hard sell

Idioms & Phrases

hard sell

  1. An aggressive, high-pressure sales practice or promotion, as in Used-car salesmen tend to give you a hard sell. This expression gave rise to the antonym soft sell, a low-key sales approach that relies on gentle persuasion. [Colloquial; c. 1950]

  2. A difficult sales prospect, one who resists sales pressure. For example, Those brokers who call us at dinnertime find me a hard sellI usually just hang up on them. [Late 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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