- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio; First Edition, 1st Printing edition (May 13, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591843111
- ISBN-13: 978-1591843115
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself Hardcover – May 13, 2010
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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.
"A swift, appealing read and a thorough primer on the power of letting your products and customers speak for themselves."
"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
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Top customer reviews
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.
As if you need persuasion, Jantsch first builds the case for why you need referrals in your business. That part seems like a "no-brainer" to me so I won't elaborate here. The next chapter is a "no-brainer" as well, but one often overlooked, and that is the importance of how employees view the importance of building referrals. This is a 3-pronged stool; the employee must know clearly what is expected, have the proper tools to do what is expected, and receive appropriate praise and feedback when expectations are met. This, of course, is predicated on the notion that your employees first believe in the company. If they truly believe that your company offers world class products or service, then they are doing a disservice to their customers by not asking them to refer their friends.
Chapter 3 examines the Path to Referral by introducing the 4 "C's" of marketing; content - context - connection - community. The question is posed, "Where does your company fit in?" Here we examine the customer life cycle and an expanded view of collaboration; collaborating with prospects, customers, staff and businesses within your network.
The next few chapters look at building a referral system that is right for you. Jantsch covers just about every aspect of referrals and sprinkles in plenty of real life business examples of these systems being successfully used.
Once you reach Chapter 10, your mind will be swimming with new ideas you want to implement right away, but Janstch leaves no stone unturned as here we look at what to do when referrals start coming in to do business with you. We look at what can be learned from these referrals and what to do at this point in the process. There are also some valuable resource links for online tools that will be essential for small businesses to build a successful referral network.
Chapter 11 looks at developing "Referral -specific Campaigns" such as landing pages, community events and exchanging services for advertising. Chapters 12 & 13 wrap things up with Snack-sized suggestions that looks at successful referral systems for specific types of businesses, with plenty of real-life examples, and a workshop for putting it all to work for you.
This book has been a pleasure to read and I've learned a lot from it. I have only one knock on the book. Mr. Jantsch desperately needs an editor. The work is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors and typos. If you can overlook that, this gook is a gem.