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2. Offbeat invites
Jewelry designer Emily Armenta, who sells her designs in stores like Neiman Marcus, wanted to make sure key retailers scheduled a time to stop by her booth at a big trade show. So instead of phoning them, as many rivals do, the owner of Houston's Armenta Collection sent them a series of love notes, one with a recording of romantic Spanish music and another asking for a "date" at the show. Total cost: about $2,500. The 60-employee company walked away with orders from 15 new retail stores.


By Verne Harnish, contributor @FortuneMagazine - Last updated December 06 2011: 6:02 AM ET
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