John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing rolls out book #2 next week, “The Referral Engine“.  As a preview, the first chapter reveals “5 Realities of Referrals“:

  • Reality #1: People make referrals because they need to – as John puts it, it’s a form of “social currency”, something we as humans do for one another.  But we just have to have the right experience combined with as easy system to actually do it.
  • Reality #2: All business involves risk – John writes, “When we make a referral, we are putting the trust we have established with the recipient on loan to the person or company being referred.  Of course, risk varies in degree according to the magnitude of the referred party’s need. There is more risk in referring a friend to, for instance, a good accountant, than in referring one to a place for authentic Thai. But as we dive into the strategies and tactics of some real- world referable businesses you’ll see that a trust-building approach to marketing reduces fear and risk for a referrer in any scenario.”
  • Reality #3: Nobody talks about boring businesses – John relates a stingy rebuke from Seth Godin:  “If the marketplace isn’t talking about you,” he said, “there’s a reason. The reason is that you’re boring.”  Ouch.  But likely very true.
  • Reality #4: Consistency builds trust – Again, returning to best definition of marketing I have ever found, John writes, “it does very little good to create this week’s publicity stunt in an effort to get folks talking for today. Referability is a long-term game; it’s not a drive-by event but a well-planned, precisely calculated marathon. Repetition, consistency, and authenticity build trust . . . .”
  • Reality #5: Marketing is a system – Most of us at one time or another have felt awkward about asking people for referrals.  John strongly rebukes such a feeling: “Your belief that asking for referrals is like begging for business is a personal problem. One of the ways to get the “you” out of the way is through a system that energizes others to voluntarily promote you and your products for their own reasons.”

I’m just into the first chapter myself with my advanced copy – awesome stuff!  Two action steps:

  1. Pre-order you copy of “The Referral Engine”
  2. Download a complimentary PDF of Chapter 1 of “The Referral Engine”