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Making Impressions That Count

How to leave clients and other contacts with smiles on their faces

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This story appears in the June 2002 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Janet McNaughton considers thank-you notes to be more than a courtesy-they're a necessity. Founder of Lasting Impressions, a gift company in Kirkland, Washington, McNaughton says writing thank-you notes to clients and customers is just one of the ways she markets her company-she even counsels her clients on how to create good impressions with their contacts.

We know what you're thinking-the last time you set pen to paper in gratitude, you were thanking Aunt Eunice for the, er, interesting (though slightly garish) candlesticks she sent as your graduation gift. But if you want to succeed in your customer relationships, a little expression of gratitude can go a long way. It certainly did for McNaughton, 36. "I started my business just dedicating myself to the fundamentals," she says. "I believe the fundamentals are writing thank-you notes, investing in the people you want to do business with, and providing outstanding products and services at a fair price."

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