hard sell


Definition of hard sell

: aggressive high-pressure salesmanship — compare soft sell

Examples of hard sell in a Sentence

Such an expensive project will be a hard sell during these slow economic times.
Recent Examples on the Web Social distancing is a hard sell at the baccarat tables. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, "All bets are off: Casinos grinding to a halt over coronavirus," 16 Mar. 2020 Not all the changes have been hard sells in Saudi Arabia. Vivian Yee, New York Times, "Saudi Law Granted Women New Freedoms. Their Families Don’t Always Agree.," 14 Mar. 2020 Studio chief Jack Warner liked his titles large on the screen, which made Fitzgerald's subtle stills sequence for Bonnie and Clyde a hard sell. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, "Wayne Fitzgerald, Prolific Main Title Designer, Dies at 89," 30 Sep. 2019 That may make its five-show lineup for $10 a month a hard sell against something like Disney+, which is launching on its own for $6.99 per month and will also be available with Hulu and stripped-down version of ESPN thrown in for $12.99 per month. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Apple TV Plus will reportedly cost $9.99 per month and launch in November," 20 Aug. 2019 That being said, the idea of the Chiefs winning it all – or even just beating Vrabel and the Titans – is a hard sell around New England. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "A Patriots fan’s rooting guide to the rest of the NFL playoffs," 17 Jan. 2020 While the purchase of carbon offsets to make up for the impact is worthy and rational, intellectual justifications are a hard sell on this topic. Chris Bryant | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Prince Harry’s Shaming Is Bad News for Private Jets," 26 Aug. 2019 As for the Anglophone countries, getting foreign languages into the tender years is a hard sell. The Economist, "To master a language, start learning it early," 10 May 2018 Despite the seemingly hard sell, Morissette’s dream has been repeatedly coming true. Ashley Lee, Houston Chronicle, "How Alanis Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ has Broadway talking about sexual assault," 3 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hard sell.' 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 hard sell

1945, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hard sell

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The first known use of hard sell was in 1945

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Statistics for hard sell

Last Updated

28 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hard sell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hard%20sell. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for hard sell

hard sell


Financial Definition of hard sell

What It Is

A hard sell is an aggressive sales tactic used to persuade customers to make an immediate purchase. It is the opposite of a soft sell.

How It Works

In a hard sell, a salesperson tries to sell a product or service by applying pressure that suggests a sense of urgency to the buyer. A hard sell is closely associated with short-term advertising and the assumption that consumers are inherently indecisive. For this reason, many rationalize hard selling as a way to ensure that a buyer benefits and does not miss an opportunity.

For example, someone selling a mattress may engage in hard selling by explaining its long-term orthopedic and health benefits while telling the customer that he or she will get an especially great price if the mattress is purchased that day.

Why It Matters

Salespersons must take great care when conducting a hard sell as excessive pressure may appear to customers as a dishonest attempt to make money quickly and manipulate customers.

Source: Investing Answers

hard sell


English Language Learners Definition of hard sell

: an aggressive way of selling something
US : something that is difficult to sell : something that others are not willing or likely to accept

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