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 Chris Creighton Creighton would be a hard sell to MSU fans based on his record at Eastern Michigan. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football: Five coaching candidates after Luke Fickell said no," 10 Feb. 2020 But Fidoe saw that the skills School 21 builds were not valued in the university admissions process, making them a hard sell to parents and students. Jenny Anderson, Quartz, "A new UK university wants to teach students skills employers actually want," 31 Jan. 2020 That's about two-thirds of the average rent for a Manhattan apartment, which might be a hard sell for consumers outside the middle class. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Peloton's perplexing new holiday ad has incensed the internet," 3 Dec. 2019 That would have been a hard sell even if the Wolverines prevailed Wednesday. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Relax, Michigan football's Citrus Bowl loss means nothing in the big picture," 1 Jan. 2020 Unlike campaigns built around universal health care or gun control — issues that may appeal to Democratic primary voters but might be a harder sell in the general election — Yang feels like everyone can get behind UBI. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "Andrew Yang has defied expectations. Can he turn that into a 2020 win?," 13 Dec. 2019 In other words, Porsche dealers in 2020 will be putting the hard sell on customers to forget Porsche 911s and instead give the Taycan a test-drive. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, "Europe is Going All-In on Electric in 2020. It Still Won’t Save the Struggling Auto Sector," 17 Dec. 2019 But for many Americans, especially in the years after Prohibition, Chartreuse was a hard sell. Washington Post, "Chartreuse liqueur’s popularity has soared. But how do you market the elixir without offending the monks who make it?," 19 Nov. 2019 Nobody does the hard sell like the house of the mouse. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "The most delightfully random TV shows and movies coming to Disney+," 15 Oct. 2019

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

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hard sell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hard%20sell. Accessed 27 Feb. 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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