The Forever Transaction: A book review by Bob Morris

The Forever Transaction: How to Build a Subscription Model So Compelling, Your Customers Will Never Want to Leave
Robbie Kellman Baxter
McGraw Hill (2020)

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African proverb

In The Membership Economy, Robbie Kellman Baxter examines “the massive trend among organizations to tap into the value of long-term, formal relationships [with their customers] through subscriptions. It means moving from an ownership model to one of access, from a single payment to multiple recurring payments, from an anonymous transaction to a known relationship, and from one-way — or even two-way — communication to a full community gathered under the umbrella of the organization.”

In her latest book, she explains HOW almost any organization — whatever its size and nature may be — can take full advantage of that trend.

The material in Part One (Chapters 1-7) “will help you adssess where tyou are and where you need to invest early on.”

Part Two (Chapters 6-13) “helps you you build on small successes to create [an ongoing] full-scale forever transaction” process.

Part Three (Chapters 14-19) helps “to ensure that your model evolves [and adapts] to remain relevant and valuable to the people you serve.”

The African proverb I quoted earlier is especially relevant to Baxter’s concept of “the forever transaction” because she is convinced — and I wholly agree — that organizations must develop and then strengthen an on-going relationship with their customers — they must “go together” with them into an uncertain, often perilous future. “It goes beyond making money, although using this model is profitable. You must care deeply about the customer. Your product has to be designed to produce the best results for your best customers — in a way that earns their trust, forever.”

This is precisely what Theodore Roosevelt once had in mind when suggesting that “people won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

That said, you still need a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective game plan to create an ongoing full-scale forever transaction process. Robbie Kellman Baxter provides just about all the information, insights, and counsel you need to do that.

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