JULY 1990

Judy George, founder and CEO of Norwood, Mass.-based Domain home-furnishing stores, thinks a picture really is worth a thousand words in her business. Before potential customers leave one of Domain's 10 stores, they get a Polaroid snapshot of the furniture they are considering, and the salesperson writes his or her name on the back of the photo. The photo helps customers feel more comfortable choosing Domain's furniture, George believes, because they can compare it with products at other stores and their own home furnishings.

Customers also are more inclined to keep the snap-shot -- and thus remember the product and the sales-person's name -- than a business card. "It helps them feel secure with the purchase; it bonds them with the salesperson," says George, who reports that the technique has increased Domain's sales-closing rate by about 25%.