DEFINITION of 'Hard Sell'

Advertising and sales practices denoted by aggressive or forceful language. A hard sell is designed to get a consumer to purchase a good or service in the short-term, rather than evaluate his or her options and potentially decide to wait on the purchase. It is considered a high-pressure technique.

BREAKING DOWN 'Hard Sell'

Determining whether to use a hard sell technique versus a soft sell technique, in which a campaign is more subtle in the delivery of its message, may come down to the type of product being sold and the type of person it is being advertised to. A hard sell technique used to sell a car, for example, might focus on the limited availability of the particular model, how other people are waiting to purchase the vehicle and how prices might increase if the consumer walks off the lot.

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