soft sell

a method of advertising or selling that is quietly persuasive, subtle, and indirect (opposed to hard sell ).

1950–55 Unabridged


[sawft-sel, soft-]
verb (used with object), soft-sold, soft-selling.
to promote (a product, service, etc.) using indirect or gentle persuasion: an advertising campaign to soft-sell a new perfume.
(of a sales technique) quietly or indirectly persuasive: a soft-sell approach to marketing.

1950–55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
soft sell
Compare hard sell a method of selling based on indirect suggestion or inducement

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Slang Dictionary

soft sell definition

  1. n.
    a polite attempt to sell something; a very gentle sales pitch. : Some people won't bother listening to a soft sell. You gotta let them know you believe in what you are selling.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

soft sell

see hard sell, def. 1.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
It's a soft sell, because the world of work is becoming a global market whether or not you operate in other countries.
Most churches that bother to put on a haunted house are not interested in such a soft sell.
Cooper explained it is a soft sell and simply an additional choice made available.
Introduce yourself via a phone call, e-mail or letter, but make it a soft sell.
Idioms & Phrases
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