Welcome to Book of the Week – a weekly feature offering you a glimpse between the pages of an Acres U.S.A. published title.
This week's Book of the Week feature is Honor System Marketing, by Jeff Mcpherson.
FROM CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS HONOR SYSTEM MARKETING & HOW DO I DETERMINE IF IT IS RIGHT FOR ME?
An honor system is a unique situation involving a warm, inviting and enjoyable environment. It is a place where you or anyone can buy stuff without the supervision of a sales clerk. The idea is that you serve yourself. You decide whether to pay or not. Customers are left to show their integrity.
The system can be used by anyone to sell products or services, whether it is selling fruits or vegetables or renting parking spaces near a boat launch. The benefit is that the transaction can occur 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. The honor system never stops for coffee breaks, never is rude to customers or complains, never quits on the spot and never draws a paycheck.
This book shows why and how the honor system works. It is an excellent way for farmers, gardeners, green thumb hobbyists and others to market their wares. Whether in the country, suburbs, or the city, many hardworking people need a non-traditional method to sell their fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers and many other products.
The honor system can also be used for roadside impulse cash sales to make use of produce that would normally go to waste in the field or garden. Sometimes there is insufficient product ready to make a delivery worthwhile, so some folks will decide to put the stuff on sale at the farm or business using the honor system instead.
The honor system is a lucrative alternative to hauling or peddling what you sell. Many ambitious folks are already using the honor system to earn extra cash, but the vast majority of people who could use it are often afraid to use the system. This book explains why.
Where can yo go to learn about using the honor system? The answer until now has been to talk to someone who already uses the honor system. After the talking is over and you are on your own, inevitably more questions come up. Without someone to ask, many simply continue on and learn using trial and error. Some might get discouraged and quit before giving it a good try. This book provides the answers to succeed.
With the right attitude and mindset, you can learn the skills to be successful. What this book does not show is how to grow or make the products to sell. This book does though show the skills needed to use honor system marketing correctly and gives many examples of what others are successfully doing.
FROM CHAPTER 9: WHY DOES OUR SOCIETY NEED MORE HONOR SYSTEMS?
In this book, I have explained how, why, where, and when you could use the honor system. But we have only briefly discussed why our society needs more honor systems. I truly believe in using honor system marketing and I have talked with many around the country who feel the same way. In North America, there are thousands who proudly employ the honor system. Even though many of us employ honor system marketing we are small in number compared to that could be using it. However, we are setting the mark and providing an example for others to follow.
Most people seldom see an honor system of any kind. When they do encounter one, they are often perplexed (honor systems are commonly overlooked and are even misunderstood). Once in a while they may stop at one along their way but many pass right on by and the honor system remains a mystery. Those who stop and utilize them quickly realize that honor systems are a good thing. Their eyes are opened. They often proudly describe the experience to the next person they meet. Honor systems have a lot of repeat customers and thrive on word of mouth.
This chapter will explain why our society needs more honor systems. It is important to understand why more honor systems mean a better quality of life for everyone. It also introduces the Universal Honor System emblem, a form of logo for anyone who uses the honor system.
Character & Integrity
Our society needs more honor systems. The number of honor systems we have reflects the ethical and mental characteristics of our society. We can’t hide from the world (our neighbors). The rest of the world looks upon us with great scrutiny.
People in our society must exhibit high ethical, mental and moral standards for the world to see. The lofty expectations of people from other nations of the earth about us are very real. The people of the world are looking for something to believe in. They look at our nature and our disposition. They want to know about our true makeup.
I sense an ability to remold the character of our society and our world. I believe we (at this time in history) have the power to influence positive change. It is not just the responsibility of our leaders or government. Politics and religion are not going to solve our problems. Ordinary people like you and I must use wisdom. Exercising honor and integrity is wise. Exercising wisdom starts with each of us as individuals. Basic standards of good, wise behavior should be practiced regardless of our racial, social, political or religious backgrounds.
Everyone likes to be treated nicely, so why not treat others the same? We must help others. It is important to see the real importance of true love for our fellow man. Development and acceptance of the good standards (a way of love) is pure wisdom. These good standards include qualities such as trust, truth, love, respect and integrity. The leaders of other nations are looking for an example to follow. They are watching and listening to our leaders. Do all leaders exhibit integrity? Do they all tell the truth?
The world is looking at the integrity of our people too. We should set a good example. We must adhere to a higher standard of values and conduct within our own society if we expect those looking at us to follow us. Our problem is we expect other nations to follow us without setting the good example.
Where does character and integrity begin? It starts with the individual. A person must decide to be honorable in spite of outside pressure. The use of honor systems in our society promotes this. What better place can a person go and decide whether they should do the right thing than at an honor system? This is a start!
An Honor System Every Mile
I’ve been called a dreamer (even crazy at times). A few skeptical people think that honor system marketing cannot be successful have even put me down. Thank goodness for the many people who consistently prove the skeptics and doubters are wrong. I am grateful to everyone who supports honor system marketing in our neighborhoods and communities.
Writer James Allen in As a Man Thinketh describes a dreamer as follows:
“The dreamers are the saviors of the world. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible, so men, through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers. Humanity cannot forget its dreamers; it cannot let their ideals fade and die; it lives in them; it knows them as the realities which it shall one day see and know. Composer, sculptor, painter, poet, prophet, sage, these are the makers of the after-world, the architects of heaven. The world is beautiful because they have lived; without them, laboring humanity would perish.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were honor systems in every community with one every mile? Wouldn’t it be nice if more of our neighbors operated honor systems? Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone were honest, and trusted and respected his or her fellow man? These things should be part of our goals as a society. They are mine! What about you?
For those of you that are still skeptical of those who employ the honor system I challenge you to answer these questions: Why are there so many honor systems scattered all over this land of opportunity? Are we who run them just trustful dreamers or are we on to something? I believe that there are many more folks like us, from all walks of life, scattered all over this beautiful planet Earth. As time goes on I believe there will be many more of us. Who knows? Maybe even you will decide to try honor system marketing after having read this book.
I invite you to join me (and many others) who employ the honor system. But, if you should decide not to sell using the honor system, please stop and patronize our honor systems every chance you get. The joy and thrill of exercising your honesty will linger in your heart for a long, long time.
About the Author:
Jeffery L. Mcpherson holds a B.S. degree in agronomy (crop and soil science) from North Carolina State University. He has over 20 years of experience growing and marketing horticultural crops, such as wine grapes, fruits and vegetables. He has also taught horticulture and enology at a North Carolina community college. Mcpherson travels frequently giving presentations and workshops on honor system marketing and basic enology or winemaking. He and his wife Brenda have been operating an honor system market on their farm for more than a decade.
Similar Titles of Interest:
A Farmer's Guide to the Bottom Line, by Charles Walters
Made From Scratch, by Louise Placek
Rebirth of the Small Family Farm, by Bob & Bonnie Gregson