Did you know the inventors of barbed wire didn't have immediate success?
That's because people did not believe it could fence in livestock. After all, what could thin strands of wire do to contain beasts weighing thousands of pounds?
This is the same skepticism most marketers face with any new product. They need proof to demonstrate their claims are valid.
Here is what happened to prove the case for barbed wire...
[Isaac] Ellwood believed the greatest potential for sales of barbed wire was in the Southwest, especially Texas. He sent a salesman named John W. Gates to San Antonio to drum up business. Gates encountered dubious cattlemen and farmers, but he found a way to convince them. He built an eight-strand barbed-wire corral in the middle of the Military Plaza and told dubious onlookers: "The cattle ain't born that can get through it. Bring on your steers, gentlemen." The crowd gathered--at a distance--since no one believed the barbed wire was going to stop the Longhorns. When the cattle were driven in, they charged the fence again and again, but it held. By senset John W. Gates had sold hundreds of miles of barbed wire at 18 cents a pound. (American Greats, p. 9)
I like this story because it demonstrates the power of proof.
When told what barbed wire could do, people just laughed. But when shown what it could do, people bought it by the mile.