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kerosene at 13 cents a gallon, and 10 gallons of the question, or at least has proved so exlubricating oil at 30 cents a gallon. By rail pensive as to be prohibitive. The result is that it would have taken just as long, the freight the tractor is doing the work. Often a dozen would have been at least $100, and we would of them may be seen puffing away, all in vision then have been twenty-five miles from the at once, pulling plows, discs, and drills of the farm.
most improved type. Getting on the ground, it took us a day to After plowing in June and July, we go over get everything organized. We pitched our tent the ground with a double disc, engine pulled, in the side of the field nearest water, and found sometimes covering a strip thirty to forty feet a neighbor who would furnish us with bread, wide; then come the seeders with the harrow. butter, and eggs, the only items we had not This completes the operations required to put supplied ourselves with in the way of eat- in fall wheat, and the only thing to do is to ables.
keep the stock off and harvest the crop in the We soon found that with good weather we fall. could expect to turn about fourteen acres of Harvesting is sometimes done with horses, that hard mountain soil upside down each day. but on the large fields with engine power, one When rain came we had nothing to do but machine pulling several binders at a time, keep comfortable, as our engine didn't have to doing the work at a great deal less expense. be fed when it didn't work.
This is what is known as bonanza farming,
making some men rich and breaking others just THE SOIL AND THE PROCESS.
as quickly. Most of the farmers are making The soil is very similar to the wheat land of money, and lots of them spend more than the New Jersey. It has lain there so long with average man in the East sees—and then still no stirring and has been packed by the hoofs have money left. of countless cattle, sheep, and buffalo so much I hope soon to be able to write an article for that it is just about as hard as virgin soil can the BULLETIN, telling how we came out from be. Plowing it with horses would be out of a financial standpoint. We don't know yet.
FROM THE COMPANY'S EMPLOYEES.
A railway surgeon in India sends us some curious messages he has received from time to time from the company's employees:
1. Honored Sir-I am suffering from fever and swelling on my whole body, and my legs, too, are swellerned up. Please take trouble to see me.
2. I beg to inform you that I am suffering by too much hot fever, but just now it is subsided somewhat, and there is much perspiration, and my legs are trembling like riding horse. First comes cold fever and then it becomes hotting. Inside is somewhat defected.
3. Now I am better by eye-sore, but my head is too much paining in the back
4. I tell you truly, Sir, that I am really sick. Mr. Sprunk has refused leave, and if you don't certify, I will die like a dog, and my father will be issueless.
5. Sir—Now I pray that you will make me cure soon because I am a very familiar man.
6. I beg to inform your honor that dead rats found in menials' quarters. I have ordered porter to vacate at once. Now two more rats found, out of which one is off and the other in death-bed. Please send medicine.
7. Wife lingering, near to next world. Come soon to prevent good-bye.
HOW TO KEEP FARMERS' TRADE
Monthly Department of
PRIZE ARTICLE: MEETING THREE some trouble, but we feel well repaid for our CONDITIONS.
efforts because they have served to bring the BY FRED BORTH.
farmer to our store—and to keep him away Three conditions, I believe, are responsible
from the general store.
Another line that is carried extensively by for the inclination of farmers to give their business to general stores. They are:
general stores is school supplies—books, tab
lets, pencils, crayons, erasers, etc. Almost all 1. General stores carry the goods the farmer
of the directors of country schools are farmers wants.
and to get their business we send them care2. They advertise the goods direct to the
fully-worded letters at the opening of each farmer.
The letters call attention to the wide 3. They aim to convince the farmer that their prices are "right.”
variety of goods carried and end up with an
appeal for the directors' book and supply If we, as business men, are to get and hold
trade. the rural trade we must work along similar
We also advertise widely that with each lines.
dollar purchase of school books or supplies we One line of goods that every farmer needs,
will give, free of charge, a substantial waterand one that is featured by nearly all general proof school bag. The bag has our advertisestores, is an assortment of stock and poultry
ment printed on both sides and costs from ten foods. With this line is included, of course,
to twelve cents when purchased in five hundred such articles as dips and disinfectants, dis
lots. Hundreds of schoolchildren in the rural temper remedies, worm powders, lice powders, districts, carrying the bags to and from school healing and dusting powders, and powders for
every day, constitute a series of advertisements the treatment of heaves.
that are decidedly worth while. In our store, the first move toward securing the farmer's trade on these articles was to ob
REDUCED PRICE COMBINATIONS. tain the agency for a well-known, reliable and
Still another drawing card that is used to reasonably-priced line, and our next was to attract trade to our school supplies' department push and guarantee the various items to the
is the offer of special reduced price combinalimit. The manufacturers, Drs. Hess & Clark, tions. A five-cent tablet and a five-cent pencil send business-pulling letters to the several hun
for only one nickel usually causes a decided dred farmers on our mailing list at different
jump in our sales records. times during the year.
Each letter contains a As a class farmers are bargain-hunters, and coupon good for free samples.
by holding out special price inducements on
certain items we have increased the number of MANUFACTURERS' HELPS.
our rural patrons appreciably. In our wallWe also handle Parke, Davis & Company's paper department we find it advisable to adverdip and disinfectant, which are sold exclusively tise a leader-a double roll of paper at six through druggists, and we find the manufactur- cents, for instance. An offer of this kind ers to be very liberal with advertising matter brings the customer to the store where the and samples for distribution at our county fair. opportunity is given to talk-and quite often to
During the fly season we take a hand sprayer sell—the better grades. and spray “fly-chaser” on the teams of horses For a number of years we have sold two fivewith which the farmers come to town.
cent packages of chewing gum at the price of In this way we advertise the sprayer, the one, frequently buying the gum in hundred chaser and store all at one time. To do such dollar lots to meet the lively demand. Many work requires considerable time and puts us to farmers and farmers' sons (we're building for the futuure) have been brought to the store by cannot expect to cope with general-store comthis offer.
petition. Almost every one believes that the drug store Many people, especially those whose business can be depended upon to carry the best grades it is to sell it, consider that advertising is the of spices, flavoring extracts, canning acid, tal- best means of reaching the country trade. cum powders, etc. We bear down on this To a certain extent, that is true. But the point in our rural advertising, and the result most effective advertising, however, is the kind has been that we're getting much of the trade that cannot be bought; it must come through which formerly went to the general store. the druggist himself and through his knowl
edge of the people with whom he is dealing. A CONCRETE HELP.
One of the best means I know for swinging Advertising and special price inducements the farmers' trade is to go out among them alone, however, will not make the farmer a
and show a real interest in their affairs. If permanent and profitable customer. If we are you own an automobile or a horse, ride out into to continue to hold his business we must take the surrounding territory and fraternize with an interest in his affairs; we must get out and the men you meet. Talk to them in a friendly become acquainted with him and his family. fashion, and before leaving, if you can do so
We have found it a good plan to attend out- in an inoffensive manner, hand the farmer your ings or meetings at which the farmer is present
card and call attention to the many things in and to show him in concrete ways that we are your stock which are in constant demand with really interested in his welfare.
him. Last year the Hessian fly and other causes
WIDE STOCK RANGE. did much damage to the wheat crop here. By a
Many farmers don't realize the extent of the little extra effort on our part we secured the services of a government inspector, who looked
modern drug-store stock and consequently go over the situation and gave his advice. Then
to the general store for items that are regular
stock in trade with their druggists. A little we sent for a number of government bulletins
first-hand information will set them right. describing methods of getting rid of the pests and distributed the bulletins among the
Sometimes it happens, however, that the
farmer takes it for granted that the druggist farmers. We are always glad, and tell them so, to get
carries “everything,” and his demands are for the farmers any government bulletin relat
likely to be for anything from a window-pane ing to their farm problems.
to a preparation for relieving pain. Only reWe have free ice water for the farmer in
cently I had a call for shoe-tacks from one of the summer-time; and a warm stove and a
my old-time rural customers. I got them for
him from the hardware store next-door, and warmer welcome for him during the winter months.
he went home satisfied that our stock was Such services as these help. They help us
indeed a complete one!
Large attractive billboards at the entrance to to get acquainted with the farmer; they help to make him read our advertisements; they help
the town, and smaller ones for a distance of
from ten to fifteen miles out in the country, to bring him to our store. After that it is up to us.
help keep our store name in mind. If the boards carry cleverly worded notices calling
attention to featured products or to special serSHOWING REAL INTEREST IN FARMERS'
vices, results are usually quite gratifying. AFFAIRS.
We have also found that rural patrons ap
preciate receiving calendars. We send these By E. C. STULTS.
out just before January 1 of each year to every Sufficient capital is, perhaps, the first essen- farmer within thirty miles of the store. A tial for the druggist who wishes to prevent circular letter goes with each calendar inviting general stores from capturing the major part the recipient and his family to call at the store of the farmer's "drug' business. Unless a whenever he or they are in the city. The letter druggist has stock enough to supply every prac- also includes a list of the lines of goods carried tical need—large or small—of the farmer, he in stock together with the assurance that all orders, whether mail or personal, will be filled phrases must be avoided. Once the farmer bewith quality goods at just prices. In closing, lieves that the druggist is “talking over his the letter extends to the farmer the store's best head," loss of trade is sure to follow. wishes for a very happy and prosperous New Establishing a drug store as “farmers' headYear.
quarters" is not an easy matter, but it can be When the farmer, attracted by this or any accomplished. Using the right kind of adverother means, finally comes to the store he must tising, showing a personal interest in the be treated in a manner somewhat different farmers' welfare, and the holding out of suitafrom the way in which a city customer is ble merchandise rightly priced, are the prime handled.
factors in getting the proper start. He should be met in a pleasant manner and, in many instances, given a warm, hearty hand
RECIPROCITY. shake. If he can be called by name, so much
By J. S. McNair. the better.
His wants should be attended by the pro- When the farmer needs a bottle of liniment prietor, if possible, or if not, by a thoroughly- he comes to us, as druggists, for it. We are posted clerk. This is important, for if the glad to see him come into the store. We take clerk has to confer privately with the proprie- his money with a cheerful “Thank you.” If tor to ascertain the quantity price of an article, we do not know him, we ask him his name and the customer is likely to suspect that the store where his farm is located. We endeavor in is not a one-price one and that he is not getting various ways to make him feel that we are the lowest quotation.
really interested in his welfare. After the sale is completed it is a good idea But isn't our interest in him only maketo offer to store his purchase, as well as any believe? other packages he may have, until such time Do we ever think of him after he leaves the as he is ready to start for home. Courtesies of store? this sort require only a little forethought and We should; for turn about is only fair play. remembrance of them will create a favorable So why not, the very next time our family impression in the mind of the customer and needs a few dozen eggs or a good-sized piece lead him to tell his neighbors of the treatment of pork, drive out to that farmer's place, make received.
our purchases, and pay cash at market prices"Square dealing" is of the utmost impor- as he does when he requires liniment or some tance in gaining the confidence and support of other article we carry? the farmer trade. The one-price-to-all policy If we will do such a thing, it's a safe venshould be adhered to rigidly, as the granting ture to say that the farmer and his family will of the so-called “special privileges and prices" talk of our visit for days. They'll tell their will sooner or later leak out and cause those neighbors about it, too. All of which is fine who are discriminated against to take their advertising for us and for our store. trade elsewhere.
I believe in pursuing such a course in order The use of big words or high-sounding to cement close acquaintances along the roads
QUESTIONS FOR THE NEXT CONTEST. This department is in the hands of the big family of BULLETIN readers, and the heartiest co-operation is earnestly urged. The following questions are announced for the next contest :
1. What is the best way to build up a surgical supply and emergency business ? Submitted by George A. Stall, Baltimore, Md.
2. What can a store do to get the foreigners' trade? Submitted by Raymond C. Evans, Thompsonville, Conn.
For the best answer to either of these questions we shall award a prize of $5.00. Other answers, if printed, will be paid for at regular space rates. Every answer should be at least 500 words long and in our hands by January 10.
leading out of my town. I would not be satis- She gave her consent and I ran out of the fied, however, until I could call by name every door and up the street to the house of a cusfarmer living within a radius of at least ten tomer to whom I had sold some saccharin a miles from my store.
few days before. After getting the desired While making these trips into the country I
information I hurried back to the store, where would try to work up business on a good line I was thanked profusely by my customer. of remedies and household preparations. If
Before leaving, however, she expressed her possible, I would make these trips regularly; gratitude in a more substantial way by purand where I couldn't sell goods or take orders
chasing a package of bird seed, a box of fish I would leave samples—and good-will.
food, and a package of stock powder—articles I would meet with the farmers in their
which she could have obtained at the general
store. grange halls and learn of their likes and dislikes—if I had the time.
This woman had never before been a reguI would help organize a boys' and girls' club
lar customer, but since the time I made a and draw its membership from the farmers'
special effort to help her both she and her famfamilies. The club would be divided into two
ily have made frequent purchases at the store. or more divisions to be pitted against one an
ANOTHER ILLUSTRATION. other for the production of big ears of corn, the growing of fine stock, etc. Prizes for the
Another case in which the extending of a best results would be distributed from
slight accommodation gained us a regular cus
my store-if I had the time.
tomer is that of a woman who lived about By following such plans it wouldn't be long
twelve miles from our store. She was unable before the farmer trade would begin to come
to obtain a package of fish food from the counmy way—and the bugaboo of general-store
try store in her vicinity, and for that reason competition would gradually fade away.
called our place of business on the telephone and asked me to mail her a package. She also
requested that we trust her for the purchase INJECTING THE PERSONAL ELEMENT.
until such time as she came to town. As her
name was familiar to me I told her that we By Tom HALL.
would be glad to extend the courtesy. Unlike the town or city customer, to whom
In a few days she came in and paid me the the buying of drug-store articles is more or
dime. Of course the postage and wrapping less of an impersonal transaction, the farmer cancelled the profit on the sale, but the accomprefers to deal with the druggist who takes a modation gained for us her good-will, and she personal interest in his wants and who is will
is now a steady customer. ing to explain in detail the merits and uses of When a farmer evinces a desire to talk we the merchandise in question.
endeavor to put him on an easy footing by Accommodating rural patrons and taking discussing subjects with which he is familiar. pains to give them the exact information de- We inquire as to the condition of his crops and sired has helped us materially in our efforts to ask him what he has planted, etc. Then we build up a satisfactory country trade.
listen attentively to his replies—even if we are As a concrete example of how such a plan
not particularly interested. Such attentions on works out, the following is typical: A farmer's our part are not hard to give and they often wife came into the store one day and called create good-will that can be turned to financial for five cents' worth of saccharin. When I advantage. handed her the packet she asked me if the
It's mainly a matter of putting the farmer quantity was enough to sweeten one gallon of
customer at his ease and assuring him by our vinegar for making pickles.
actions that he will be helped in every possible The question was new to me, but I told the way. Then when he wants a box of stock woman that if she did not mind waiting a few tonic, a package of poultry food, or a bottle of minutes I would find out what was the correct flavoring extract he will come to us instead of proportion.
going to the general store.