As a door-to-door soap salesman, Neil McElroy long ago hit on a simple formula for winning customers: "Give them something good and expose them to it often." As boss of Procter & Gamble Co., biggest U.S. soapmakers, strapping (6 ft. 3 in.) President McElroy, 45, has never let the old selling formula slip out of his hands. Thanks to that, as P. & G. reported last week, earnings for the first nine months of its current fiscal year soared to $49 million, up $15.5 million from last year. What impressed stockholders even more...

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