There are three truths to a story – your truth, your competitor’s truth, and the middle truth.

The hero’s truth is glory, conquest, and protection.
The villain’s truth (competitor) is glory, conquest, and protection.

Your villain does not see himself as a villain.
In his story, you are the villain.

A coin has three sides – heads, tails, and the thin edge.

The middle truth is the thin edge.

Doug Simpson taught me a service business was built on three things: people, profit, and overhead. A service business bills out three times the cost of its employees. Once to cover the cost of employment, once to pay for the overhead expenses, and once for profit in the bank. He further explained profit could be split three ways: one for fun, one for survival during slowdowns, and one for growth and expansion.

I heard the same story of three’s a few years later while working for a franchisor.

We divided franchises into three categories – A, B, and C.

“A” franchises were engaged. They had strong sales growth and positive attitudes. Customer complaints were minimal.

“B” franchises were doing ok. They had operational issues but were compliant with our needs. Growth was stagnant. Attitudes were acceptable.

“C” franchises were in trouble. Franchisees were frustrated, disengaged, and ready to walk. Sales declined. Complaints were high.

It was our goal to replace the C franchisees with future A’s, to raise the bar of the network.

The B’s were the thin edge and would eventually become A’s or C’s.
Our business was strong when the A’s outnumbered the C’s.

Let’s look at your truth.

Does your advertising get complaints?

If your ads don’t conjure negative feelings for some, they will not generate positive ones for others.

The opposite of love is indifference.

Your customer growth is like the coin. The ones who will buy are A’s. The ones who won’t are C’s. The edge is the majority who haven’t decided – those pesky indifferent B’s.

Using the right messaging pushes the B’s to a decision. Some of them will love it and become A’s. Others will hate it and become C’s.

The strength of your ads is measured by attracting more A’s to your business.

The middle truth is where opportunity lies – the thin edge between love and hate.

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