The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself

Image of The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
Release Date: 
September 24, 2012
Reviewed by: 

As a follow-up to his wildly successful Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch’s newest book, The Referral Engine, manages to build on his previous success with a book that is not only a worthy successor, but also a strong business marketing book on its own merits.

The tenet of his book is simple: cultivating your customers to become your biggest champion results in both higher customer satisfaction and greater business returns. Considering that business luminaries such as Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, David Meerman Scott, and Tony Hsieh have all given their stamps of approvals on Referral, Jantsch lays out his “Six Elements” of a business, marketing, and referral system that includes:

1.     Your strategy action plan

2.     Your content action plan

3.     Your convergence action plan

4.     Your direct customer network plan

5.     Your indirect partner network plan

6.     Your ready-to-receive action plan

Replete with examples of small and large companies exploiting the concepts laid out in the book, you are cautioned to read the book in front of a connected computer because you’re going to want to see Sweetriot’s logo, or check out—just two of the numerous examples from Referral. Moreover, Jantsch gives proper due to social media such as Facebook and newer technologies such as Microsoft’s bing.

In fact one of the most compelling reasons to pick up the book is its timeliness and sheer number of easily accessible real-life examples of companies that practice what he —and they—preach.

Finally Jantsch ends his book with his clever “Snack-Sized Suggestions” providing tactics and ideas for specific occupations and industries as well as a “Workshop” which provides a detailed outline for the aforementioned six elements.

All this is not to say The Referral Engine is perfect; a number of items seem to be rehashings of other books: his “three ingredients necessary” for a successful business sounds exactly like the Jim Collins's good-to-great Three Circles, while his caution to “be the red leaf” echoes Seth Godin’s Purple Cow.

Still, it could just be that these are merely universal truths that Jantsch and others recognize as necessary for today’s modern and connected businesses where your reputation is only a click away.

If you never had a chance to read Duct Tape Marketing, The Referral Engine shows just why Jantsch is such a well-respected business writer.

Reviewer Logan Lo is a small business consultant under the guise of an intellectual property attorney and a certified general real estate appraiser. He is currently an associate at the commercial litigation firm Woods & Lonergan in their Intellectual Property and Real Estate Practices.