The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself Hardcover – 30 Jun 2011
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John Jantsch, already one of the nation's acknowledged leading authorities on referral generation, has taken his game to an entirely new level. The Referral Engine is a must read for anyone and everyone whose business could benefit from a steady, increasing stream of A-list, high-quality referrals. And I cannot think of a single business that doesn't qualify for that. (Bob Burg, coauthor of The Go-Giver and Go-Givers Sell More)
About the Author
J. C. Carleson worked for Starbucks (corporate), Baxter International and Tektronix prior to leaving the private sector to enter the Central Intelligence Agency's elite clandestine service. She was an undercover CIA officer for eight years.
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Top customer reviews
John Jantsch makes brilliant use of the engine metaphor when explaining how to formulate a strategy that drives a system that "compels customers and partners to voluntarily participate in marketing, to create positive buzz about the given products and services to friends, neighbors, and colleagues." In other words, to create or increase demand for whatever is offered by including within its marketing initiatives the active involvement of what Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba characterize as "customer evangelists." The "referral engine" really is a process rather than a mechanism. Despite what this book's subtitle claims, no business can be "taught to market itself" any more than a piano can be "taught to play Bach." However, as Jantsch explains, an organization's leaders [begin italics] can [end italics] devise and then execute the aforementioned strategy.
He cites five (actually six) of the realities to be accommodated: People male referrals because they need to ("We rate and refer as a form of survival, and, to build our own form of social currency"), All business involves risk (hence the importance of "a trust-building approach to marketing"), Nobody talks about boring businesses ("And you're probably boring on purpose" to play it safe), Consistency builds trust ("Commitment to a remarkable difference demonstrates that yours is not a gimmick"), and Marketing is a system (However, "there is no one system that works for everyone"; actually, there is another, the most tragic referral reality of all: "How can a business owner know that word of mouth is so powerful and then do so little to take advantage of it?"
These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye, also listed to suggest the scope of Jantsch's coverage.
o Staff as customer, and, Hire for fit (15-18)
o A culture of buzz (23-24)
o Meet the Four Cs of marketing (33-37)
o An expended view of collaboration (49-53)
o Fulfilling the promise (63-66)
o Visualizing the ideal customer (73-76)
o Referral brand elements ( 80-82)
o The secret sauce: TIHWDIH
o Note: This is how we do it here (83-84)
o Your strategy action plan (90-91)
o Content is the most trusted form of advertising (101-103)
o Your content action plan (114-115)
o Hidden benefits of blogging (126-128)
o A social media system example, and, Your convergence action plan (144-147)
o The ultimate measure of marketing success (160-161)
o How to activate your network (179-183)
With meticulous care, John Jantsch presents a framework - beginning with a set-up of [the aforementioned] realities - a set of overarching strategies, high- and low-tech engagement tools, and a methodology for finding the perfect culture of referral in almost any organization, whatever its size and nature may be. That said, he adds, "the ideal referral system, based on a strategy that gets people voluntarily talking about your business, can eliminate the need to ever actually ask for referrals again." Meanwhile, this book will help you to craft such a strategy so that your employers, friends, and neighbors as well as customers become your "evangelists."
If your business is like mine with customers at the heart of everything you do you will love this book, if on the other hand your business doesnt function with customers at its heart then you simply wont get this book.
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