What is a Hard Sell Versus a Soft Sell?
A hard sell is an aggressive sales tactic used to persuade customers to make an immediate purchase. It is the opposite of a soft sell.
Example of a Hard Sell Tactic
In a hard sell, a salesperson tries to sell a product or service by applying pressure that suggests a sense of urgency to the buyer. A hard sell is closely associated with short-term advertising and the assumption that consumers are inherently indecisive. For this reason, many rationalize hard selling as a way to ensure that a buyer benefits and does not miss an opportunity.
For example, someone selling a mattress may engage in hard selling by explaining its long-term orthopedic and health benefits while telling the customer that he or she will get an especially great price if the mattress is purchased that day.
Why the Hard Sell May Not Be Effective
Salespersons must take great care when conducting a hard sell as excessive pressure may appear to customers as a dishonest attempt to make money quickly and manipulate customers.