• The Referral Engine

  • Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
  • By: John Jantsch
  • Narrated by: John Jantsch
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (647 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 with similar tastes over anything thrust at them by a faceless company.

Most business owners believe that whether customers refer them is entirely out of their hands. But science shows that people can't help recommending products and services to their friends - it's an instinct wired deep in the brain. And smart businesses can tap into that hardwired desire.

Marketing expert John Jantsch offers practical techniques for harnessing the power of referrals to ensure a steady flow of new customers. Some of Jantsch's strategies include:

  • Talk with your customers, not at them. Thanks to social networking sites, companies of any size have the opportunity to engage with their customers on their home turf as never before-but the key is listening.
  • The sales team is the most important part of your marketing team. Salespeople are the company's main link to customers, who are the main source of referrals. Getting them on board with your referral strategy is critical.
  • Educate your customers. Referrals are only helpful if they're given to the right people. Educate your customers about whom they should be talking to.

The secret to generating referrals lies in understanding the "Customer Referral Cycle". Businesses can ensure a healthy referral cycle by moving customers and prospects along the path of Know, Like, Trust, Try, Buy, Repeat, and Refer. If everyone in an organization keeps this sequence in mind, Jantsch argues, your business will generate referrals like a well-oiled machine.

©2010 John Jantsch (P)2010 Gildan

What listeners say about The Referral Engine

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A misleading Title results in a hidden gem

I've seen this book so many times and thought of purchasing it in print form. I've read so many books on network marketing and thought this book was another. I was hooked to this book, it was nothing as I expected. It gave me great business ideas, and shines a whole new light on working for referrals. I would recommend this book to any small business owner looking for creative ways to gain business through referrals.

Loved it.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Purple cow on steroids

This is probably the most beneficial marketing book I have read so far. If you have read Purple Cow, this book takes that concept further and focuses on real techniques on how to get people to refer you business.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, easy read/listen, huge amount of info

I enjoyed the Referral Engine very much. It's a quick read/listen and is easy to have on during commutes or while excercising. It definitely gives you an almost overwhelming amount of info on how to create a successful referral system for your business. We all know referrals are often the best kind of customers. Who wouldn't want more? This book shows you how to get them easily.

If you read it once, it can be overwhelming, so just take what pieces work for you. Read it again and focus on those pieces.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

May i be the 1st Referral!!

What an amazing Book!! i believe everyone should read this!! I am in the Insurance Industry in Greece and the story the author has included concerning the Insurance industry in the beginning of the book fit my experience so far!! so i decided to change this and try what he suggests!! will keep you informed on the results!!keep up the great work!! will be referring this book often!!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Packed full of getting it done

Jantsch has written a fantastic book about building a business based on referrals. The book is packed with idea after idea for helping your customers refer you to other customers.

If you've already read "The Ultimate Question" then this is the other half. Why just ask how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague if you don't then ask them to actually get up and make that referral.

My current fave: "You're going to like our product so much that in 30 days I'm going to come back and ask you to introduce me to three friends or colleagues that could also benefit from our product"

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Shallow

The book is very shallow and lacks insights. He just keep 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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Synthesized on and offline networking

John Jantsch has done a great job at synthesizing the soft-skills of real world networking with the overview of the online landscape and best practices in networking online. It inspires quick action, but also in thoughtful content creation that generates inbound traffic are beneficial for business owners. I enjoyed the author reading of this book as well.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Practical & Inspirational Ideas

This book is a great way to "warm-up" or get in the "mood" for a Brainstorming session. The examples are solid and practical in most business segments (Retail, Service, Professional, etc). The reading was also very good.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

This guy is a fool. Don't waste your money.

What disappointed you about The Referral Engine?

He has no idea. He proudly relays the time of when he went into a company and told all their sales people not to attempt to make a sale for 6 months. He says he was fired immediately. Businesses can't afford to not make sales for 6 months - that would kill pretty much any business. I would have fired him too. He goes on to say how the business was totally wrong and they should have listened to him. What an idiot!

He goes on and on about this technology, this website, one's that we've all heard about, and he tells you as though it's the greatest thing on earth. I was so bored with him regurgitating obvious information about the world that I gave up. Go and write something original mate.

What could John Jantsch have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Get over himself

Would you listen to another book narrated by John Jantsch?

Not a chance.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment and boredom.

Any additional comments?

I don't normally write reviews but this guy was such an idiot, I had to warn others.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

So good I bought the book

This book has a wealth of information for the person running there own business. If you have been in business for any lenght of time you have learned that getting referrals is the one the best business building tools there is and this book give your a wealth of great ideas, from very specific to the basic idea that you need a business that people will talk about. You can have a good business, do everything that you are supposed to but if you don't have a little flair in your business your not giving people a reason to talk about you. This book was such a good listen that I went out and got the paper book for reference. Don't get me wrong, the audio will get you inspired, but going back to the book for reference is also valuable. All in all this book has changed the way I think about my business.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 01-04-11

6 Hours 49 Minutes of My Life

That was 6 hours and 49 minutes of my life that I won't get back. And it wasn't a valuable use of my time.

This book has every appearance of being written with the sole purpose of making money. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but it delivers no value. Most of the book is taken up with stating the obvious - that you have to keep your customers happy by looking after them to stand any chance of getting referrals. The 'advice' was regurgitated from other sources (Brian Tracy amongst others) and the references are already well known.

I am planning a referral system for our customers as they are all so enthusiastic about the service that we deliver and was hoping that this book would be a kind of manual on how to do it. I was really dissapointed.

My advice - don't waste your money on this book.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Clive
  • 09-20-10

The referral engine turbo charged my brain

Searching for inspiration to hoof my business ahead of the competition i took this audio book on holiday and listened to it most days.Seeing how others have done something so well, and John gives lots of examples, is not always easy to translate to your own set of circumstances.

But persistence pays, and a week after coming back i had that breakthrough idea that i am now buzzing about.

The books brilliant and it will make you brilliant too.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Ian Kenyon
  • 11-10-21

Sorry but maybe I gave up too soon

his book does not start well and lost my interest very quickly. I wanted someone to start telling me how to build referral schemes that work. What the author seems to do too much of is grab soundbites from other people and just quote them back to the reader.
I really hoped for something more. Perhaps it gets better beyond chapter 3 but I will never find out

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-19-22

Great book

I’ve read books on referrals, but this one has been the best book so far, with direct and practical tips on how referrals might work for your business.
Nice work John 🙌🤝

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 07-01-15

Boring read

OK information but not very engaging. I didn't really take that much out of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt Brown
  • 01-31-15

Best referral book I've read

Great examples of building referral systems that align with your marketing strategy. Loved the ideas of network group self built