Skip to content

Embrace the Inside Sales Suck

A few weeks ago, the Chip off the Block newsletter Inspiration is the WOW behind your WHY talked about getting out of the drudgery of everyday work “stuff.” Then I saw a post from a friend who is through hiking the Appalachian Trail – yes all 2,198.4 miles.
I’m not about to ask you to understand anything about his journey – I certainly don’t have, or get, the internal fire that makes a person want to do all it takes to accomplish something like that.
What I do think is a concept we, in sales, need to get better at is “embrace the suck.”
While for me that will forever be a Steve Sanford quote – he would like me to let you know it is a military term. Of course, I looked it up and found its origin is Operation Iraqi Freedom. “…acknowledgment of a terrible, unavoidable situation. It is also an implied order among service members to face such situations with conscious acceptance.” from Embrace The Suck Meaning: 5 Things You Never Knew.

  • Although I talk about acknowledging we’ve heard people (especially when encountering conversational resistance and objections), I’ll admit to not considering acknowledging the things I don’t really like that I know are critical to my sales success.

    Let’s all work on self-acknowledgment of the yech in our sales days instead of ignoring that something sucks.

Conscious Acceptance:

  • As I read the military meaning behind the phrase, I realized that acknowledgment is what brings the suck into our conscious mind from where it was always lurking in the subconscious. Which brings us the ability to actively choose acceptance.

    Acceptance doesn’t have to be seen as LIKING the suck; rather willingly seeing whatever suck you find in a day as normal and stop protesting (in your/my head or out loud).

Find the Positive:

  • Steve talks about acknowledging what makes you uncomfortable, putting it in your pocket, and finding the positive. On the trail, a heavy pack is the discomfort (suck), when it’s heavy because it’s full of all his favorite trail snacks that is the positive and yummy part.

    Finding the positive doesn’t make the suck – less, rather it allows you to put it away and move on emotionally.

How about in your day – what are the FIVE things that SUCK?

In case you aren’t quite ready to consciously accept that things suck every day… answer these WHAT questions (with individual/unique answers):

  1. What is one sales activity that you’ll work HARD to find things to do instead of it?
  2. What expectation from leadership are you SICK of hearing about?
  3. What, if you could still be successful, is one thing you’d NEVER do again?
  4. What have you been looking for an alternative way of doing FOREVER, instead of just doing the thing?
  5. What makes you ROLL YOUR EYES about work, every. single. time.?

Right now! I want you to acknowledge the SUCK, plus consciously accept that although you’ll never enjoy those five things, and still need to do them.
More importantly – next to your answers: write the positive of the suck. The good things that come, something that makes you smile, the result of doing the thing.
That is what allows you to then put the suck in your pocket and move forward.
Remembering the suck is temporary,
ps: For more on Steve’s Appalachian Trail journey – check out the summit of Mt Washington (which was Day 22) or follow him @sanfords_wanderlust on Instagram.

Back To Top