The Harvester World


Sam MooreIn October 1909, the 7-year-old International Harvester Co. began publishing a monthly employee paper titled The Harvester World. While ostensibly meant for all employees, the first issues at least seemed to be aimed primarily at Harvester’s salesmen. Full of tips on how to break down reluctant buyers, each month there was a letter from some salesman telling how he had closed a deal. Here are two of those accounts, one from the October 1909 issue and one from December of the same year.

A salesman named, Oral Bleau wrote this one.

I put one over on a competitor last winter, and in the course of events I made two sales grow where only one idea was planted, and I did it in one day at one psychological moment.

Two doctors came to Omaha looking for an auto. They went straight to the competitor, and they had the buying light in their eyes. I followed them in and stood around as an interested spectator while the competitor’s boys showed them over the machine and proved to them that there was no other auto so suitable for the wear and tear of a country doctor’s practice. And they proved it well, too. It was a cold, snowy day, with weather straight from Medicine Hat in Canada, but one of the salesmen said “Doctor, we’ll take you for a spin this afternoon and show you what the car can do.”

The doctors agreed, and I lit out and got my own car. In the meantime, Medicine Hat got busy, and by the time of the appointment it was storming worse than ever, so bad that the competitor never showed up.

I saw my opening – introduced myself and said, “Gentlemen, I have a car that enjoys these icy roads and does its best work in impassable spots. Take a ride with me?”


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