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
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.
I was so excited to get this book that I bought the Kindle version rather than waiting for a physical copy (and I actually LOVE the feel of books). I was very disappointed, particularly because it had gotten such great reviews here. The information was extremely basic -- maybe there are people out there at the very beginning stages of thinking about referrals, and this book might be useful for them. But then it should say so! I found very little that I could take away, and nothing that I hadn't heard of or thought about before.
I haven't read any of the author's other books, but I have heard of duct work marketing, which gave him some measure of credibility with me. I don't think he lived up to my faith in him at all. His heart didn't seem to be in this. He talks about giving value and our best work, but I just can't believe this was his best effort. He couldn't have reached the level of credibility he has by consistently giving such mediocre work.
I don't like to bash other writers, and I don't think that's what I'm doing here. I just would have liked to have known this book was so elementary, and so . . . lackluster.
Unfortunately, it's been used before ... the idea/concept of forcing your business to generate leads automatically through Word-of-Mouth (a book I highly recommend, BTW). At first, I thought the author might have a different slant on it. The book just did not hold my interest past the first few chapters.
To be honest, it's been awhile since I tried to read this book so I can't remember the exact details, but I didn't even finish the book. As a somewhat experienced business owner, I was looking for tips to improve business. Some of the stuff was common sense, a little bit of it was helpful, and a lot of it was fluff. I remember thinking this book was unbelievably cheesy and I threw it away (which I don't often do). I think if you want to improve your marketing, it's a lot better to find a mentor for advice on how they were successful. No offense to the author, but I just don't remember finding anything in the book that made it worth the buy.
The Referral Engine contains very little useful or surprising information. Presumably, any reader would already have figured out that referrals are a good thing, which is why the reader bought the book in the first place. Even so, the author spends a long, long time rambling on about how important referrals can be. I didn't find a useful tip on actually generating referrals until page 104 -- everything before that was vague or common sense. He has some interesting things about blogging and referrals, but really if you are looking for a how-to book this really won't satisfy. You can find more book reviews by me by searching for ''goldenrulecomics'' on hubpages.com.