salesmanship

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

salesman +‎ -ship

Noun[edit]

salesmanship (countable and uncountable, plural salesmanships)

  1. The skills and knowledge of how to sell.
    The professional dealer's salesmanship was incredible, I was just looking but he managed to convince me to buy three times what I was considering buying over the next six months.
    • 1880, R. D. Blackmore, Mary Anerley, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, Volume 2, Chapter 9, p. 162,[1]
      [] this man worked at his business all the harder, with the brightness of the home-joys fading. But it went very hard with him, more than once, when he made a good stroke of salesmanship, to have to put the money in the bottom of his pocket, without even rubbing a bright half-crown, and saying to himself, “I have a’most a mind to give this to Mary.”
    • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt, Chapter 1,[2]
      Babbitt’s spectacles had huge, circular, frameless lenses of the very best glass; the ear-pieces were thin bars of gold. In them he was the modern business man; one who gave orders to clerks and drove a car and played occasional golf and was scholarly in regard to Salesmanship.
    • 1963, Hannah Arendt, On Revolution, New York: Viking, 1965, Chapter 6, section 4, p. 282,[3]
      It is in the nature of all party systems that the authentically political talents can assert themselves only in rare cases, and it is even rarer that the specifically political qualifications survive the petty maneuvers of party politics with its demands for plain salesmanship.
    • 2012, Nathan Rabin, “The Simpsons (Classic): ‘Treehouse of Horror III’” [season 4, episode 5; originally aired 10/29/1992], The A.V. Club, TV Reviews, 29 April, 2012,[4]
      The idea of a merchant selling both totems of pure evil and frozen yogurt (he calls it frogurt!) is amusing in itself, as is the idea that frogurt could be cursed, but it’s really the Shopkeeper’s quicksilver shift from ominous doomsaying to chipper salesmanship that sells the sequence.
  2. (Britain, marketing, business) A position as salesman.

See also[edit]