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Referral Marketing Books Reviewed and Rated


As a business owner, I’ve been trying to build my base of incoming referrals. I get very few clients from referrals, and I want to change that!

Referral marketing is a basic way of building business that’s all about word of mouth. But true referral marketing uses a system to consistently obtain referrals. It’s not just a clumsily relying on people to occasionally drop your name.

To beef up my referral marketing, I checked out three books from the local library. I want to share my thoughts on these books with you.

The books are:

The Referral of a Lifetime

My favorite book was The Referral of a Lifetime: The Networking System That Produces Bottom-Line Results Every Day. It lays out a solid system that any business person could use to get great referrals.

You get a system. Like I mentioned, The Referral of a Lifetime gives you a referral marketing system that you can quickly implement to obtain results. The book sets out goals for you, action steps, and even example letters and notes to send. I love this practical approach!

It keeps the list manageable. All referral marketing centers on a list of people that you try to get to referrals from. But The Referral of a Lifetime boils this down into a list of 250 people. Focus on those 250 people and cultivate them into your referral base. Think about it: if you had 250 people who really believed in you and your business, they could refer all the business you could ever handle. Why would you even need a bigger list than that?

It’s written like a story. While reading The Referral of a Lifetime, you follow Susie through the process of learning about referral marketing. This style of writing converts the book from a dry business text to a mildly fun novel.

Did I mention that I like this book? I really think it’s a great book and system for developing your referral base. I’ll be returning this copy to the local library, but I might go buy it for my own library.

Endless Referrals

Endless Referrals is the thickest book of the three. It’s chocked full of good tips on referral marketing. But it’s not my favorite.

It’s too in-your-face. Two of the big tips in Endless Referrals are to send personalized thank you notes and to give your contacts a scratch pad with your info on it. I like both these ideas, but I think the author’s proposed designs are too loud. Instead of a tasteful, professional note card, he suggests a card with all your contact info, your picture, your benefit statement, etc. I think it goes way too far. He uses the same design for the scratch pads that he sends out; I certainly wouldn’t use one like that. The idea is good, but I don’t like his execution.

There’s no system. Endless Referrals provides some good tips about referral marketing. But I didn’t feel like it provided a solid system to implement. Perhaps this book is better used to supplement your existing system.

Ask in isolation. One good tip I took from Endless Referrals is how to better ask people for referrals. You should just ask: “Do you know of anyone who could use my services?” That’s great, but it’s overwhelming. So isolate the sphere you’re talking about. Ask the person if they know of anyone in a more limited group, like their weekly golf foursome, could use your services.

Get More Referrals Now!

I wasn’t very impressed by Get More Referrals Now!. It has some good tips, but it seems a bit more limited than the two books above.

The one thing I really like about Get More Referrals Now! is that it provides some solid tips and advice on actually asking for referrals. Specifically, it explains how to prepare contacts for the ask, how to ask effectively, and how to talk to contacts who may be resistant to giving referrals.

Go get some referrals

Why are you still reading this post? Go read one of these books and start building your referral marketing plan. That’s what I’m going to do!

Photo by crysb

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9 Responses to “Referral Marketing Books Reviewed and Rated”

  1. Vince Golder
    December 22nd, 2008

    Hi Andrew,

    If you are still interested in referral marketing books, you may wish to take a look at my own e-book “The Power of Referral Marketing”. It has been endorsed by some of the most successful marketing and entrepreneurs in the World such as Ivan Minser, the founder of BNI (the largest business network), Penny Power founder of Edcademy.com and Brian Smith, the inventor the Airmiles concept.

    I can send you a copy for review immediately.

    Best regards,


  2. Andrew Flusche
    December 24th, 2008

    @Vince – I am certainly interested in your book. Feel free to send it over, and I’ll give it a look. Thanks!

  3. mmo
    December 31st, 2008

    Referral marketing is one of the best forms..essentially word of mouth with trust behind it. I sold cars and saw many vets of the business getting repeat referral business. Will be sure to check these resources out.

  4. Andrew Flusche
    January 7th, 2009

    @mmo – You’re absolutely right! Referral marketing really is word of mouth + trust. That’s essential for business today.

  5. Dana
    January 9th, 2009

    Thank you for your comments on the three books. I’ve read them all but I would suggest Paul McCord’s Creating a Million Dollar a Year Sales Income: Sales Success through Client Referrals. His book gives the most detailed and persuasive referral process I’ve ever seen. He goes step by step on how to generate lots of great referrals from every customer or client. by using a real, detailed process from the time you meet a prospect all they way through including getting addtional referrals year after year The only thing I don’t like about the book is the title as it sounds like a promise that you’ll make a million dollars a year. The book doesn’t do that. Instead, the title comes from the interviews he did with million dollar a year salespeople, referrals are how they built their business to make a million dollars a year in income.

  6. Andrew Flusche
    January 10th, 2009

    @Dana – Thanks for the comment. I hadn’t heard about this resource, so I’ll definitely have to check it out.

  7. Alexander Dombroff
    March 16th, 2009

    Hey Andrew, Great list, I’m buying the first one on your list (from your link of course).

  8. Andrew Flusche
    March 17th, 2009

    @Alexander – I’m glad you liked the reviews. Enjoy your book!