John Jantsch, from Duct Tape Marketing, has written a book called The Referral Engine. The book is about how to make business referrals the core of your marketing strategy and why that is a good idea.
Before I tell you why I think this is such a good book, I need to set the stage with a few introductory points.
First off, if you are looking at making a product (or service), and you want the customer to focus on more than just the price tag, you are now in the experience business. This is a good place to be if you are delivering an experience that aligns with expectations. It can be a great place to be if you are meeting expectations and finding ways to delight and surprise your customers.
John introduces this topic in the book,
A culture of buzz is not created by attempting to do things that get attention; customers regonzie publicity stunts when they see them. The most effective long term cultural shift for most organizations comes when the focus is put on making the total customer experience something worth talking about on a case-by-case basis.
The second point is that if you want to deliver an experience, it must be 100%. You can’t deliver 25%,50%,75% or even 80% and assume your customers will rave about you to their friends. It must be a total experience meaning that you must be willing to align all of your strategies to support this.
John hits the nail on the head here when he covers what it really takes to make your business all about referrals,
A referral strategy is a lead strategy, it’s a customer strategy, it’s a process strategy, it’s a competitive strategy, it’s a management strategy, it’s a people strategy, and it’s a financial strategy.
If you are still with me, here is the one reason why you should read The Referral Engine: John has absolutely packed the book with cases, resources, tools, guides, links, and recommendations all in support of creating an authentic referral strategy. Even if you are not in the process of laying out a full strategy, there is a boatload of marketing ideas in this book (you can see all my bookmarks captured in the picture above) that is guaranteed to generate ideas.
I love finding books that fill your head with ideas but it’s even better when there are concrete steps to action. The Referral Engine is just such a book and well worth your time.