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The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
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The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  551 ratings  ·  39 reviews

The small business guru behind "Duct Tape Marketing" shares his most valuable lesson: how to get your customers to do your best marketing for you.
The power of glitzy advertising and elaborate marketing campaigns is on the wane; word- of-mouth referrals are what drive business today. People trust the recommendation of a friend, family member, colleague, or even stranger
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Portfolio (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,653)
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Chad Warner
Sep 23, 2012 Chad Warner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chad by: Duct Tape Marketing
This is one of the best marketing books I’ve read! Jantsch, clearly a master marketer, shows how to guide prospects to you. How? Educate, and you won’t need to sell. He tells how to build a referral engine out of thrilled customers and an engaged network of partner businesses. He covers the concepts and many specific techniques for merging the authentic aspects of traditional marketing with online marketing and social media. The book is about more than getting referrals; it’s about running your ...more
Great book! Too much to absorb in two weeks, but alas, someone has a hold on it.

Ch 1
People need to make referrals--social capital, save each other time. Nobody talks about boring businesses, so be interesting! Be consistent. Use a system for marketing (figure out what works and develop a process around it). Focus on generating referrals--if you're interesting and good, and you have a system for getting them, you will get them.

Ch 2
Customers must trust you before they'll vouch for you. Be honest a
Some books are better as an audio book than others. I listened to this book but have it on order from Amazon because it has so many great ideas that I need a hard copy of the material to highlight and reference.

I really enjoyed listening to all the ideas. But now that I am done I really want to go through slowly and really digest the information.
Marc  Binkley
There are some very practical tips in this book for everyone. I picked up a few new ones myself. Having said this, it's not my favorite book.

The basic framework that John lays out is brilliant. Imagine you had every client refer your company and work backwards from there to map out the amazing experience you'd have to create to get there.

However while the volume of lists, websites and digital tools may be useful to some, but i found it overwhelming. Sometimes simpler is better. The tools and l
Joshua Steimle
If you're an entrepreneur running a service business, this is a must read. Seriously great advice, and not just about receiving referrals. It's about running your business so well that you end up getting a lot of referrals, but the details of the book are more about how to run your business that well.
Tim Rueb
Good book. I recommend it. I figured since I regularly listen to 'Duct Tape Marketing Podcast' I should also read (listen in this case) to the book as well. Well worth the time.
I really enjoyed this book, especially as I made it towards the end. There were so many creative ideas on how to stand out with your customers and strategic partners. For instance, it suggests how to increase your company's referrals, by helping your customers increase their referrals. There are many examples of tools you can use to manage referrals and track strong referrals vs. weak referrals.

Ironically, this book quotes The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann which I just read. It also
Chris Hilger
Many good little tips, but nothing over the top. A lot is rebadged content from Seth Godin and others like him
Really creative tips for small business owners. Although I found some of the advice to be impractical for large corporations, it's great for small to mid-sized businesses. Helped get the creative juices flowing for my own referral and marketing strategies.
LeikHong Leow
there are many good referral examples quoted in this book.

I think this is a good reference book, should you be in the situation you need a quick idea. This is a good book to keep.
Lanre Dahunsi

Referrals are about trust and relationship building, and nothing does that faster than showing someone that you are committed to finding ways to help them get what they need to succeed.

The Seven stages of referral development
• Know
• Like
• Trust
• Try
• Buy
• Repeat
• Refer

•There are three ingredients necessary for a rewarding and successful business experience: You must enjoy what you do and feel a sense of purpose; you must be good at what you do; and you must be able to convince other people to p
I am really puzzled how did this book get such good reviews.

The book is very shallow and lacks insights. He just keeps repeating lots of info about tools and tips of marketing your business, most of them are only doable for an online or tech-based business.
Moreover, it is in most of the times very unrealistic and assumes that the business can afford to run unprofitably for a long time just to build a base of loyal customers!

In short, skip it! There are lots of better books on the same topic.
Whether you own a business, run a business, are thinking of starting a business, or work within a business (I think that covers it) this book is a must-read. By the time I finished the book my brain was bursting with ways to turn a business into a lean, mean, referral machine. No joke, John talks about implementing referral marketing into every facet of your business and gives a ton of real-life examples of the strategies in action. I'll be reading it several times.
Sunshine Moore
Sep 02, 2013 Sunshine Moore is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am not going to give this one stars. We listened to the audiobook. Jake is getting quite a bit of inspiration out of it - maybe I should have him review it. For me, there isn't really much in it. Neither of us have backgrounds in business or marketing, so it seems like all of the suggestions are good ones. One thing that would be better, for us, is if it had more suggestions for our type of business. It seems very geared toward business that sell things.
Hussain Al-essa
You think you're a social butterfly? Why not leverage it in your own business? The Referral Engine books help you find better clients and narrow the cloud of potential anybodies down 'who would buy from you and what are they like' plus how to reach them. Word of mouth has always been the stronger medium due to power of context, John Jantsh is the person to go to in utilizing this medium.
Zach Brown
Referral Engine is a good follow up to Duct Tape marketing. I have used Duct Tape Marketing a TON in developing my marketing strategy and have used Referral Engine to refine it. The book was good, not great only because I think that Duct Tape Marketing covered most of what RE did and in more of an overview fashion, which is what I need at this point in time.
Alan Reeves
This book has tons of great ideas of how to encourage customers to refer your business. At the back of the book, there are several pages of specific examples and the businesses types that have used them. Ideas such as giving customers $5 off coupons to hand out. When the coupons are used, the customer that gave it out would also receive $5 off.
Jennifer Burke
A very worthwhile business book. Marketing, including advertising, PR & promotion all have their places in selling products or services. But Jantsch gets to the core that it's really 'word of mouth' that drives business. We do business with who we trust and like -- so if you are a business, work on being liked and trusted!
Natalie W
So, so many suggestions, techniques, and content here! I already feel the need to re-read it as I implement one thing at a time. Which incidentally, is how you have to read the book - listen to all the options and then pick one or two that work for you at the moment and make it happen. Then read again. ;-)
Marisa Black
I had the book for years. I read it, and it was good material but wasn't relevant to my life. Now that I'm 300 pages into my book and content, this book is saying everything that "content marketers" and new business model fanatics are saying. It was definitely before its time--four years before its time!
James Solano
There are some very good and very applicable strategies to improve your sales referrals.
Gail Klanchesser
I knew referrals were important to my business, but this book really helped to emphasize this. Some tips he provides are really for product based businesses. But as a service business owner I found some good advice and realized that I was already doing many of the things he suggests.
Rebecca Tolley-Stokes
I suppose if you are new to business and/marketing and lack common sense and/or social skills, this might be new information. So as an introductory text it is helpful, but regular business people or people who read widely in this genre will not find anything new here.
Guilherme Nunes
If you have to read one book on the topic you should go for: Word of Mouth Marketing by Andy Sernovitz.

The added value of the book is that it indacates a lot of ressources for tactical application and this makes it already worth the money.
Just like Duct Tape Marketing, this was filled with really practical, clear ideas. A lot of marketing books I've read are filled with generalizations and fuzzy explanations. This had very well explained action plans. Highly recommend.
Ryan Manganiello
Although it contain a few major spelling and repetitive sentence discrepancies, it was still a five star read due to its outstanding educational value.
Talks about marketing today online and how it has changed. It talks about stuff I noticed but never realized was part of the new style of marketing.
Jill M.
Not my just kept repeating itself. Still, it had valuable nuggets hidden it it. Looking forward to the next company book club pic!
Ruth Harper
Great advice in this book! I will be posting a review on my blog soon... I would recommend it for anyone in small business marketing, for sure.
Sarah Fowler
Quotable. Some new ideas, but mostly just GOOD ideas. Got me inspired to put a little of my marketing magic to work on my own business.
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