Rob Jolles Profile

  • With over 30 years of experience in his field, Jolles is a leading authority on the art of persuasion and influence.

  • Author of multiple best-sellers, some of Jolles' well-known works include How to Change Minds and Custom Centered Selling, which have been translated to a dozen languages.

  • Jolles' keynotes and workshops focus on the process of connecting with customers, boosting communication skills, and sharpening mental agility rather than regurgitating product information.
  • With over 30 years of experience and research, Rob Jolles is a leading authority and pioneer on the art of influence and persuasion. The wildly sought business coach, author, and speaker has helped numerous Fortune 500s hone their communication skills, reinvent their sales process, and boost their performance. Rob’s keynotes and workshops inspire individuals and organizations to create real, lasting change by not just teaching clients how, but why.

    Author of the best-sellers How to Change Minds and Custom Centered Selling, Rob’s work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. His programs have been featured in over 20 countries and attract many diverse audiences, from Global 100 companies to growing entrepreneurial enterprises, from parents to professional negotiators. His Fortune 500 clients include Disney, NASA, Nortel, GE, and Toyota. Additionally he has worked with Harvard University, American University, Michigan State University, and the University of Houston.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      The founder and president of Jolles Associates, Inc., Robert Jolles is a prolific author who has written three best-selling books, including the revised edition of the much celebrated Customer Centered Selling. He is also one of the nation’s most sought-after speakers on sales and sales training. He successfully sold for two of the most respected sales institutions, New York Life Insurance and Xerox Corporation, managing their training as well. Instrumental in creating, delivering, and managing Xerox Corporation’s highly touted customer sales training programs, Jolles personally trained every Xerox instructor for ten years, and draws on his Xerox background to deliver speeches that are completely content driven, as well as humorous and motivational.

      His Xerox based system teaches audiences repeatable, predictable sales techniques that create trust, and urgency for selling in the new world economy. Rob client list reads like a Who’s Who of Fortune 500 companies, including Toyota, Disney, NASA, Nortel, Universities, and over 50 financial institutions. Rob inspires and demonstrates methods to improving any sales-oriented businesses.

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    Rob Jolles's Speech Descriptions

    A 24-year professional speaking veteran, it′s not hard to tell why Rob′s personal client list reads like a “Who′s-Who” of Fortune 500 Companies. Rob provides valuable, experience-based training to his clients, in an informative, interactive, inspirational, and enjoyable fashion.

    The goal of motivating, inspiring, and entertaining an audience is not lost on Rob, however, it means nothing if the ideas presented are not informative and measurable. A pioneer in teaching repeatable, predictable processes, from keynote, to training seminar, Rob includes actionable implementation strategies in every presentation. To assure any presentation delivered doesn’t fall into the, “flavor of the month” category, keynotes are presented with speaker’s notes handouts, and workshops are presented with participant guides, job aids, and personal extended training workbooks.

      How to Change Minds
      Surely you know plenty of people who need to make a change, but despite your most well-intentioned efforts, they resist. Why? Because people fundamentally fear change, and Rob Jolles knows this scenario all too well. Drawing on decades of research, he lays out a simple, repeatable, predictable, and ethical process that will enable you to lead others to discover for themselves what and why they need to change. Whether you hope to make a sale, or improve a relationship, Jolles’s wise –illustrated through a bevy of sometimes funny, sometimes moving, always illuminating stories–will he you to ensure that changing someone’s mind is never an act of coercion but rather one of compassion.

      The Art of Urgency
      Today′s salespeople are being methodically trained to adopt an order taking mentality in business and the repercussions are staggering. In this motivational and spirited conversation, a repeatable, predictable solution is offered. Participants are forced to focus away from the products or ideas they are selling and look instead at the way people make decisions and how to influence those behaviors. When participants are shown the disconnect between how people buy and how they are traditionally taught to sell, teaching how to increase a sense of urgency and decrease fear of change become apparent.

      The Many Myths of Selling
      There is simply no other occupation that carries the number of myths that surround the profession of selling. From the way we open to the way we close, so much of what we do is shrouded in mystery. In this presentation, Rob Jolles will not only expose many of these misunderstandings, he will teach critical lessons to keep these myths from affecting sales performance.

      The Unique Art of Selling to Groups
      Seminar selling is becoming more and more popular within the selling community. The potential sales results can be staggering. However, if these seminars are not conducted properly, sales results, time and future opportunities are wasted. The session begins with a unique look at the art of working with adult audiences. Each participant leaves with a copy of Rob Jolles′ book which covers the critical portions of the seminar, How To Run Seminars And Workshops.

      MENTAL AGILITY: Communicating Quickly
      There is one consistent trait that can be found in every successful salesperson: the ability to think quickly on your feet. In the MENTAL AGILITY program trainees are taught that thinking quickly can, in fact, be a learned behavior. Much like learning to play an instrument, with repetition, the outcome soon becomes effortless.

      Sales Secrets from the Cinema
      Can we truly learn about selling from the movies we have all watched and enjoyed for so long? You bet! From the chilling scenes within Glen Gary, Glen Ross to the light hearted Tinmen, this presentation packs a punch. Woven throughout the presentation are cinematic scenes that leave a lasting impression examining numerous movies and clips. The blending of carefully selected cinematic moments with the honest messages that they provide allow participants to be thoroughly entertained while informed and motivated.

      No More Order Taking!
      Today’s salespeople are being methodically trained to adopt an “order taking” mentality in business and the repercussions are staggering. In this motivational and spirited conversation, Rob Jolles not only demonstrates proof that this problem exists, he also provides a repeatable, predictable approach to correct it. If you are looking for a keynote with a message that will address the business realities of today in an informative, entertaining, and most important impactful manner, you’ll want to teach your company, “No More Order Taking!”

    Rob Jolles on Speaking

    I want my audiences to walk away with actual process behaviors that can be measured and implemented. When you do that, you’ve done your job as a professional speaker.

    What do you want people to learn/take away from your presentations?

    I want them to feel motivated, inspired, and entertained, but that’s the easy part of all of this. I wouldn’t be at it for over 30 years if I couldn’t do that. However, I want my clients to want more. I want my audiences to walk away with actual process behaviors that can be measured and implemented. When you do that, you’ve done your job as a professional speaker.

    What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

    The process of influence, and persuasion do not magically change based on a certain product, and so I rarely have to rebuild a process to fit an audience. But I’m not of use to a client if I get up there and talk about Xerox or widgets. I study every client’s branding, products, and clients to understand what it is we want the client to want, and then, back the process in to fit. This allows me to tie the process to the product, even in shorter keynote presentations.

    Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

    Pick up my book, The Way of the Road Warrior, and you’ll see plenty! With 2.5 million miles in the air as a professional speaker, I’ve seen it all. I think working through rolling power outages in Cairo, and throwing an extension cord across an alleyway and into a homeowner’s kitchen was one of the nuttiest. We were filming presentations, and I needed that camera working or I would have lost five days of training that brought us to that point. We plugged in over a sink, and filmed those presentations!

    It’s not about earning a commission, it’s about helping people past the biggest obstacle everyone faces; the fear of change.

    What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

    “We all sell.” A tired, but true statement. I’ve trained and worked with over 50 financial institutions in my career, so any sales audience is an easy fit. But when I wrote the book, How to Change Minds, I wrote it for the rest of the world: managers, HR personnel, customer service reps, doctors, lawyers, in fact anyone who needs to influence the actions of others. It’s not about earning a commission, it’s about helping people past the biggest obstacle everyone faces; the fear of change.

    Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

    I have three. First, “How to Change Minds.” It’s a great topic for almost any audience because it opens attendees’ minds to both a need and a process for influence, while addressing the moral hesitation most of us grapple with.

    “The Art of Urgency” is a presentation directly tied to those who sell for a living, covering Decision Cycles, Decision Points, and a process that moves a “nice to have” in the client’s eyes to a “need to have.”

    Finally, “Why People Don’t Believe You.” This presentation is my newest, and focuses not on what we say, but how we say it, and tracks some of the key moves from the book of the same name, due out October 2, 2018.

    What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

    Coming from both a sales and an acting background, I didn’t go looking for this profession; it found me. I was thrown into a room one day to cover for an insurance trainer who was double-parked. I knew ten minutes later this is what I’d be doing for my life!

    The fact is 99% of the presentations we hear have too much information in them. The temptation is to throw the kitchen sink at an audience, and it actually works… until a day or two goes by and no one can figure out what the heck they learned.

    How do you keep your audience engaged and actively listening during your keynotes?

    It only took me about a decade to figure it out, but the fact is 99% of the presentations we hear have too much information in them. The temptation is to throw the kitchen sink at an audience, and it actually works… until a day or two goes by and no one can figure out what the heck they learned. The perfect presentation has a blend of information, entertainment, audience activities and more.

    Depending on the topic, I pick from a list of over 35 techniques to keep audiences engaged. Sometimes it can be as simple as movement, vocal pitch, and pace. Other times it can involve more intricate moves like role-plays, simulations, and competition.

    Do you use case studies, personal stories and/or in your speeches?

    Personal stories are certainly one way to keep an audience involved, and I’ve got plenty of them, but even a grizzled veteran like myself has to be careful not to spend too much time on personal stories. I want to hear the audience’s stories. Case studies are sometimes used, but usually better for longer presentations to allow the audience to really embrace the lessons from these case studies.

    What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients achieve?

    This is probably one of the aspects of my job that I like the best. When a company or an individual finally sees that changing someone’s mind is not mean but rather one of the most merciful gifts we can offer, the process of persuasion is much, much easier. Yes, in my career I’ve helped hundreds of companies improve their sales, but I’ve also helped companies and individuals get over their fear of selling or persuasion or influence, and instead, embrace it. When you can do that, the world is your oyster, and I like helping my clients find oysters. Exclusive Interview with Rob Jolles
    Guiding a Salesforce Mindset, with Rob Jolles
    In this interview, sales speaker Rob Jolles discusses:
    • The difference between influence and manipulation.
    • The biggest mistakes companies and their salespeople make.
    • What you need to know to change someone's mind.
    Read the Full Interview

    "If the intent is to change some one’s mind in order to help that individual, you are ethically influencing behavior. If the intent to change some one’s mind is to help the person who is utilizing the tactics, that is manipulating behavior."
    - Rob Jolles

    What People are Saying about Seeing Rob Speak

    Rating Entries

      ABN & AMRO
      Aetna Insurance Company
      A.G. Edwards
      AIM Funds
      American Express
      American General Securities
      American Polygraph Assoc.
      American University
      AmeriStar Investments
      Arvest, Inc.
      AT & T
      B.B.& T. Investment Services
      Baan Corporation
      Baltimore County Police
      Bank of America
      Bank of Oklahoma
      Bank South Investment Service
      Barnett Bank
      Black & Decker
      Brenton Brokerage Services
      British Aerospace
      Brownell Travel
      Brookhaven Laboratories
      California Federal Bank
      CCB Investor Services
      Chemical Investment Services
      Chubb Securities
      CIMB Bank Malaysia
      Columbia Management Group
      Comet Industries
      Compass Banks
      Dean Witter
      DOOR Training & Consulting
      Edison Plastics Company
      Edward Jones
      Elan Investments
      Essex Corporation
      Fidelity Investments
      Financial Network Investment
      First Chicago Bank
      First Citizens Investor Services
      First Union Bank
      Foundation Source
      FMC Corporation
      General Electric
      Genosys Biotechnologies, Inc.
      Genworth Financial
      George Mason University
      George Washington University
      Glenfed Brokerage Service
      Goldman Sachs
      Granite Rock
      Guaranty Bank
      Harvard University
      H.D. Vest Financial Services
      Huntington Investment Co
      Hy-Vee Corporation
      IKON Office Solutions, Inc.
      InterContinental Hotels Group
      Investment Centers of America
      Janus Funds
      Jobson Marketing
      KCH Services, Inc.
      Kinkos Copy Centers
      Kirkpatrick / Pettis
      L-3 Communications
      Lederle Laboratories
      Legg Mason
      Liberty Funds
      Lincoln Property Co.
      MACRO Consulting Group
      Mallinckrodt, Inc.
      Mark Twain Brokerage
      Marcus Evans
      Marketing One Securities, Inc.
      Marymount University
      Mercantile Bank
      Merrill Lynch
      Michigan Bell
      Michigan State Police
      Montgomery County Bar
      Morgan Stanley
      Murphey Favre Inc.
      Mutual Service Corporation
      Nations Bank
      Nations Funds
      Natus Medical
      Network Software Associates
      Nortel Network
      Northrop Grumman
      Novametrix Medical
      Park City Group
      Paul Revere Insurance Group
      Puritan Bennett
      Quick & Reilly
      Ralston Purina
      Raymond James
      RiverSource Investments
      Roney & Co.
      San Diego Business Journal
      Sanwa Bank
      Smith Barney
      SouthTrust Securities, Inc.
      Spaulding & Slye, Real Estate
      State Street Global Advisors
      Sun America Securities, Inc.
      Sun Financial Group
      Sun Trust Bank
      Synovus Securities, Inc.
      TDS Telecom
      Time Warner
      Total Gas Corporation
      Trustmark Financial Services
      Union Bank Investment
      United Motor Coach Assoc.
      University of Houston
      U.S. Chamber of Commerce
      U.S. Endoscopy
      USF & G
      Valpak Direct Marketing
      Van Kampen Funds
      Waddell & Reed
      Walt Disney Corporation
      Wells Fargo
      Xerox Canada, Egypt, Mexico
      & USA
      Zions Investment Services
      ZYMED Laboratories

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    Books by Rob Jolles:

      Customer Centered Selling: Sales Techniques for a New World Economy
      Customer Centered Selling teaches you the secret of the world-famous Xerox sales training program. The secret, Robert Jolles reveals, is reversing the conventional selling practice of searching for customer needs. To truly create urgency, you must focus instead on the customer′s problems and decision-making process.

      Jolles provides a systematic, repeatable, predictable approach that teaches you to anticipate and influence behavior as the customer moves through an eight-stage “decision cycle” and ultimately discovers his or her needs. The book includes a series of case studies, activities, and exercises that enable you to better understand the principles being taught, so you can immediately apply them to your own unique scenarios.

      This book is a “must read” for all sales professionals, sales managers, and managers in need of a disciplined approach to persuading others.

      Order Here

      How to Run Seminars and Workshops: Presentation Skills for Consultants, Trainers and Teachers
      Thoroughly revised edition of the bestselling skill-building consultant guide. A revision of its successful predecessor — which has sold over 23,000 copies since it was first published in 1993 — How to Run Seminars & Workshops has been completely revised throughout to provide the most up-to-date material currently available in the field. An entirely new chapter examines the state-of-the-art technology available to presenters, especially LCD projectors, laptops with PowerPoint, electronic white boards, documents cameras, 8mm players, and the idea-behind-distance learning.

      Written by a tireless consultant and self-promoter, How to Run Seminars & Workshops is an essential resource for the ever-expanding consultant market.

      Order Here

      Mental Agility: The Path to Persuasion: Train the Mind to Think, ACT and Influence People… Faster
      A sure-fire system for learning to think fast on your feet—the key to selling your message, influencing others, and captivating your audience.

      Order Here

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