Lesson One – History of Salesmanship

Definition Of Salesmanship
Salesmanship is the skill of selling and the ability to convince buyers and customers to purchase goods and services. Salesmanship entails the use of skills in promoting goods and services.

In salesmanship, a salesman engages in inducing, negotiating and convincing customers to purchase goods and services. Salesmanship involves satisfying the needs of customers through beneficial processes which are efficient, fair, truthful and of mutual understanding.

A salesman makes use of personal selling skills of ensuring that customers buy goods and services through inducement and negotiation. Salesmanship entails persuading and influencing customers to make sales decisions and to purchase goods and services.

The History Of Salesmanship
Salesmanship existed as a skill and an art right from the days of our forefathers. In the olden days, agricultural products were produced and could not be properly kept and preserved.

They consequently got spoilt before consumption. The need to dispose off these products before wastage led to the process of exchanging products for products.

The process through which these products were exchanged for goods is called “trade by barter”. By this process, people who had a particular good exchanged it for the one which they needed and owned by another person. The use of monetary materials like manilas, cowries’ shells, elephant tusks, etc brought the process of barter to an end.

The history of salesmanship finally took a special dimension with the advent of Europeans and the introduction of money like notes and coins. Salesmen in the Nineteenth century travelled from one location to another with goods. They carried out door-to-door sales services and cold calling. Through those processes, they made profits.

In the Twentieth century, more organized sales activities commenced in the United States of America. Salesmanship came up as a result of the introduction of credit policies and some other laws which gave buyers protection. During this century, many companies came up and engaged in product sales. The activities of these organizations developed the activities of salesmanship.

The Development Of Salesmanship In The Economy Of Nigeria
In Nigeria, salesmanship began in the Eighteenth century. The process involved exchanging goods with goods. This is referred to as trade-by-barter.

The products of exchange then were agricultural products.
The system of exchanging goods for goods changed as a result of the advent of Europeans. The whites in search of raw materials and an avenue to sell finished products led to export trade. By this period, the whites exchanged agricultural products with monetary values like manilas, wood, bronze, iron, etc.

Salesmanship as a skill experienced tremendous growth and promotion in Nigeria as it has become a subject taught in schools and practiced as a career.

The Effects Of Salesmanship On Nigerian Economy
Salesmanship as a profession has contributed in no small measure to the growth of the Nigerian economy. The skill has done much to the economy in the following ways:

  1. Salesmanship has served as a means of employment in the country.
  2. The skill has increased the opportunity of companies producing quality goods to brace up for competition.
  3. Salesmanship has contributed to the increase of the country’s gross domestic product.
  4. Trade promotion in Nigeria has increased due to the activities of salesmen and salesmanship.
  5. Salesmanship has helped the country’s revenue to grow and increase.
  6. Salesmanship helps producers to get feedback from their customers about their products.
  7. Salesmanship makes consumers familiar with products.

Scroll Down to Select Page 3 for the next topic – Concept of Salesmanship

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