“Normally, when I see numbers this low, they’re bringing you in on a table.”

Doctor K. spoke the words without emotion, but they stunned me into utter silence. I stared at him, mouth agape, barely breathing. 

Sure, I felt bad. But it wasn’t until that moment that realized just how sick I really was. 

He wasn’t the first doctor I’d seen; the others just gave me pills that didn’t work.

“Why are you here,” Doctor K. asked me. All the others asked the same question and got the same answer from me: “because I have heartburn that won’t quit.” 

That’s when the others stopped asking questions and wrote me a prescription for heartburn.

Not Doctor K though. He kept the questions coming. “Why do you have heartburn?” 

“I guess because my stomach produces too much acid.” 

“And why does your stomach produce too much acid?” 

No one else bothered to ask that question. That’s why no one else managed to help me heal.

When Doctor K. asked, “why are you here,” my answer was merely the first clue in a long chain of clues that finally revealed the underlying cause of my intolerable symptoms.

I tell you this story to illustrate an important truth: if you want good answers, then you’ve got to ask “why” until it hurts, until you get to the root of the problem.

Fix the root problem and the symptoms tend to resolve themselves.

So, why are you here, reading this?

Is it because – in spite of all the money you spend on marketing – your competition is still kicking your butt?

Here’s an ugly truth they don’t teach you in business school: we’re taught to think of customer relationships as something entirely different from personal relationships. And that’s silly.

All customers are persons. That means all your customer relationships are personal relationships.

Successful long-term relationships are built on a foundation of love and respect.

Two people fall in love with each other for one simple reason: because they make each other feel good. And those people will stay in love as long as they keep making each other feel good.

Business relationships are no different.

People “fall in love” with businesses just like they fall in love with a person – because that business makes them feel amazing. (And if you can’t make people feel good, at least make them feel something. Hatred is infinitely better than indifference.)

In fantasy world, you can get people to love your business if you offer a good product at a fair price and then back it up with good service and a fair guarantee. After all, that’s what people say they want.

But in real life, you can give people everything they say they want, and they’ll still not love you.

If you don’t make people feel good, if you don’t give them reasons to fall in love with you and keep loving you, then they will ignore you. You lose.

If you want to win, then do something different.

When the other doctors heard me describe a symptom, they just scribbled a prescription and sent me on my way. Those doctors weren’t in the healing business; they were in the symptom-treating business.

Most marketing is like that: it treats the symptom, not the root cause. That’s why so much marketing sucks.

If you think your business deserves more success than it currently commands, then ask yourself why?

  • Why does it deserve more?
  • Why does it get less?

Keep asking “why” until you get to the root cause.

Maybe your problem is simple. Maybe people don’t fall in love with you because your marketing doesn’t make them feel good.

Maybe they perceive your business as not too bad, but nothing special. In other words, it’s just like all the others.

If that’s the case, then it’s time to do something different: ask a Wizard of Ads partner to help you upgrade your marketing.

Latest posts by Jack Heald (see all)