verb (used with or without object), hard-sold, hard-sell·ing.
- hard-shell clam,
- hard-shell crab,
Origin of hard-sell
Origin of hard sell
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]
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]