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

Simply swapping out Russell for a more conventional liberal Democrat (Ted Kennedy, say) would be a hard sell in a polarized environment. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The fight over renaming the Russell Senate Office Building after John McCain, explained," 29 Aug. 2018 The President will need their votes because free-trade Republicans and U.S. businesses are likely to be a hard sell. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Half a Nafta," 27 Aug. 2018 But since no cars are for sale at the show, there's little chance of getting a hard sell. Ronald Montoya, Edmunds, USA TODAY, "Planning a purchase? How to car shop at an auto show," 10 Feb. 2018 Eric, a Muay Thai and mixed martial arts fighter, didn’t have a hard sell on Thailand. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "A 'No Reservations,' 'Parts Unknown' viewing guide from an Anthony Bourdain devotee," 8 June 2018 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

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

6 Dec 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

More from Merriam-Webster on hard sell

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hard sell

Comments on hard sell

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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