sales·​man·​ship | \ ˈsālz-mən-ˌship How to pronounce salesmanship (audio) \

Definition of salesmanship

1 : the skill or art of selling
2 : ability or effectiveness in selling or in presenting persuasively political salesmanship

Examples of salesmanship in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even McVeigh, who prided himself on traditional salesmanship, recognized that Pyle’s crew was vital. Todd C. Frankel, Washington Post, "No handshakes. A bad economy. These car salesmen shifted tactics — and succeeded.," 12 Aug. 2020 McVeigh believed salesmanship required a certain finesse and ability to instantly connect with people. Todd C. Frankel, Washington Post, "No handshakes. A bad economy. These car salesmen shifted tactics — and succeeded.," 12 Aug. 2020 Trump’s persistent salesmanship about the prowess of testing in the United States is colliding with a far different reality for those affected by the explosion in coronavirus cases. Mike Stobbe, The Denver Post, "Reality shows shortfalls of Trump’s claim to world’s “best testing” for coronavirus," 17 July 2020 The kindest interpretation is that this is just good salesmanship. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, "This Fourth of July, Consider Trump’s Lobster Fib," 4 July 2020 Trump’s salesmanship also risks opening a credibility gap between his rosy comments and reality. Washington Post, "Some jobs are coming back, but economy will need years to heal," 3 July 2020 Harry Hoffman, a former FBI agent, learned salesmanship at Procter & Gamble Co., a maker of soap and toothpaste. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Harry Hoffman Jolted Business of Book Publishing," 19 June 2020 Trump’s determination to hype an economic turnaround despite a highly uncertain forecast reflects not just his characteristic salesmanship but deepening anxiety about his political prospects five months from the election. Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times, "Trump claims victory although crises continue," 5 June 2020 Not to diminish the charms of Hamm's, but the Mothership's sales are most certainly a tribute to the art of salesmanship and what can be accomplished by rallying people in a common cause, even (or maybe especially) if the cause is drinking beer. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Mothership in Bay View makes elevated cocktails, and sells more Hamm's than anyone else," 27 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'salesmanship.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of salesmanship

1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for salesmanship

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The first known use of salesmanship was in 1880

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Statistics for salesmanship

Last Updated

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Salesmanship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce salesmanship (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of salesmanship

: the skill of persuading people to buy things or to accept or agree to something

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