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It's Better to Give

Rack up sales with a wildly generous promotion.

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This story appears in the December 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Last December, Shannon Murphey wanted to beef up sales at his Tyler, Texas, jewelery store, Murphey the Jeweler. After analyzing his sales figures, he decided to give away $50 gift certificates for local businesses to give to their employees. Everyone said he was crazy to mail out more than 4,000 certificates, but Murphey was confident.

"Many people used the gift certificates as credit toward more expensive items," explains Murphey, 49. "The average customer spends $2,500 over the course of doing business with us, so this was a very calculated risk." Murphey expects the promotion to generate $1.5 million in new-client business.

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