Sales tips have always been a valued currency, but never more so than now, as dealers contend with lean staffs and limited infrastructure in the wake of growing demand. We combed our archives for our most popular sales and management online posts of 2012. Here's what made the list:

  1. From wisely negotiating a sale to prospecting more efficiently to swapping time on the road with better use of technology, this list of 20 best practices can help even the best sales reps do their jobs better.
  2. It’s easier to fail in business than it is to succeed. Columnist Jim Sobeck shares eight ways to ruin your sales career.
  3. Are salespeople born or made? Rick Davis writes that character is double-counted in a profession with as much face-time as LBM. Do you possess these seven key traits?
  4. Is a 100% commission pay plan the best way to motivate OSRs? We posed that question to members of our LinkedIn group earlier this year. Here’s what dealers said.
  5. Fremont, Ohio-based Gordon Lumber CEO Gary Farber kicked off our “9 Stages to Sales Success” column this year with his column on the two paths—human and analytical—his company took to increase sales 21% in 2011.
  6. Price is less of a motivator for customers than a dealer may think. What’s bringing them in the door? It could be that they like you more than they like someone else.
  7. There are many ways to find quality sales reps, but one thing is certain: They’re not going to come to you. Jim Sobeck shares tips on how to stay in the hunt.
  8. Eat breakfast and lunch together, send presents, and show interest in their causes. If wooing customers seems an awful lot like dating, it’s because it is. But often a little TLC is more effective than techniques touted by sales trainers. Simplify your process with these four tactics
  9. Grudges abound in the sales world, where new reps must repair relationships with clients who were wronged by their predecessors. How to handle it? Size up who you’re dealing with and give one of these rescue strategies a shot.  
  10. Chasing sales is a dangerous game but an easy one to fall into. Industry consultant Dan Harris takes dealers through a three-part series on finding sales your yard can handle without killing margins or wearing down your staff.

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