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How would you define Salesmanship?

How would you define "Salesmanship" to someone who had never heard the term? - by Community Mailbox
How would you define "Salesmanship" to someone who had never heard the term?
Salesmanship? As an Art. I would then differentiate that selling is a Science, and that a career in selling is a Business.

Differentiation is a key to explaining and grasping a concept. Selling, or sales, is the genus. Salesmanship narrows it specifically and contextually to the art--the differentia. - by Ace Coldiron
The ability to convince others about an idea or product - by rich34232
The ability to convince others about an idea or product
No, not to my way of thinking.

A professional sales person is an individual who helps one prospect at a time make a favorable decision.

We do not convince, that is like saying we "induce" buyers. The best of the best don't operate that way, they help the buyer see for themselves that they can get what they want/need/desire from the product or service they are selling (indeed, if that is even possible).

How? By uncovering their needs [please read this as a general word meant to encompass PAIN, NEED(S), DESIRE(S)] through research, probing (asking questions - the right kind) and, most importantly; LISTENING. Then, when they have a clear understanding, showing the prospect how those will be satisfactorily addressed by the benefits of their product or service.

Sometimes you even create the need.

There are sales situations where you are showing benefits that addresses the NEED that the prospect never even realized they had, creating it ... even being in a situation where (unfortunately) you might be eliminating the job of one of the key people in that company through doing so.

It is complex what we do. There is no one definition. In the book from 1993 entitled SELLING WITHOUT CONFRONTATION the meaning is written as "Contrary to popular belief, the methodological approach of selling refers to a systematic process of repetitive and measurable milestones, by which a salesperson relates his or her offering of a product or service in return enabling the buyer to achieve their goal in an economic way."

Of course, if you are a real student of our profession, you know; not all goals are "economic".

This meaning, which is stated at Wikipedia.com could be accurate, especially in more complex sales. But when selling a car it is less correct, right? If you have read this far and comprehend what I am trying to convey, do I have your agreement on this point?

There very phraseology/question "do I have your agreement on this point" would be - if we were face to face and not posting in a forum - a "measurable milestone", is it not? Even the "is it not" also moves you forward to agreement. But in so many sales situations sales people do not work this way.

I prefer to sell to business because more often the buyer is higher educated, not always, but more often. That and because the selling skills are more advanced.

And I prefer to spend time with people who are more of a challenge in more challenging situations. However, this does not mean that there are not some serious B2C industries (insurance, for example, and Investing).

In more simplistic sales, there really aren't measurable milestones (or ACCEPTED BENEFITS) ... as THE CLOSE IS RIGHT THERE. As the sale becomes more complex, there are more and more needs to address and this is where that quote becomes more accurate.

Great question isn't it? I could probably try answering it twenty times and change the answer fairly substantially each time. The one common thread I would always come back to is that we do sell value, it is just not always "economic" in nature. That is where I disagree with the quote.

The notion that we convince is very strongly felt - quite profound in my nature. Influence? Yes! Convince? I do not think so. And, while describing sales becomes semantic (gets hung up on "the differences between meanings of words") we must realize that people are smart. It is