What is salesmanship? What are features and benefits and criticism of salesmanship

Meaning and Definition

Salesmanship is the art of persuading people to buy the given products or services. It includes all those efforts or skill through which the seller sells his goods or services.The term salesmanship is the combination of two words sales and "manship Sales' means to transfer or agree to transfer the ownership in the goods to the buyer for a price. The words "manship implies attaining a certain objective by making efforts. Thus, salesmanship means all those efforts through which the seller sells his products or services.

A few standard definitions of salesmanship are given below

Salesmanship is the art of selling and nothing more or less then making the other fellow feel as you about the thing you have to sell


FA Russel 

Salesmanship consists of winning the buyer's confidence for the seller house and goods, thereby winning regular and permanent customers.

-Garfield Blake

The power or ability to influence people to buy at a mutual prolt that which we have to sell but which they may not

ve thought of buying until we call their attention to it Salesmanship is the ability to persuade people to want what

they already need

- T.S. Knox

Features of salesmanship

1. Pressure Salesmanship. The old concept of salesmanship gives more emphasis to high pressure salesmanship. The quality of a good salesman was that he should be able to sell a product even if the customer does not need it. The salesman would try to pursuade and pressurise the customer in such a way that he is able to sell the goods. Pressure salesmanship has yield the place to pursuasive and educative salesmanship. It is now based on problem solving approach.

2. Pursuasion. Salesmanship is the ability to pursuade people to go for particular product. The ability to handle people properly determines the success of a salesman. The salesman has to create a favourable opinion in the mind of the customer so that he opts to buy the product offered by him. This is possible only by pursuasive means. Modern salesmanship discards pressure tactics and wrong promises. It is through imaginative handling that a customer can be won over.

3. Aiming at Service. Salesmanship aims to provide service to the customer. The buyers have a problem and a salesman should help in providing a solution. The selection of a product which will satisfy the consumer want is a difficult task. Any wrong selection of a product will amount

to wastage of scarce resources of the consumer. It is at this level that a salesman educates a customer about the product and serves him in selecting a right product. So salesmanship aims at serving the customer by using knowledge and ability to provide a best solution to the buyer's problems 

4. Winning of Buyer's Confidence- Misrepresentation, wrong promises,cheating, dishonestly, doubtful methods of influencing buyers have no place in modern salesmanship. There should be no attempt to take advantage of customer's ignorance. The present salesmanship aims to win buyer's confidence by educating him and helping him in solving his problems. Pursuation and educative attitude will help in winning the confidence of customers.

5. Mutual Benefit. Salesmanship should aim at the benefit of both buyers and sellers. Profiting at the cost of a buyer will not help a concern to build goodwill in the market. Salesmanship should help the buyer in getting maximum benefit from the money he spends. At the same time

it should help in providing reasonable profit to the seller.

6. Educative Process. Salesmanship educates buyers about their needs and

suggets ways to satisfy them. The customers are sometimes not aware of their needs or the ways in which these can be satisfied. Salesmanship educates buyers about the products available in the market, their traits, their utility and suggests products which will meet their requirements.

7. Creative Process. Salesmanship is a creative activity. The study of buyer's problems and methods to solve them requires an insight into the situation.

Every problem requires a different solution. Only creative thinking will help a salesman to cope with various situations in the market.

Benefits of salesmanship

There was a time when salesmanship was considered by the society as an act of cheating or deceit. It was taken as an unproductive service . But today,salesmanship has occupied a position of utmost importance in the distribution of distribution of finished product, a salesman is needed to bring the buyers and sellers in close contact. The importance of salesmanship can be well realised from the benefits it provides to the producers, traders, consumers and the society at large

1. Benefits to Producers and Traders

(1) Salesmanship creates demand and thus helps producers to achieve the

motto of sales and more sales.

(2) It explores and creates new markets not only within the country but

even an international level.

(3) By increasing the demand, it enables to achieve the economies of large scale production, buying and selling.

(4) Veliminates the problems of stock-piling and thus saves in storage costs and wastages.

(5) Large-scale production made possible by modern salesmanship which provides an opportunity to reduce the cost of production and selling prices. This, in turn, increases the sales and profits.

(6) It encourages improvement in the goods produced, as salesmen work at

'eyes and ears' of the producers and traders. The suggestions, sentiments,

desires and needs of the consumers are communicated through salesmen.

Thus, it helps to decide the production policy of a concern.

(7) Salesmanship creates continuous demand and thus helps to avoid

seasonal fluctuations in demand.

2. Benefits to Consumers

(1) Salesmanship provides an opportunity to the consumers to know about the new products introduced in the market. Thus, it provides knowledge to the consumers.

(2) It educates the consumers and suggests them the use of new products

in the market.

(3) It helps consumers in selecting goods best suited to their requirements,

tastes and needs.

(4) It enables consumers to strike the most profitable bargain.

(5) It acts as an agency to help consumers, communicate their grievances

and suggestions about the goods to the manufacturers.

(6) It enables consumers to get best quality products at reduced prices.

Benefits to the Society

(1) It stimulates consumption and accelerates the rate of production.

(2) It creates employment opportunities by creating demand.

(3) It provides opportunities as a gainful profession.

(4) It increases the national income of a country.

(5) It raises the standard of living of the people at large.

(6) It increases the revenue of the Government.

(7) It enables a concern to compete in the present day world market.

Thus, we can conclude that the salesmanship provides a productive service and is of vital importance in the distribution of goods. Houghton has rightly

said, “Salesmanship is the basis of all commerce, its primary objective is to

distribute goods and services for the mutual profits and lasting satisfaction to

the seller and the buyer."

Criticism of salesmanship

In spite of so many advantages, salesmanship is criticised for the

(1) High Pressurizing Selling. To sell the goods, salesmen usually pressurize

the customers to such an extent that they are not able to think best for themselves. The innocent customers fall in the trap of smart salesmen who offer them a lot of false incentives.

(2) Increased Cost. Salesmanship adds to the cost of marketing and some people think that it increases the selling prices of goods. Thus, the consumer has to pay for the unproductive services of salesmen in the form of high prices.

(3) Encroachment of Customer's Kingdom. It is generally said that customer

is the king. But modern salesmanship has made him a slave of the market.