What is Salesmanship?
Salesmanship is an elaborate process of meeting a potential buyer, convincing him about the product of the company and persuading his to buy it. Thus, salesmanship is a creative job.
Salesmanship involves winning the buyer’s confidence for the seller’s goods. It, further, ensures regular and permanent customers for a business. Salesmanship creates satisfied customers.
Creative salesmanship is required to create new markets for old products or a market for a new product. Creative selling requires the buyers to be informed as well as persuaded. Such an approach is required under the following situations:
1. To sell intangibles like banking and insurance services.
2. To sell a new model of television, refrigerator etc.
3. To sell products that require technical knowledge like computers, photocopying machines, etc.
Competitive salesmanship is required to overcome competitive pressures. The market for almost all consumer goods is a highly competitive one. In such a situation, the salesman requires tactfulness more than skill. He has to push the sale of his brand in the midst of several other brands. Competitive salesmanship is considered to be much more difficult than creative salesmanship.
Qualities of a Good salesman
Physical Qualities of a Salesman
1. He must be physically fit as he has to undertake lot of traveling.
2. He must look decent. His dress, hairstyle etc., must give him a pleasing appearance.
3. He must not speak in a loud tone nor should it be feeble. He must have tonal control. His voice must be pleasing to ears.
4. He must be a man of clean habits.
Mental Qualities of a Salesman
1. He must have the attitude and aptitude for the sales job.
2. He should not be lethargic. He should always be on his toes, i.e., alert.
3. It is important that the salesman has a good memory. Only then, he will be able to remember all his clients, their addresses, telephone numbers, etc.
4. A person cannot be a successful salesman if he lacks self-confidence. As the salesman will not be backed by anyone in his work and has to do all the work himself, he must have supreme self- confidence.
5. He must have adequate knowledge of the company for which he works and also have a thorough knowledge of the product. Otherwise, he will be as bad as a half-baked cake.
6. He must have foresight. This will help him to predict the behavior of his clients and adopt an appropriate strategy to handle them.
Social Qualities of a Salesman
1. The salesman should be courteous. As mentioned earlier, he should not trouble any customer by approaching him without getting the latter’s appointment.
2. It is important that the salesman gives a patient hearing to the views of the buyer.
3. He should have good manners. Only then the buyer will be inclined to spare some time for him.
4. He must have an open mind to receive the viewpoints of the people he comes across.
Other qualities of Salesman
1. He must be tactful. Although it is said earlier that the salesman must listen to the views of the buyer, it is important that he handles any unnecessary or unwanted remarks tactfully.
2. He must be honest and straightforward in his dealings.
3. He must be loyal to those customers who are sincere and prompt.
4. He must be ambitious.
Knowledge that a salesman is expected to have
In addition to the above mentioned qualities, the salesman is expected to have knowledge of the following:
1. Knowledge of self
Everyone has his strong and weak points. The salesman has his strengths and weaknesses. He has to work to capitalize on his strong points and hide his weak points. He will be a failure if he cannot do this. Thus, knowledge of his personal traits helps the salesman to perform his job better.
2. Knowledge of the company
It is important that the salesman has full knowledge of the organization he represents. This will help him to answer the questions that may be raised by the prospective buyers about the company that has brought out the product. The salesman is expected to know the history of the organization, its achievements, sales policies, dealers, services provided to consumers, etc.
3. Knowledge of the product
Needless to say, the salesman shall have perfect knowledge of the product he sells. Only then he will be able to educate the buyers on the merits of the product. He should know the nature of the product, its utility, the materials used in production, etc.
4. Knowledge of the buyers
Knowledge of the psychology of buyers is very important for the salesman. He has to, for example, know why the customer desires a particular product (the buying motive), his buying power, the kind of service he expects from the salesman and his company and so on. If he approaches a customer without knowing anything about the latter’s preference, purchasing power etc., he will not be able to do his work effectively.
5. Knowledge of the selling technique
The techniques of selling are generally different for different classes of products and for different classes of buyers. For example, the approach for bulk buyers and small quantity buyers cannot be the same. Likewise, cash parties need a different approach. Selling industrial goods needs an altogether different technique as compared to selling consumer products.