DECEMBER 1989

Want to get a customer's attention? When prospective customers visit Eriez Magnetics, a $50-million manufacturer of magnetic laboratory and metal-detection equipment, the receptionist lines them up underneath a sign with the company trademark on it and snaps their pictures. "It's just our way of saying thank you," says Chet Giermak, president and chief executive officer. "We're complimented you'd come all the way to Erie, Pa., just to see us."

The photos have a more practical purpose as well. Giermak sends them to visitors complete with a cover letter reminding them of their reason for coming and the people they met. He slips the photo into a cardboard frame with the company's mission statement on the back. "It's a little memento," says Giermak. "Sometimes, after getting it, potential customers will let us have a second crack at them."

Giermak says that it takes only a minute to dictate the letter and that each complete package costs about $2, including the stamp. "Most people like to have their picture taken," he adds. "It makes them feel important."