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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

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3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  985 Ratings  ·  55 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
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ebook, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Portfolio (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Chad Warner
Nov 17, 2016 Chad Warner rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Cara
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
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Elizabeth
Jan 22, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
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.
Dave
Sep 04, 2015 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been so "proud" of not presenting myself as an expert in my field.
This book without saying so- truly presents why referrals are as natural to human beings as breathing.
Please read this book.It may wake you up.
Oleh Myroshnichenko
This book gives a lot of practical things for business promotion. Recommended.
Molly McCowan
Nov 15, 2016 Molly McCowan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, business
Wow! I blew through this book (in a good way). I had heard some of its ideas before, but reading them in more detail was very interesting and relevant to my business. The author gives a TON of great ideas for new ways to market your company, and I came away feeling reinvigorated and inspired.
Abhi Yerra
Oct 26, 2016 Abhi Yerra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though the book is a little dated it has really made me think about content as a valuable marketing source. Many of the companies I like seem to always put out good content that I can reference or go to. Definitely a part of marketing that I should have taken into account earlier.
Nick Armstrong
Nov 20, 2016 Nick Armstrong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Filled with actionable tips; actually have to go back and review the action items on this one.
Stan Skrabut
Oct 15, 2016 Stan Skrabut rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
What if you created a business that automatically referred business to itself? What if we could get current customers to send new clients to our business? John Jantsch believes that this is not only possible but very much doable. In his book,The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself*, he provided guidance for creating a referral process within the business process.

"Human beings are physiologically wired to make referrals" (Jantsch, 2012, p. 3).

While I was reading this book, I
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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
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David
Jul 19, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
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
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Lanre Dahunsi
Jun 25, 2013 Lanre Dahunsi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
...more
Omar
Aug 09, 2012 Omar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Cory Huff
Sep 10, 2015 Cory Huff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-goal, automation
When I started reading this I had just barely crossed the threshold of a business betsy's regular repeat customers and generate more revenue than actually need for my family. I took two pages of notes that were sparked by this book.

I feel like this book would be a handy reference book for any business book library. There so many ideas on how to generate referrals, you can't possibly implement all of them after one reading of the book.
Evie Burke
11/2013: Didn't like. Focused on online methods mostly - what to have set up. Was looking for more off line, in person suggestions. Skimmed it. No notes taken
6/22/2014: Liked it better the second time around. Gets better from chapter 8 on. Not my favorite, but a good read and way to pop ideas. Also, probably written by an extrovert for extrovert. I don't think I would be comfortable with some of the methods, they're not bad, just not for me.
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.
Dustin
Jan 19, 2016 Dustin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Hussain Al-essa
Oct 26, 2011 Hussain Al-essa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 07, 2011 Zach Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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!
Josh Steimle
Jun 29, 2014 Josh Steimle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Marisa Black
Jun 15, 2013 Marisa Black rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Natalie W
Sep 05, 2012 Natalie W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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. ;-)
Alan
May 31, 2013 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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.
Sarah
Aug 02, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite how fast technology changes -- and thus requires marketers to adapt to benefit from those changes -- this book offers some evergreen knowledge about referrals and the power of them for your business.
Ryan
Jun 24, 2016 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book on the referral mindset. I learned many new things and further solidified others I have know for years. I highly recommend this book to anyone in the sales or marketing field, as well as to any entrepreneur.
Trish
May 31, 2015 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was much different than what i was expecting from the title, but it is definitely one of the better marketing books I have read. If you are trying to grow a community, start a business, or start a new event, this is a must read.
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