My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of the best marketing books I’ve read! Jantsch, clearly a master marketer, shows how to guide prospects to you. How? Educate, and you won’t need to sell. He tells how to build a referral engine out of thrilled customers and an engaged network of partner businesses. He covers the concepts and many specific techniques for merging the authentic aspects of traditional marketing with online marketing and social media. The book is about more than getting referrals; it’s about running your business better. It contains a plethora of success stories from real small businesses, and I highly recommend it!
Jantsch explains that doing great work is necessary, but you need to do more to attract referrals. You need to demonstrate your unique way of doing business; something that makes people say, “nobody does that.” It’s crucial to educate by providing great content in several formats. By educating, you become known as a wealth of information and resources; the go-to source.
I’ve been blogging for my web design business, OptimWise, and I’ve spoken at a few events. This book convinced me that I need to do more. My blog posts are usually aimed at other web designers and developers, so I’ve decided to write more for prospects. I’m also thinking about creating audio or video content.
I read this book because I listen to John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing podcast.
The Qualities of Referral
- Referred prospects anticipate paying a premium, and do so willingly when given social proof.
The Path to Referral
- 4 Cs of Business Success
- Content: valuable, relevant content; often educational, often free
- Context: situate information within the context of the prospect’s life; simplify
- Connection: live, human interaction; “high-tech, high-touch”
- Community: empower people to gather and converse, physically or digitally
- Marketing and sales must clearly communicate your core message of differentiation.
- Build trust by providing education, such as free reports, how-to checklists, and seminars.
- Reputation builds trust; trust builds the brand.
- Trial offers, seminars, and anything that allows prospects to sample your product/service prior to purchase makes them more comfortable.
- Review results with customers to fix any problems, improve your product/service, teach customers how to get the most from your product/service, and cross-sell other products/services.
The Referral System View
- At the beginning of a project, tell the customer that at the review meeting, you’ll ask for referrals.
Your Authentic Strategy
- Ask ideal customers what you do that they value. Tap into this and communicate it as your core difference.
- Tell your story (not your history). “It’s hard not to like someone once you know their story.” People must connect logically and emotionally. Tell who you are, why you do what you do, what motivates you, how you’re making a better world.
- When people ask how business is going, say “Great, but I’m always looking for more clients who need this” and explain what you offer.
Content as Marketing Driver
- Educated customers are better customers. Teach them how you work, how you get results, what you expect of them, and why your product/service is more expensive.
- White paper elements: title that screams benefit, summary of benefit, stories from customers, images, stats, etc., a call to action, and how you can help.
- Educate, and you won’t need to sell. Content draws leads to you and allows them to sell themselves.
- Turn your white paper into a seminar, then repurpose into other formats (blog posts, newsletter, audio, video, etc.)
- Create a list of trigger phrases that prospect use when they need what you offer, and build marketing around those phrases.
- Don’t be afraid to give away secrets; they prove that you know your stuff.
- Collect contact info in exchange for free resources, then follow up.
Your Customer Network
- Involve referral sources in the referral, such as through a conference call to the prospect, or a 3-party lunch.
- Combine content and contact; help people connect.
- Create a strategic partner network; partners refer far more than customers.
- Strategic members are businesses with the same target customer.
- Provider members are businesses that complement yours (providing what you don’t), that you can refer customers to. Collaborate to offer more value to customers.
- Become known as a wealth of information and resources. Become the go-to source to attract customers.
- Partner to educate (cobranded white papers, seminars, videos, etc.).
- Partner in marketing (provide each others’ samples, trials, deals, etc.).
Ready to Receive
- Thank referrers publicly so they feel appreciated, and you reinforce your referral worthiness.
- Refer publicly to provide leads to referral partners, and share resources that benefit your prospects and customers.