Salesmanship is an art of winning over the buyer's confidence so that a permanent goodwill may
be built and a lasting satisfaction may be given to him when he goes the product offered to him.
Significance of Personal Selling or Salesmanship
Personal selling is a promotional tool and an element of promotional mix which occupies a
pivotal role in the distribution of goods and services to the existing and prospective buyer. A
salesman is a friend and a guide of the consumer and a supporter and an aid to the producer. A
salesman helps the producer and consumer in the following ways:
It is a Flexible tool
Personal selling is a flexible tool in promoting sales and can adopt to the need of specific buyer.
Salesman can present his ideas or message to fit the needs of the buyer. His presentation is
different in each case tailored to suit the buyer. He can observe the customer's reaction to a
particular sales approach and makes necessary adjustment in his way of presentation right o the
It Involves Minimum Wasted Efforts
In personal selling, the salesman directly attacks the target market and concentrate on the
prospective customers. A salesman does not waste his efforts if he thinks that the person to
whom he is talking is not a real prospect.
It Results in Actual Sales
Personal selling is complementary to advertising and promotion technique. Advertising and
promotion techniques can only attract attention of the customers and arouse desire to purchase
the goods. They simply create demand. Personal selling converts that demand into actual sale by
persuading the people to buy the product. A salesman answers the doubts of the prospective
buyer and convince aim to purchase the goods.
It Provides Feedback
Advertisement provides information about the product and the producer but does not provide any
information about the tastes and mood of the consumers. The personal selling provides two way
communication between the buyer and seller. Apart from providing information to the buyer
about the product and producer, it provides knowledge about the tastes, habits, and attitudes of
the prospective buyers. Any complaint about the firm or its product may be prospective buyers.
Any complaint about the firm or its product may be registered with the salesman as the basis, the
company can determine the strengths and weaknesses of the marketing programme.
Advantages to Consumers
A salesman helps the consumers in many ways. He informs the customers about the new
products introduced the market, by suggesting to him the use of a product that will best satisfy
his needs by awakening and kindling various needs and convening then into needs. The
purchaser thinks himself an honorable person in whom the producer is interested. If consumer
has any doubt about the product, its use etc., he can ask the seller of the doubt about and remove
it to his satisfaction.
Despite the various advantages, personal selling has a number of limitations. First, personal
selling is the costliest element of the promotional mix. Cost per customer is very high because of
one of one nature of selling. Secondly, Personal selling can accommodate only a limited number
of consumers at a given time because he can attend only one customer at a given time. Thirdly, it
is quite ineffective for creating consumer awareness about a product or service. This role is better
assumed by advertising. Finally, Personal selling on the retail level, has poor image in the eyes
of the consumers. It is criticized for lack of honesty, strong pressures sales tactics, poor
Step in the process of personal selling (Salesmanship)
The process of personal selling consists of the following steps:
The first step in personal selling is the preparation of sales person. The sales persons must be
properly selected trained and motivated for the job. They must be fully familiar with the
producer, the product, the market and the selling techniques. They must be fully aware of the
motivation and behavior of the people who are the prospective consumers. They should also be
well informed about the nature of competition and the nature of competitors’ products.
Prospecting or Locating the Prospective Buyers: It refers to locating the potential buyers for
the product and satisfactorial buyers for the product and satisfactorily screen them to make sure
that their sales efforts will not go waste. He should examine the need of the buyers and their
ability of capacity to buy the product. It should always be remembered that every one cannot be a
prospect. A sales person should thoroughly examine the records of the part and resent customers
in his efforts to determine the characteristics of his prospects. He should also tap other sources of
Before calling on the prospects, the sales person should try to get information about their
number, habits, spending capacity, motives, etc. He should know what product or brand they are
using. After collecting such information, she should approach the customer in a polite and
dignified way and introduce himself and his product to the prospective customers. He should not
be over-clever or deceptive at this stage. A counter-sales person should be very careful in
attending the customer. If he is busy in attending some other person, he should assure the new
customer that he would be attended very soon. He should be careful in his first impression.
The sales person, under this step, has to gain the customers attention. For this purpose, he should
present his product and describe its characteristics in brief. He should understand the attitude of
the prospect and match with his attitude so that he may be able to hold his attention and create
interest in the product. There is no specific approach which will be successful in all cases.
Demonstration is one of the bet methods of presentation. If necessary, the salesperson should
display and demonstrate the working of the product. He should explain and describe the utility of
the product in brief through demonstration so that prospect realizes the need for the product to
satisfy his wants. He should not be in a hurry to impress the customer and should avoid any
controversy. He may suggest uses of the product and may create and impulsive urge to posses
the co-monody, by appealing to human instinct.
As every customer wants to make a best bargain for the money he is spending, presentation and
demonstration of the product are likely to create some doubts and objections in the minds of the
prospects. The sales person should be ready to clear all doubts and queries if the prospects
without losing his temper. Handling objections tactfully helps in convincing the customers.
Closing the Sale
Making customer agree to buy goods and services means closing the sale. It is not in easy risk.
The sales person should not force the prospect to buy but he should let the consumer feel that he
has made the final decision. He should guide the customer that he has made the right choice.
Some adjustment in price or other concession may sometimes be necessary for a successful
closing. During presentation, the sales person should try a trial close in which he or she asks
certain queries that assume that the prospect will purchase. But later on, he may change his mind
by getting more information. In such cases, sales are lost because of the failure of the salesman
to ask for the order.
Once the prospect has purchased the goods, the salesperson should show and suggest an allied
product. For instance, if a customer purchases a shirt, the sales person should ask him to
purchase the handkerchief, socks, etc.
After closing a sale, follow up is a must. It refers to the activities undertaken to ensure the
customer that be has taken the right decision of buying the product. These activities include
installation of the products, checking and testing its smooth performance, maintenance and after
sale service. It helps building long-term relationship with the customer.
Essential-requisites of effective salesmanship
Salesmanship is a highly skilled professional and like any other profession, it demand a very
high degree of proficiency in its practice. Salesmanship is an art of persuasion. Convincing and
bringing amount the viewpoint is the job which the salesman has to do to effect a sale. It is a the
most difficult task to solicit one's approval for a particular product and then ask him to part away
his hard earned money. Salesmanship, thus, sell satisfaction. Unless he satisfied, no one will
accept him as a man who is practicing the art of salesmanship. For practicing this art, one should
know the fundamentals (requisites) of success in the art of salesmanship. The following
fundamental requisites are enumerated here under:
Knowledge of self
One should know himself and his own abilities and personality before embarking upon to do a
particular job. It is important to know own self an own sales personality. It is well known fact
that the customer comes into contact the salesman before he knows other details about the
product etc. The salesman himself should first be saleable. His personality, his distinct qualities,
his cheerful disposition - all attracts the customer. True no sales-personality can be perfect but
for being a successful salesman one should have the following personal qualities:
Knowledge of Product
After knowledge of own self and own sales personality the next fundamental is the knowledge of
the product the salesman is selling. Physical deficiency, if there is any can be quickly forgotten
by the customer, but if the salesman is in a position to show his thorough knowledge of the line
which he is representing, this will satisfy the customer. customers must know bewildered of the
variety, type, design, nature and functions of new products that they have no alternative but to
depend upon the guidance and of the salesman. It is because of this that it is required that the
salesman should fully know the product he is dealing in. He should remove all doubts and
objections of the customers about the entity of the product.
Knowledge of Company
The company and its organizational structure, objectives, philosophy and policies must be known
to the salesman who is going to deal in the product of the company. In fact salesman first sells
himself then his company and then after the company's product. The policy in relation to sales
promotion is of prime importance to the salesman. He approaches his customer with confidence
if he knows his company satisfactorily well. After all he is the representative of the company,
and therefore, he must truly represent the firm.
Knowledge of Competitors
A salesman must have complete knowledge of the competitors products became customers very
often compare the products of difficult manufacturers. Sales person should be aware of the
positive and negative points of competitors products, their sales policies, their brands, and prices
etc. So that he may satisfy the customers well.
Knowledge of Customers
The customer is to be approached. Before he is approached and prospecting is done the salesman
must size-up the prospect as quickly and correctly as is possible. It is because the salesman has to
motivate and that to rightly and satisfactorily. At the same time his aim should be to win him
permanently and positively. Here the training and skill as well his art is put to test. In this test he
can come up with flying colors if he knows him as completely as his professional necessity asks
him to know his customers. The salesman may be pleasing ad smart, the product he is dealing in
may be excellent, the company he represents has sufficient goodwill but if the handling of the
customer is weak and clumsy and will of course no value. A salesman must know atleast as to
what motivates his customer, what is his nature, habits, likings and disliking, what is the nature
of his requirements and how he should proceed with him. This knowledge naturally will help
him a lot in dealing successfully with his customer.
Knowledge of the Techniques of Selling
Knowledge of oneself, owns selling personality, product and its utility, customers and his full
personality will go waste if effective selling technique is not adopted by the salesman in
prospecting, motivating and selling to the customer. It is necessary on the part of salesman to see
that the prospective customer is well attended, his requirements are fully known to him, he is
prepared to help his customers in all the matters and ensure that his customer is fully satisfied.
This is which the selling technique requires from the salesman.