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

The firm wants to issue more shares and warrants to stay afloat, but that could be a hard sell considering that its share price has collapsed from $32.90 on October 11th to 18 cents. The Economist, "MoviePass’s useful financial horror show," 12 July 2018 Effective altruism can be a hard sell, even for the rationally minded. The Economist, "Can “effective altruism” maximise the bang for each charitable buck?," 2 June 2018 The politics of envy based on income inequality has always been a hard sell in the U.S. Few Americans resent Bill Gates, whose innovations made him megarich but also made the rest of us better off. Phil Gramm And, WSJ, "How Income Equality Helped Trump," 24 June 2018 Projection: McCray has value and Don Brown loves him enough to give the hard sell to any NFL team that comes calling. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Maurice Hurst headlines Michigan football's NFL draft hopefuls," 25 Apr. 2018 Outsiders had good reason to think Nimmo would never develop any pop, and a corner outfielder without pop, no matter how superlative his on-base skills, is a hard sell. Jack Dickey, SI.com, "A Reworked Swing Has Brandon Nimmo, Mets Smiling in Surprise Breakout Campaign," 20 June 2018 While her Indian sauces were a hard sell, the syrup found a market right away, including at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco and the online grocer Good Eggs, and will be at Whole Foods in the fall. Tara Duggan, SFChronicle.com, "Doctor drops UCSF post for a career in dates," 20 June 2018 Earlier in the day, over tomato soup and thyme roasted chicken, the president had done his own hard sell, welcoming a dozen or so television anchors to lunch at the White House, a tradition before State of the Union speeches. Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times, "‘Gloomy.’ ‘Amazing.’ Trump’s Speech Divides the Pundits.," 31 Jan. 2018 Morcilla can, however, be a hard sell for those who discover that its principal flavoring agent is blood. Sam Sifton, New York Times, "The Best Sausages of Summer, Ranked," 22 May 2018

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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Statistics for hard sell

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for hard sell

The first known use of hard sell was in 1945

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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

: something that is difficult to sell : something that others are not willing or likely to accept

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one that holds something together

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