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Making Them Believe

By Dan S. Kennedy and Chip Kessler

*A Book Review*

by Michael C. Gray

© 2010 by Michael C. Gray

Why is it that you can present a proposition to a prospective customer, including making an offer that seems irresistible, yet the customer refuses to buy?

This is a question and a roadblock that confounds business owners and marketers. If you can find the key that unlocks this door, you will experience much greater business success.

During the Great Depression, Dr. J.R. Brinkley was a rogue doctor who was successful in unlocking the door to make prospective patients believe his message, and was fabulously successful. He was a "quack" who enjoyed a greater income than any conventional doctor of his time. His story is told in the book Charlatan by Pope Brock, which I previously reviewed and commend to you again.

In Making Them Believe, marketing wizard Dan Kennedy and distant Brinkley relation Chip Kessler examine 21 principles and lost secrets of the marketing employed by J.R. Brinkley. Kennedy's proposition is that if these principles and secrets can work in promoting preposterous claims such as the surgeries and cures sold by Brinkley, they should work even better for legitimate products and services.

For example, Brinkley made extensive use of testimonials – especially featuring celebrities. He started with Billy Stittworth, Jr., a local farmer suffering from impotence. Within a year after treatment by Brinkley, Stittworth and his wife conceived a child. Later, Brinkley secured a testimonial from J.J. Tobias, a 70 ½ year old chancellor at the University of Chicago School of Law, who claimed Brinkley had restored his vitality. It's hard to find a more believable witness than that, isn't it?

Brinkley wrote books about his cures and commissioned complementary biographies to be written about him. These books further established Brinkley's credibility and authority.

Most notably, Brinkley was a media master. He was a pioneer in the use of radio for self-promotion. He established radio stations with high broadcasting power and salted his "infomercials" with some of the greatest entertainers of his time, including the Carter family. Brinkley actually established country music as a popular art form. Since Brinkley had control of the radio stations, he could tell his story with impunity. (By the way, his Mexican radio station eventually was used for broadcasting Wolfman Jack's radio show!)

The combination of the audacity of Brinkley's exploits together with Dan Kennedy's insights makes for fascinating and invaluable reading. I highly recommend that you get a copy of this book and study it to determine how you can apply these principles in your business or career.

Buy it at Amazon: Making Them Believe: How One of America's Legendary Rogues Marketed ''The Goat Testicles Solution'' and Made Millions.

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