20 Differences between Advertising and Salesmanship

Selling is a two-way relationship. It benefits the buyer and therefore benefits the salesman himself. A salesman should have specialized knowledge of the commodity he is selling. Similarly, he must also study his customer (to whom he is going to sell the commodity) — the customer’s likes and dislikes, maturity, social status and general behavior.

Advertising vs Salesmanship
Advertising vs Salesmanship

A salesman should have a complete knowledge of the market conditions. He must be adept in the art of presentation. Advertising differs from salesmanship in many respects. The main differences between advertising and salesmanship are:

Advertising and Salesmanship

Advertising Salesmanship
1. Advertising is an impersonal attempt to persuade people to buy goods or services. Salesmanship is a personal attempt to persuade people to buy goods or services.
2. Advertising is concerned with the establishment of contact with the people through message. Salesmanship is concerned with the establishment of contact with the people through persons, i.e., salesmen/saleswomen.
3. Advertising is addressed to the masses. Salesmanship-talks appeal to specific individuals.
4. Through advertising, a large number of people can be contacted. The number of people contacted through salesmanship is limited.
5. Advertising saves much time. Salesmanship is a time consuming process.
6. Advertising, however, appealing it may be, cannot be very effective. Salesmanship is quite effective in convincing and securing action.
7. The success of advertising depends largely upon the advertising message and the media chosen for advertisement. The success of salesmanship depends upon the qualities of the salesmen.
8. Advertisement cannot clarify the doubts or answer objections of the consumers. Salesmanship can clarify the doubts and answer the objections of the customers effectively.
9. Advertising is preparatory to salesmanship. In other words, advertising precedes salesmanship. Salesmanship follows advertising. It has been rightly said that salesmanship begins where advertising ends.
10. Publicity: Advertising is not flexible. It will have the same appeal, whatever may be the attitude and reaction of the customers. Salesmanship is flexible, in the sense that a salesman can adjust his sales talk according to the attitude of the customers.
11. Advertising is extensive, in that it appeals to the masses without concentrating on individual customers. Salesmanship is intensive. It concentrates on individual customers.
12. Though the ultimate objective of both advertising and salesmanship is the same, their immediate objective differs. Advertising is primarily concerned with creating an interest in the customers to buy a product. Salesmanship is concerned with the actual effecting of sales.
13. Advertising is a one-way means of communication. Salesmanship is a two-way means of communication.
14. In the case of advertising, the response from the prospects (i.e., prospective customers) cannot be known immediately. In the case of salesmanship, the response from the prospects can be known immediately.
15. In the case of advertising, demonstration of the product is not possible. In the case of salesmanship, demonstration of the product by salesmen is possible.
16. Advertising is concerned with all persons in general, regardless of their interest in the product advertised. Salesmanship is generally concerned with only those persons who are supposed to be interested in the product.
17. Advertising promotes the art of craftsmanship, i.e., printing, writing, photography, editing, music, acting, etc. Salesmanship promotes the art of speaking.
18. The task of advertising is very easy. Salesmanship is a difficult task, as it involves tackling a number of issues.
19. The task of advertising can be entrusted to a specialised advertising agency. The task of salesmanship cannot be entrusted to an outside agency.
20. Advertising is relatively cheap. Salesmanship is costly.

It is true that advertising and salesmanship differ from each other in several respects. But the ultimate aim of both is the same, viz., creation, maintenance and expansion of the demand for goods and services. So, both advertising and salesmanship are complementary to each other and are inseparable. In fact, they are considered as the twin sisters of modern commerce.

Can Advertising Replace Salesmanship?

Advertisement cannot replace salesmanship. There are many reasons for arriving at this conclusion. Some of the important reasons are:

1. Both advertising and salesmanship are intended to achieve the same ultimate objective, viz., demand creation (i.e., making the people buy certain goods or services). For achieving the ultimate objective of demand creation, both advertisement and salesmanship are equally important. One cannot replace the other.

2. Advertising is only an impersonal attempt to persuade people to buy. In these days of stiff-competition, mere impersonal attempt to persuade the people is not enough, the impersonal appeal made through advertisement should be followed up by the personal attempt of the salesmen.

3. Advertisement cannot offer clarifications on the doubts of the customers about the products advertised. The necessary clarification can be given only by salesmen.

4. Advertising and salesmanship are complementary to each other. Advertising just prepares the background for the salesman’s work, i.e., salesmanship, and it should complete the task which advertising has set in motion.