“Salesmanship” is the art of winning hearts of consumers to dispose the firm’s products and services. It is the act of persuasion. It is the science of understanding of human instincts and paving the way to their fulfillment. It is the art of stressing the appropriate values of firm’ s products and services to fit the individual and varying needs of different buyers called on. It is the ability of a person to persuade the people to buy the goods and services for mutual gain namely, satisfaction to the buyer and profit to the seller. It is the art and science of serving the clientele. Following are some standard definitions on salesmanship:
Professor Stephenson deemed it as: “Salesmanship refers to the conscious efforts on the part of seller to induce a prospective buyer to purchase something that he had not really decided to buy, even if had thought of it favorably. It consists of persuading people to buy what you have for sale in making them want it, in helping to make up their minds.”
In the words of Mr. Garfield Blake, “Salesmanship consisting of winning the buyer’ this confidence for the seller’s house and goods, thereby winning regular and permanent customers.”
According to Mr. Russel and Mr. Beach, “It is the ability to handle the people.”
Mr. William Carter defines it as “an attempt to induce the people to buy the goods.”
Essentials of Salesmanship:-
The essentials of salesmanship are as follows:
1. Mutual benefit
The price of the product or service must be reasonable for both the buyer and seller. As a matter of fact, salesmanship should benefit both the buyer and the seller. It is not the art of making a profit at the cost of the buyer. Salesmanship helps the buyer in obtaining the maximum return (satisfaction) for the money he spends and at the same time, it provides a reasonable profit to the seller. This is possible when price charged is higher than the cost and buyer gets qualitative goods at reasonable price.
2. Salesmanship is a persuasion
Salesmanship involves the ability to influence or persuade people. It is the art of persuasion not pressure, which is highly essential. In fact, persuasion is the soul of modern salesmanship. Modern salesmanship does not rely on pressure tactis or compulsion to force a sale.
3. Creation of permanent customers
Modern salesmanship does not sell duplicate, fake products to customers. Cheating the customers by inferior, spoilt or unusable goods have no place in modern sales because it can never create a permanent customer. Rather, good salesmanship guides the customers in buying something which will give them utmost satisfaction.
4. An educative process
Salesmanship is an educative process. It educates people about their needs. Very often people are not aware of their needs or the way in which they could satisfy them. Salesmanship performs the function of educating the customers about their needs and their satisfaction. It also provides information about the products available, their special features, their utility in satisfying needs of customers.
5. Winning of buyer confidence
Modern salesmanship does not use doubtful methods of influencing buyers. Misrepresentation, cheating, dishonest no place in modern salesmanship. There is not attempt to take undue advantage of the ignorance and innocence of buyers. On the contrary, modern salesmanship aims at winning the confidence of buyers by providing a solution to the buyers’ problems.
6. Link between the buyer and the seller
Salesmanship always acts as a link between two parties, the seller and the buyer, looks after the benefit of both the parties. It makes sure that the seller gets benefit (profit) as a result of the sale and the customer must also derive benefits by purchasing the product.
7. A creative process
Salesmanship is responsible for creation of demand through a problem solving approach. It starts with customer’s knowledge. It studies customers’ needs and problems and then suggests a solution to these. It demonstrates how the product or service can satisfy the need or solve the problem. Such an approach needs a lot of creativity, initiative and empathy.
8. Aiming to serve producers, distributors and customers
The salesman helps the producer in disposing off his products at a profit. He creates demand for new products at a profit. He creates demand for new products. While for the distribution process smooth, easy and meaningful. For consumers, the salesman helps them to buy wisely.
9. Discourages unnecessary arguments
When prices are fixed; there is no scope for bargaining or unnecessary arguments. But customers argue when prices are not fixed. Therefore, in the process of salesmanship, care should be taken to avoid unnecessary bargaining with customers, because it leads to dissatisfaction. The aim of salesmanship should always be to build upon an empire of good will, but not to impair it by dissatisfying customers.
10. Customers are always right
Salesmanship should always give utmost important to the viewpoint of consumer and consider him as always right. A salesman should always look a purchase from buyer’s angle. Whenever a customer tells about the merits and demerits of goods, the salesman should give due regard to it. This is so because he pays the price uses the article and takes decision. He is in a better position than salesman. His knowledge regarding the product is practical. However, salesman should not accept any arbitrary statement blindly without protest.