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201 GREAT IDEAS for Your SMALL BUSINESS, Third Edition by Jane Applegate

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GREAT 180 IDEA: Get to Know Your Customers Personally

Soon after landing a job as a financial reporter at the Los Angeles Times Orange County, California, bureau, I was sent to interview David Tappan, then chairman of Fluor Corporation.

Fluor is a giant, a global engineering and construction firm. Anxious about meeting with such a high-profile executive, I did my homework. I read his biography, scoured the annual report, and prepared a list of intelligent questions.

I arrived early and checked in with the security guard. At the exact moment of my appointment, his well-dressed secretary ushered me into his enormous office. My heels sunk into the deep carpet. Tappan, a handsome, silver-haired man, stood up gracefully, smiled, and extended his hand. ...

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