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Nice Headline!

Flattery will get you everywhere-even into business.

An interesting business endeavor is going over quite well in downtown Tokyo. In the streets of the Shibuya district, two young men offer their talents as professional sweet talkers. With a large signboard reading "House of Flattery," they offer words of praise to passersby for 100 yen (about $1) per minute. Could such a business ever fly in the United States? Could consumers be so attention-starved that compliments could actually warrant a fee?

"As a novelty, absolutely," says Noelle Nelson, a clinical psychologist, trial consultant and author in Encino, California. "And it would really fly if it were tailored to the individual. We're in such a high-stress environment and everybody is focused on getting things done, we hardly have a minute to appreciate ourselves and others. So compliments are highly desirable. It would do us a world of good to stop for a moment and just appreciate or be appreciated."

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This article was originally published in the October 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Nice Headline!.

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