The Mr X Book by Jay Abraham
Review - 4.5 Stars
The correct title of this legendary book is the "Money-Making Secrets of Marketing Genius Jay Abraham and Other Marketing Wizards" but generally it's more widely known as the Mr X book. (See sales letter - affiliate link.)
The Mr X book is for anyone who has a business but believes that there are hidden opportunities in the business that could have a big impact on profit, if only you knew how to recognise the opportunities and then to exploit them.
This is what Jay Abraham is all about - finding profitable opportunities and exploiting them. To give you a better flavour of what Jay Abraham offers I recommend that you watch this Jay Abraham video.
He is the master and has earned a fortune for himself and an incredible amount of money for his clients - it was over $5 billion when they stopped counting. The numbers just got so big that the extra few billion didn't make any difference.
The origins of the Mr X book are controversial - see my article for the story of the Mr X book.
Jay Abraham much prefers to work with established companies than start-ups because he knows that this is where the high value leverage is - in areas that you have but where you are not making the most of them and it is a view I share.
If you are familiar with my blog, you know I am a massive Jay Abraham fan, the Mr X book is brilliant but I haven't given it five stars.
Let me explain why:
- The pricing - for a book, the Mr X book is very expensive.
Remember that this is Jay Abraham, one of the top marketing consultants in the world and he knows how to price and that's on value - and used properly the value is extremely high.
As a book that you read and then take no actions the Mr X book is expensive.
But what would you be prepared to pay to transform the marketing of your business in a way that finds opportunities and turns them into streams of cash year after year? We're now talking big numbers aren't we?
On that basis and provided you put the lessons into action, the Mr X book is an absolute bargain.
- I read the Mr X book as an e-book.
I like e-books.
I am able to carry them around on my laptop, they don't take any space on my office shelves, I can print off just the pages I want to read again. But the better the book, the more I want the feel of a proper book. My main copy of the Mr X book, with the key text underlined in red, is in a lever arch file and it's just not the same.
The upside is that there is no guilty feeling about getting your highlighting pen or red pen out and defacing a pristine book. You want a nice clean copy, just print it again.
Update - I am now lucky in that I have a bound version of the Mr X book so now I have the best of both worlds - a pristine copy to read but also the ability to easily print off and note particular sections that I would to implement.
- The presentation in the Mr X book is poor.
Jay boasts that the Mr X book is dense and it is. There is a shortage of white space that would make it easier to read and it would be good to see some pictures or diagrams to break up the text.
Fortunately it is well organised into standalone chapters with plenty of sub-headings and with a clear demarcation of Jay's words (and the other experts) and Mr X's interpretations.
In the context of the high value of the content of the Mr X book, these moans are minor but they do cause the Mr X book to lose my ultimate rating of 5 stars that is an unconditional recommendation to buy.
I have no intention of trying to mislead you. If you judge a book by its cover, then this one isn't up to standard.
But enough of the warnings.
The Mr X book itself is brilliant and it is the great summary of Jay Abraham's methods that the sales letter (affiliate link) promises.
It is so much more extensive than Jay's conventional book "Getting Everything You Can From All You've Got that I did award my rare 5 star accolade.
Because the book does cost a lot I am going to write what is probably my longest review (in the past or future).
I think that's it's only fair that I give you a good understanding of what the Mr X book covers before you consider spending the kind of cash that would buy 20 or 30 ordinary marketing books.
For me it is an essential ingredient of my business coaching and marketing coaching.
Left to me I'd have questions about the coach's knowledge of Jay Abraham's work and methods as part of the client's selection criteria.
Clients want the best advice and I can't see how people can give marketing and business building advice without a detailed understanding of Jay Abraham's techniques and the reference materials at hand to back up that understanding.
- The Preamble - Jay tells the story of the Mr X book.
- Introduction - written by Mr X.
As Jay Abraham says "This book is a virtual encyclopaedia of the world's most profound marketing lessons. It will take years of experience for you to get it all down pat. You should refer to this book again and again over the years ahead. Each time you pick it up, you will learn new lessons of great value. Never before has a marketing book contained so much wisdom and so many money-making insights. Study it, apply the lessons and in time, you too, can be acknowledged as a marketing genius."
- Chapter 1 - Customers
One of the biggest mistakes many companies make is to focus too much of their time, effort and marketing budget in attracting new potential customers at the expense of developing the strength and financial value of existing customer/client relationships.
From Jay Abraham's perspective, it is different. Your best prospects for increased business are your existing customers and all the opportunities for reselling, cross-selling and up-selling.
The Mr X book will tell you in detail the ways to strengthen your customer relationships and to increase their value to you.
It covers the important marginal net worth concept, a sample interview between Jay and a client, the importance of capturing customer names/details and follow-up marketing, sample sales letter to turn an occasional customer into a regular subscription customer or to encourage repeat business.
- Chapter 2 - Education
For Jay Abraham, one of the primary roles of marketing is to educate your customers about your generic product and service and then about your business and the unique advantages that you offer.
It may sound crazy but this includes a few of the less positive things.
Why? Because if you admit a few issues that could put some customers off, you increase the credibility of the remaining copy.
The purpose of this education is simple. To make a buying decision with confidence, people need to understand and will naturally favour the business that is trying to help them understand. It just becomes obvious to follow their lead.
This chapter also includes one of my favourite Jay Abraham techniques - tell the customer why!
We are all subjected to so much advertising clutter and noise that even if we notice an advert and it looks good, the almost automatic reaction can be "it looks too good to be true."
So if you make a great offer, then explain why you are able to do it and why you are doing it.
But your educational responsibility doesn't end when you make the sale. People need to be educated on how they can get the best out of your product and service and when they are using it well, educated on the value that you are creating for them
The Mr X book also emphasises the importance of preemptive advertising and tells the story of Claude Hopkins and Schlitz beer.
In another nice little story of the difference it makes to people walking around a museum to know that an unattractive piece of art was considered a masterpiece as it is one of four that the artist made in their career and that the others have been sold for an average of $4 million. Instead of just dismissing it, you would stop, look and try it appreciate the value that other people must see. That is the value of education.
- Chapter 3 - Host Devices
This is a key chapter that could make a massive difference to your business. It covers the importance of host-beneficiary arrangements and is a major cause of Jay Abraham's astonishing success in creating profit for clients.
This is where you profit from helping someone else leverage your customer relationships to sell their products and services. Or alternatively you take advantage of other people's relationships to be introduced to new, on-target prospective buyers.
The concept trades off the existing goodwill between customer and supplier and uses it to introduce new products and services that the buyer is likely to find attractive. This targets the marketing like a laser beam while also carries the endorsement of a third party.
This chapter of the Mr X book also includes a challenge. Are the ways that you can work with competing businesses rather than against them?
Nearly every business could benefit from some kind of host-beneficiary arrangement and it's particularly applicable to businesses that would otherwise only have a one-time sale. If you've done all the hard work of finding the customer, convinced them to buy, done a great job and they are delighted with you, it would be an awful waste to allow the relationship to go cold.
This chapter is strong on making the deal happen and often, this is where the big money is.
Many people are not familiar with Jay Abraham's host beneficiary concept so if you approach a company with what you think looks like a win-win deal, they may be suspicious and turn you away.
But what if you apply your marketing skills? They'd listen more if they truly understood "what's in it for me". They'd listen more if you educated them about the concept, how they can benefit, about you and your company and your commitment to providing great products and services.
- Chapter 4 - Start-Up Marketing
This chapter moves away from Jay Abraham to the work of Jim Cook with excerpts from his book "The Start-Up Entrepreneur".
It lists the 25 marketing must-do's for a new business and emphasises how important it is that any new business is designed from the customer's perspective.
Unfortunately the "better mousetrap myth" is a myth. The first hurdle any small business faces is that customers have to hear of their company and then they have to believe in it.
It also features an excerpt from Dale Carnegie's famous "How To Win Friends And Influence People." It's at the core of marketing - you offer what your prospective customers want.
Henry Ford once said "If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as your own." Simple, yes. Obvious, yes. But do you systematically do it?
- Chapter 5 - Motivational Marketing
This time we move into the world of Napoleon Hill and his famous book "Think and Grow Rich" based on the money-making insights of Andrew Carnegie and many other successful people of the early twentieth century.
This chapter from Mr X summarises the lessons from the ground-breaking book and reading the story makes me realise just what a brave decision it was for Napoleon Hill to make.
- Chapter 6 - Unique Selling Proposition
After two chapters away from Jay Abraham's own thinking (but drawing on sources that influenced his thinking) we are very much back with Jay on the importance of developing a compelling USP.
Just to remind you.
Your USP or unique selling proposition is that distinct, appealing idea that sets your business apart from every other "me-too" competitor.
This is a much quoted and well known concept but this chapter in the Mr X book nails the USP concept.
Instead of talking loosely about how important it is to have a USP, it gives many practical examples of how a USP can be built around a particular customer focused criteria:
- a broad selection
- big discounts
- advice and assistance
- top-of-the-line products
- speed of service
- superb service above and beyond the basics
- a comprehensive guarantee.
Being different is at the core of any successful strategy and your USP is how you explain that difference in a few words that can then be built into all your marketing communications.
But it has to be much more than a marketing slogan. Your existing customers have to believe in your USP as much as new prospective customers and you can only make that happen if your systems and people deliver the USP customer benefits.
In an interesting twist, which is just so typical of Jay Abraham, it can even be used with dissatisfied customers.
Make a sincere apology, restate your USP, assure the customer of your commitment and invite them back to try again with the incentive of a special deal.
- Chapter 7 - Direct Response
This chapter sets the ground work for longer chapters on advertising and direct mail.
What's the ultimate aim of advertising?
To sell more products and services.
Institutional advertising promotes the brand and may create favourable associations that sneak into the sub-conscious, but direct response marketing is "salesmanship in print".
Its purpose is clear - to sell.
It makes a compelling case for the prospect to buy and includes a call for action so that the customer picks up the phone and calls or sends backs the order form in the post.
But best of all, because direct response marketing is designed to produce results, the results can be measured. Campaigns can be tested. You can tell which marketing works and which doesn't.
And that means that you can spend your marketing budget wisely, investing in the winners rather than hoping that the losers will build up into a crescendo effect of name recognition that creates top of the mind awareness and ultimately sales.
- Chapter 8 - Writing
Do you write your own copy or do you use a professional copywriter?
Mr X recommends that even if you don't do it yourself, it is still essential to learn the skill so that you can check that your copywriter is doing a good job before you spend the money on the promotional campaign.
Mr X quotes Rudolf Flesch's 25 rules for effective writing. [In case Rudolf Flesch is a name you are not familiar with, and I wasn't he wrote a book "How To Write, Speak and Think Effectively".]
I would also recommend that any time you come across some compelling copy you stop and take a few minutes to analyse what makes it so compelling and these 25 rules are an excellent checklist.
- Chapter 9 - Advertising (this chapter is massive - almost a book within a book)
Remember "advertising is salesmanship in print". Live those words and your advertising will be a success.
This chapter includes the expected warning against institutional advertising and points you towards direct response marketing.
It then goes on to look at the importance of headlines and in particular testing headlines.
The Mr X book then quotes extensively from Claude Hopkins classic text "Scientific Advertising" together with David Ogilvy ("Confessions Of An Advertising Man") and John Caples "Tested Advertising Methods". It's fascinating to see the three experts advert so close together.
The book then includes 100 of the greatest headlines ever which can be adapted to your particular circumstances.
The next expert extensively quoted is Eugene Schwartz and "Breakthrough Advertising".
Next it is Australian advertising wizard Chris Newton with nine lessons before returning back to Jay Abraham's advice on writing adverts including classified adverts and Yellow Pages.
Television adverts are covered by David Ogilvy.
There is an interesting comparison of the advantages and limitations of small ads by John Caples.
This mammoth section ends with advertising that pays for itself on a per inquiry or per order basis with advice from Jay and John Mauldin.
- Chapter 10 - Converting Prospects
Stage 1 - advertise to generate the leads.
Stage 2 - convert those leads into customers
Jay (via Mr X) emphasises how important it is to make it easy for the customer to buy and one of the factors that Jay Abraham is most famous for is risk reversal.
Often one of the major barriers of turning a prospect into a customer is to overcome the fear and anxiety that the purchase may make the prospect worse off.
Unfortunately we've probably all made bad buys as we have been swayed by convincing advertising (and Jay Abraham certainly wants you to use compelling copy) but two things soften it.
The first is the guidance from the strategy of preeminence - you do what's in the long term best interest of your client - and the second is the topic of risk reversal.
Why do suppliers expect their customers to take the risk?
It's crazy. It's the supplier who knows how good the product or service is while the buyer is naturally sceptical of the claims that are made.
But these concerns are taken away by a risk reversal technique. Take a look at this example:
Try a product for a month. If you like it, send us the money. If you don't, call us and we will arrange for it to be picked up at no expense to you.
Wouldn't that encourage you to try something that you've found appealing. You can't lose.
Jay Abraham has taken risk reversal into an art and science with a whole combination of different approaches and the inevitable encourage - test and see what works for you.
The chapter also includes
- adding incentives
- packaging deals
- following up leads
- techniques to help get the order
- common sense market research
- using creative emulation
- special promotion techniques
- post-purchase reassurance
- assumptive letters
- the two step approach - drop into their comfort zone with a small, low value purchase first
- Chapter 11 - Direct Mail Marketing (another massive chapter)
This chapter in the Mr X book builds on the contents of the advertising chapter but in the context of direct mail.
Jay Abraham sees four different types of direct mail campaign:
- direct sales - to generate orders
- lead generation - to create qualified leads for more extensive selling
- for introducing an alliance partner in a host-beneficiary arrangement
- communicating with your own customers
The main purpose of a direct mail letter is to be read so certain things are critically important.
First and foremost is the list.
Second is the envelope and there are differences of opinion on the envelope and whether teaser copy should be used or just say what it is or whether a plain envelope is best. The professional advice is to test.
Next is the letter itself, starting with the headline, moving into the copy which establishes credibility, makes an offer, provides reassurance with risk reversal and then the call for action.
A great way of looking at a sales letter is that it is "a sales person at your customer's convenience." It can be ready any time, interrupted any time, returned to at any time.
As well as extensive advice from Jay Abraham, the chapter also includes some great advice from Joe Karbo on headlines (use the 4 Rs), a major section from Lauren R. Januz, Galen Stilson and Luther Brock.
The chapter ends with eight sample letters that "increase profits like crazy."
- Chapter 12 - Telemarketing
This chapter starts with advice from telemarketing expert James Cook for big telemarketing campaigns and then Jay provides tips for how smaller companies can do it.
- Chapter 13 - Marketing Help From Your Vendors [Suppliers]
Jay Abraham believes that you should aim to pay your suppliers by the results. Much of his success for the early part of his career was based on contingency payments where his fees depended on how much extra profit he generated.
The concept is simple - "If you work with me and it's very successful, I'll reward you far beyond your usual hourly rate."
- Chapter 14 - Public Relations
This chapter of the Mr X book starts with a reprint of Ron Tepper's "An Insider's Guide To Effective Publicity".
It explains the benefits of PR and then goes on to explain that your PR has to tell a story and if possible, piggyback on current affairs and news.
There are tips on how to get PR on radio and television and when and how to pitch your product.
There are then tips from James Cook. In fact I've only just realised how little Jay Abraham really covers PR in his own material.
- Chapter 15 - Building A Powerful Sales Force
This is a key area and it is interesting to see it from Jay's marketing background rather than a sales training perspective. The chapter includes:
- guidelines on getting the most from your salespeople
- how a problem solving approach can increase orders
- your sales person's hot buttons
- seven rules for coaching your sales force
- how to make the most of rejection
- eleven top notch ways to improve your listening skills
- Jim Cecil's process for attracting, selecting and training sales people.
- Chapter 16 - Barter
This is a fascinating area where you can buy, even when you don't have any money or sell to someone who doesn't have the cash to pay but has something that you value.
- Chapter 17 - Marketing For Professionals
Some professions are restricted by how they can market their business but Jay solves this problem in a variety of ways including:
- seminars (and with modern technology this now includes teleconference calls and webinars)
- newspaper columns
- information hot-lines (which will now include information packed websites)
- Chapter 18 - Marketing For Specific Businesses
In this fascinating chapter Jay's techniques and quick-fix marketing solutions are applied to fifty different kinds of business - wholesalers, mail order, lawyers, coin dealers, travel agencies, health and fitness clubs, tanning salons, car dealers...
As Jay says "As a budding marketing genius, your task is to combine and recombine basic marketer concepts I've taught you into new and creative applications to your specific business. Most of the concepts work beautifully and harmoniously in combination with one another."
- Chapter 19 - Marketing What You Know
This chapter moves into some of Jay's advanced profit building techniques.
When you have boosted your profits and found ways to draw customers to you like a magnet, you have the option of making even more money by teaching other people in your trade the same techniques.
Why would you do that?
Well suppose that you have a geographically based business but you don't want to expand out of your county (UK) or state (US), then you have every incentive to profit by training people outside your area and sharing in their extra profits. It doesn't affect your core business but will boost your bottom line.
One step further is to licence someone else's special skills and sell training in those skills where both you and the original creator share in the profits.
- Chapter 20 - How To Put On A Great Marketing Campaign
In this final chapter everything is brought together.
- Recommended Reading
Just in case you don't understand some of the terms. When I've read the book I didn't think it contained a lot of jargon but I will have become used to certain terms so the glossary may be useful.
- The Profit Odyssey
In this final section Jay explains that he is never satisfied because he always believes there is more opportunity and things can always be made better.
So there you have it.
A broad summary and commentary on the content of Jay Abraham's Mr X book.
The Big Question - Should You Buy The Mr X Book?
If you are a new business, I would say No - check out some of the Guerrilla Marketing resources instead.
Jay Abraham is at his best when he is working with established businesses but I would recommend that you lock into his opportunity mindset at an early stage of your business development.
Stick with his mainstream book "Getting Everything You Can..." and the Nightingale Conant audio until you become established.
Do you want to become a client of mine or another Jay Abraham student/addict?
I recommend that my clients buy "Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You've Got" because I want them to understand about making money.
I want them to understand Jay Abraham's remarkable profit opportunity mindset all underpinned by the high moral position of the strategy of preeminence.
Whatever you do, it has to be in the best interest of your clients if you are going to maximise the lifetime value of the relationship.
But my clients don't need to know how to put Jay Abraham's money-making ideas into practice.
That's what they pay me for and I have a very extensive library of Jay Abraham resources to call upon including the Mr X book.
You see the difference between "Getting Everything You Can..." and the Mr X book is the difference between "understanding" and "being able to take action".
I want my clients to understand but if you want or need to act on Jay Abraham's ideas then you need more than "Getting Everything You Can..." and you need more than the audio programmes available from Nightingale Conant (excellent as the MasterMind Marketing System is).
Now you could go on one of his $25,000 courses the next time they come around. But I don't know about you but I would have many more problems about spending so much on a course than I do about spending less than 2% of that value on a book.
Or you could have enrolled on his Master of Passive Income mentoring programme (which will contain quite a lot of classic Jay Abraham theories together with new material.) Unfortunately the program is now full.
You could wait anxiously on E-Bay hoping that one of his major course recordings comes up but while you wait an indefinite time, your business isn't reaping the benefit of the Jay Abraham mindset. I have also heard recently that Jay Abraham employs someone to monitor eBay and make sure the best material is removed as a breach of copyright.
Or you could buy the Mr X book (affiliate link).
Yes the Mr X book is a lot of money but Jay includes plenty of bonuses including a great two hour interview with Tony Robbins
As you would expect it comes with the better than risk free guarantee to encourage you to take a look and try it.
In my posting about Jay Abraham's much more extensive but very rare Strategic Marketing Encyclopedia you will see that in the sales letter Jay says that over 40,000 Mr X books had been sold. I have since read that more than 68,000 have been bought including one by me.
If you are serious about improving your marketing then I recommend that you put Mr X's book of the "Money-Making Secrets of Marketing Genius Jay Abraham and Other Marketing Wizards" into action yourself. Buy Jay Abraham Mr X Book (affilate link)
I learnt much more about practical marketing from the Mr X book than I did from my MBA marketing studies and that course was much more expensive.
I'd also love to hear from other people who have read the Mr X book?
What do you think?
Do you agree with me that the book is an excellent, detailed, practical guide to the profit building, marketing and money making genius of Jay Abraham?
Or did you buy it and then claimed your money back?
While I don't understand your decision, at least you'll know that Jay's better than risk free guarantee is real.
You should know that I earn an affiliate fee if you buy the Mr X book through my link, (and given the price, that fee is quite substantial) but I would not recommend the book if I did not rate it very highly.
Remember you do have Jay Abraham's money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.
If you do decide to buy it after printing off and reading this review, please come back and use one of my links if you believe I should be rewarded for my efforts in putting this review together.
Have I missed anything?
Is there anything else you would like to know about the Mr X book? If so, then please leave a question in the comments section and I will do my best to answer it.
In Rich Schefren's sales letter for his Business Acceleration Program (affiliate link) he talks about this version of the Mr X book being withdrawn and a new, improved version being introduced but with the price going up to $1,000. You do have to go towards the bottom of a long sales letter, but you will see the hush hush news that I am talking about.
It looks like your opportunity to get the original book at the much lower price won't be around for much longer.
Don't miss the opportunity to download a free 35 page Jay Abraham PDF called the Windfall Profits Paradox