John McManus, president of Magellan's Catalogue, a $10 million travel accessories supplier in Santa Barbara, Calif., wants to keep employees interested in customers' preferences. So he follows up product information training sessions with a statewide contest: each employee predicts what the best-selling and worst-selling new items will be. After 30 selling days, the person who identified the "star" item receives a $100 bill, and the person who picked the "dog" gets $25. "It's all part of learning who our customers are and their likes and dislikes," McManus says.