Selling is one of the most important marketing activities in most organizations. The scope for selling has increased substantially during the past few decades due to growth in the industry. Persuasive selling skills are being used not only by organizations whose objective is to earn profit but also by non-profit organizations because of this varied nature selling has developed into a specialized area of management.
Before we get into the discussion that Salesmanship is an art or science, first important thing that who is a salesperson? The most suitable answer to this question is everyone is salesperson. We are always presenting our ideas, our opinions or ourselves in every conversation that we have. If we are presenting our feelings, it is usually done in such a way as to solicit a desired response (e.g., happiness, empathy, sadness, compassion, etc.). We have been doing this all of our lives, and it is a natural part of our daily routine. Once this is understood, the thought of having to sell something to someone should be a little less frightening.
The Art of Salesmanship
As Art is a science applied, it involves actual doing. It is the practical application of knowledge or natural ability. One might have a broad knowledge of the science of medicine and possess, or develop, but indifferent ability in applying it. It may be said, speaking generally, that knowledge of a science is gained by study; proficiency in an art by practice.
A knowledge of selling principles alone is not sufficient. Actual practice in their application is necessary. But a knowledge of principles will enable one to get his selling ability into action more quickly and make of him a better salesman than he otherwise could hope to be. The art of salesmanship may be defined as the ability to apply fundamental selling principles to the circumstances of the individual selling situation.
The Science of Salesmanship
Selling is definitely an Art. But Art is an applied Science. It is the practical application of knowledge or natural ability. It is possible to make a study of the sales process and the experience and methods of successful salesmen. Because of the many unmeasurable human elements involved, it will always remain, to some degree, an inexact science.
Therefore, the term Salesmanship includes both a knowledge of fundamental selling principles and the ability to apply them in the actual making of sales. It comprehends both the science and the art.