct and satisfying our need to connect with other people and mint social currency. Jantsch offers practical solutions on how to build a powerful referral engine by developing a systematic, consistent, and replicable approach and exploiting content, using social networking, and building strategic partnerships. He illustrates his points with examples from such companies as work clothing manufacturer Carhartt with its Tough Jobs blog; Southwest Airlines, which relies heavily on hiring the right people to be the champions of the brand; and TerraCycle, a recycling company whose nontraditional business practices generated word-of-mouth attention. A swift, appealing read and a thorough primer on the power of letting your products and customers speak for themselves. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A swift, appealing read and a thorough primer on the power of letting your products and customers speak for themselves."
-Publishers Weekly


"Frankly, I had no idea how John was going to top Duct Tape Marketing. The book is a classic. But with The Referral Engine, John puts you in the driver's seat and shows you the steps to achieving marketing success without a huge budget. Go no further. Buy this now."
-Chris Brogan, coauthor of Trust Agents


"I don't think there are many people who know more about small business marketing than John does, and I'm certain that there's no one more generous in sharing tips and insights. What, exactly, are you waiting for? This book will pay for itself in one day."
-Seth Godin, author of Linchpin


"For Zappos, part of delivering a great customer experience means developing personal and emotional connections, both with employees and customers. These are the types of connections people talk about with their friends and family. This book will show you how to give people something to talk about."
-Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com


"Who knew that there's a science to referrals? Not I-but now that I know, I want you to benefit from John's expertise. In a sense, a jacket blurb is the ultimate referral, and I'm here to blurb this book because it will help you succeed in business."
-Guy Kawasaki, cofounder of Alltop

More About the Author

John Jantsch has been called the World's Most Practical Small Business Expert for consistently delivering real-world, proven small business marketing ideas and strategies.

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and best selling author Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine.

He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System and Duct Tape Marketing Consulting Network that trains and licenses small business marketing consultants around the world.

He frequently consults with small and mid-sized businesses helping them create marketing plans and organized marketing systems that smooth the way for steady growth.

Customer Reviews

I recommend The Referral Engine to any small business owner.
Amazon Customer
I listened to it originally on an audio book, then bought the paperback so I could read it and take notes.
Michigan Guy
The book is well written and extremely easy to read and understand.
John Chancellor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

172 of 190 people found the following review helpful By John B. Spence on May 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 1:04 Mins
I have read more than 100 business books a year for the last 21 years -- and here is my review on "The Referral Engine."
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By loka on October 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has 13 chapters (the last chapter gives an overall view). I would have to agree with what fellow reader S. A. Mccullough (who gave this book a 1-star rating) said with regards to the first 5 chapters of the book - incoherent and has little to do with referral generation.

Real juice flows from the following chapters:
6. Using valuable content as marketing material
7. How to use Social Media, Blogs and tools like podcast and videos to engage customers
9. How to form win-win partnership with other businesses (both closely related and remote) to generate referrals to both partners

However, if you have read books like Get Content Get Customers : Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing; Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000: Running a Business in Today's Consumer-Driven World; Word of Mouth Marketing, Revised Edition: How Smart Companies Get People Talking like I did, then I can assure you that the ONLY chapter you would find useful and new is Chapter 9 (how to form win-win partnership for referral generation). If you have not read these books, then The Referral Engine might be a good overall guide for you (but still, skip chapters 1 to 5) and that is why, assuming you haven't read those books, I gave it 3 stars.

2 stars have to be taken away regardless of whether you are new to the topic of referral generation or not due to the book's poor organization.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mike Michalowicz on May 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have read countless books on marketing and sales. From Purple Cow to all the Zig Ziglar... and all of them have truly great theory. John's books takes the theories and puts the rubber to the road. I found Duct Tape Marketing to be a step by step guide to small business marketing. Referral Engine took it to a whole new level. It addresses the most important marketing method head on - referrals. There is no better marketing in the world, then a new prospect learning about you from their trusted friend or family member. John's book shows you how to do it over and over again. This book is not only a must read, it is a "must keep with you at all times" book.

Mike Michalowicz
Author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jim Kukral on May 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Length: 2:44 Mins
John has crafted a strong message for all of us who want to stop spending millions on advertising that doesn't produce results. That message is, use the power of referrals to drive more sales and leads for your business or brand. It's not that hard either, if you know how to do it. The Referral Engine will tell you what to do. Buy this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert Metras on May 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
What keeps entrepreneur's up at night? What is the one thing that makes you sweat and worry.
If you are like most small business people it is your need for a steady flow of good customers and the rewards, both financial and satisfaction that it brings.

I got to know John from his original bookDuct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide and from his podcast on the Itunes platform. That encouraged me to get to know a bit more about this easily understood, practical marketing pro and to consume more of his useful information. The The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself is his latest work.

I agree with Seth Godin,the marketing guru of our time, when he says on the cover notes "This book will pay for itself in one day".

John goes through a physiological explanation of why we are hard wired already to make referrals. "We register pleasure in doing good and being recognized for it, and it's home to the need to belong to something greater than ourselves. This is the social drive for making referrals."

Why you need this book is simple; while businesses get referrals the majority of them do not have a system for doing it. It is the system and its implementation for referral creation that generates overwhelming success.

John is after all, a systems driven guy himself in how he conducts his own marketing business and it is this simple adherence to marketing systems that will help the reader achieve success.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joy on May 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There's nothing totally unique about any one idea in "The Referral Engine." There's nothing unique about a 5lb. bag of sugar either. Of course that bag of sugar could be in the hands of a skilled pastry chef - or it could be in mine. I can tell you there's a pretty big difference. John Jantsch is the Head Chef of Marketing. He has an almost magical way of accumulating massive quantities of more basic ideas, sifting them, combining them in perfect proportions, and then turning them into recipes for delicious success. The end result almost defies identification of those original ingredients. A great chef understands every tool, and exactly what his oven will do at each temperature. John Jantsch understands small business owners to the extent he crawls right inside our heads to tweak attitudes - and he does it by slowly building a case logically, step by step, until you can't help but agree with what has just become so obvious.

In "Referral Engine" one of the first things he tackles is a business owner's reluctance to ask for referrals. I know that until I was exposed to Jantsch's material, I hated it! I expected my clients to love me and spread the love without me asking - and in fact, often times that did happen. No matter how good you think you are now, if you're like me, you have no idea how great your untapped potential in this area is.
I think the thing I like most about Referral Engine, and Jantsch's work in general, is that there is no dishonesty, no gimmicks, no use of trickery. I've always believed the path to success lies in creating a great product or service for which one charges a fair price. It's an approach built on creating a great product or service to begin with. Jantsch shares that approach. For example, Chapter 5 is titled "Your Authentic Strategy.
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