Whether you're a rookie or a veteran salesperson, it pays to assess your selling skills periodically. Could you use a few pointers (or reminders) on how to get past customer resistance? How about managing sales territories? The Idea-a-Day Guide to Super Selling and Customer Service, by Tony Alessandra, Gary Couture, and Gregg Baron (Dartnell, 800-621-5463, 1992, $19.95), serves as a convenient refresher course for salespeople at all levels, including CEOs.

The subtitle is "250 Ways to Increase Your Top and Bottom Lines," but Idea-a-Day is more workbook than text. Salespeople can jump to the section where they need the most work rather than read the entire book. Each of the 15 sections addresses a specific sales skill, from setting goals to building customer satisfaction. The ideas are accompanied by more than 100 work sheets. There are 10 work sheets, for example, on analyzing your accounts, and 7 on identifying lucrative prospects.

"The book's very useful in prodding old-time salespeople into rethinking their processes and getting new salespeople on the right track," says Mike McDoniels, CEO of M. J. Altman, a $2-million collection agency in Ocala, Fla. McDoniels has three salespeople and spends about 25% of his own time on sales and marketing. He has used Idea-a-Day in teaching a sales course for his industry association and particularly praises its sections on knowing your products, time management, and setting goals. -- Susan Greco

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