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171 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Honest Review
Customer Video Review     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."
Published on May 13, 2010 by John B. Spence

versus
53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Few Useful Chapters
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...
Published on October 10, 2010 by loka


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171 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Honest Review, May 13, 2010
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This review is from: The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself (Hardcover)
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
3.0 out of 5 stars A Few Useful Chapters, October 10, 2010
By 
loka (Hong Kong) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself (Hardcover)
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. It lacks a readily useable framework - the author does mention a "4Cs framework" - Content, Context, Connection and Community - but sadly the chapters are not organized around the 4Cs, in fact, they are rarely even mentioned throughout the book, and readers are left with the difficult task of figuring out which part of the book falls into which of the 4Cs.

To me, this book is quite a disappointment, especially when it has so many 5-star reviews.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Compliment To Duct Tape Marketing - A Must Read!, May 13, 2010
This review is from: The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself (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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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Referrals Matter, This Book Matters More, May 17, 2010
By 
Jim Kukral (Cleveland, OH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself (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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Referral Engine:Can't Do Any better Than This!, May 24, 2010
By 
Robert Metras (Cambridge,Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself (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.

I am struck throughout the book about how he practices what he preaches with highlights to other successfull marketers and clients that he has come across as a way to highlight his messages. Along this same line he talks to the need to give more than you get and outlines the effectiveness that this has, both short term and ling term.

By choosing your market differentiation as a service or product provider you can stand out and be the source of value for the customer through content,in providing solutions for their needs as well as being their trusted source of information on a regular basis.

The book gives you the basis for referral marketing, and provides building blocks of ideas versus a quick 1,2,3 do this plan. It builds on these building blocks to show you how to create a system that once established cannot be stopped.

If you need to step up your game with your business or practice this would be one of your best reads of the year. It gives you the theory, the practice and paints a clear picture for you. Can't ask more than that.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recipe for Marketing Success, May 13, 2010
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This review is from: The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself (Hardcover)
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." The underlying premise of this work is the need to create a company worth referring. The second key idea is that you get ahead by helping others first. We're encouraged to partner with other businesses, and to always be looking for ways to help others, to connect, to refer. There are no one-way streets in Jantsch world. You clearly give as well as get. The icing on this cupcake is the multitude of examples and references that help one understand just what all of this means and how it's done.

Then, once the underlying foundation is in place, Jantsch starts with the mechanics, and, unlike other "idea" based authors - many of whom I also love - Jantsch gets into the guts of the issue. Here's how. Here's where you go. Do this next. There's no sugar coating. This stage isn't about the tasty result. This is about the process. Jantsch doesn't just cover the need to blog, he starts at the basement. For example, from P. 131, "Keyword rich" covers the way you need to use keywords in your blog in order to make it accessible. Sure, you might want to buy another book just on SEO, but in this one section, Jantsch manages to succinctly distill the basics that you will need - including providing tools like [...] which will help you.

If you take all of this book to heart, and implement it fully, not only will you have a great referral machine, you'll have a great business. This one book may not have all the information you'll need to improve all of the other parts of your business, but it will help you identify parts that aren't working because they will keep you from being talk, or referral, worthy. This book, assuming one has an Amazon Prime membership - and every small business owner should - is $11.69 today, its release date. I'd be surprised if your return on investment wasn't at least 1,000 times that. On the other hand, you could order 20 to 30 other books to cover the various aspects covered here - and I would hope for that, you'd have greater results, but somehow I seriously doubt it.

I love this book, and I think you will too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever on referrals -- and I've read most of them, September 1, 2010
By 
Kevin Donlin (Twin Cities, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself (Hardcover)
Summary: I thought I knew just about everything about referrals and how to generate them. This book proved me wrong.

Simply put, if you're in a business that gets customers via referral, this may be one of the 3 or 4 most-valuable books you ever read.

Three takeaways from this book:

1. Referrals are too important to be left to chance.

If you're good at what you do and you follow the right strategy, you can produce referrals with regularity, like throwing sticks of TNT into a lake will bring fish to the surface (sorry, PETA).

The key: follow the right referral strategy. And Jantsch helps you do this, with exercises and case studies.

Example: Your "core talkable difference" about your company, which helps others refer you more easily, should elicit this sort of response: "Nobody does that!"

2. Let customers and vendors create attractive content.

You can use blogging and/or podcasting to make incredibly valuable connections with new customers and strategic partners.

It's simple: Call your best customers, interview them for 10-15 minutes about how your product/service helped them, and post the audio on your web site, blog, iTunes, and other spots online.

You get instant content that resonates with prospects considering your company. Plus, when your customer tells their friends to check out your interview of them, you get free, targeted web traffic.

Don't stop with customers, though. Interview your suppliers, non-competitors, vendors, and others. Anyone with an audience you want to reach is a potential interview candidate.

3. Exceed expectations.

"Here's one of my favorite techniques," writes Jantsch. "When a customer orders a product or engages your services, toss in something extra."

This is perhaps the easiest way to over-deliver and prime the referral pump.

Examples include the car dealer who delivers a balloon bouquet to the office of his customer ... who tells curious co-workers about his new car, which leads to referrals.

Or you can simply provide regular status updates to your customers -- when the product will arrive, what to expect when it does, etc.

There are more than three takeaways, of course. I especially liked the last chapter, Snack-sized Suggestions, with 51 different referral systems you can copy and use in one day. I once paid $99 for a set of 93 referral systems similar to these, so this chapter alone is a tremendous value.

I give this book 5+ stars for any smart business owner looking for a cost-effective edge in getting more clients and selling to them more often.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Book - Nothing about Referrals, August 31, 2011
By 
Lucas Rockwood (Koh Samui, Thailand) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself (Hardcover)
Really well written and some interesting company profiles and points, unfortunately, the author forgot to write about how to get referrals. How is that possible? I have no idea. My only guess is the publisher suggested a re-positioning of the book in the 11th hour. With a different title, might be a 5-star book, but you can't sell a doughnut and call it a burger.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need referalls!, May 13, 2010
This review is from: The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself (Hardcover)
I haven't made one cold call in years and that's how it should be. In John's new book "The Referral Engine," you'll learn how to create a business that sells itself. Why waste your time calling other people, when it's much easier to close sales when they call you? I don't read many books but this one struck a cord with me because I've noticed that if you make yourself referable, you are more likely to receive no potential client calls. John is obviously the king of doing this for small business, so this is more of a bible.
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Big Disappointment, June 2, 2010
This review is from: The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself (Hardcover)
I was really looking forward to this follow up to the author's masterpiece, Duct Tape Marketing. I gave up on The Referral Engine somewhere in chapter six. This volume is completely incoherent. There is nothing in this book (at least through chapter six) that would indicate it is a book about generating referrals. Also, the number of typographical errors is appalling. Save your money. If you really are a masochist and insist on struggling through this book, borrow it from a friend or the library.
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The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself by John Jantsch (Hardcover - May 13, 2010)
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