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1. An aggressive sales technique in which the salesperson applies a significant amount of pressure on the prospective buyer. I hate coming into these shops when I'm just browsing, because someone always comes over trying to give me the hard sell.
2. Someone who is resistant to sales pitches or proposals or reluctant to make a purchase or accept or agree to something. Boy, that guy was a hard sell. I had to spend nearly an hour pitching all the features of the car before he finally agreed. Because I know I don't need anything when I go into these shops to have a look around, I'm usually a hard sell for the employees there. Feel free to pitch your idea to the board, but know beforehand that they're going to be a hard sell for anything that requires additional funding.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
*the hard sell
high-pressure selling techniques. (*Typically: get ~ give someone ~.) They gave me the hard sell, but I still wouldn't buy the car. The clerk gave the customer the hard sell.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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 sell-I usually just hang up on them . [Late 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n. a high-pressure attempt to sell something. I’m afraid I’m very susceptible to the hard sell.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.