The ultimate accomplishment for your salespeople is to have a base of clients and customers that are so happy that they generate enough introductions to grow revenue without having to look for new business. "Look" includes, but is not limited, to cold calling, following up on leads and referrals (no introduction), networking events, leads groups, social network sites, blogging, newsletters, speaking, golfing and more.
Some salespeople excel at this, while others must make cold calls throughout their career. Seth Godin wrote a helpful article that explains why some achieve word of mouth and some don't. Seth's article explains many of the reasons why your customers may never talk up your company, products or services.
But what if some of your salespeople are good at this and some aren't? What's the difference? In my experience, it's simply a case of showing how much you care, going the extra mile, under promising and over delivering, and setting proper expectations. I think it's important for your salespeople to let their clients and customers know early on, that one of your goals is to help them so much that they feel compelled to deliver three new clients just like them. This forces your salespeople to be more aware of that goal moving forward, providing them with a better opportunity to actually get those introductions. While that won't work with everyone they sell to, it sure beats the alternative of never getting introductions.
(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan