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Shook, Robert L. 1938-

SHOOK, Robert L. 1938-

PERSONAL: Born April 7, 1938, in Pittsburgh, PA; son of Herbert M. (an insurance executive) and Belle (Slutsky) Shook; married Roberta Gay Wolk, April 18, 1962 (died, May, 1983); married Elinor Marks Feldman, November 26, 1994; children: (first marriage) Faith Caroline, Robert James, Michael David. Education: Ohio State University, B.S., 1959. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES: Home—261 S. Columbia Ave., Columbus, OH 43209.

CAREER: Shook Associates Corp., Columbus, OH, chairman of board, 1961–, partner in Atlantic Division, 1964–78; American Executive Corp., Columbus, chairman of board, 1973–78; American Executive Life Insurance Co., Phoenix, AZ, chairman of board, 1973–78; full-time writer, 1978–. Has appeared on hundreds of radio and television talk shows, including "David Susskind," "Sally Jessy Raphael," and "Today." J. Ashburn Youth Center, director, 1974–82; member of board, Columbus Film Association, 1980–82, and Players Theatre and Opera, Columbus, 1986–87. American Cancer Society, member of board, 1984–87, vice chairman of board, Franklin County, OH, branch, 1993–. Military service: U.S. Army, 1960; U.S. Army Reserves, 1960–61.

WRITINGS:

(With father, Herbert M. Shook) How to Be the Complete Professional Salesman, F. Fell (New York, NY), 1974, reprinted as How to Be the Complete Professional Salesperson, Lifetime Books (Hollywood, FL), 1994.

(With Ronald L. Bingaman) Total Commitment, F. Fell (New York, NY), 1975.

Winning Images: Nothing Succeeds like the Appearance of Success, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1977.

Ten Greatest Salespersons: What They Say about Selling, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1978.

The Entrepreneurs: Twelve Who Took Risks and Succeeded, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1980.

The Real Estate People: Top Salespersons, Brokers, and Realtors Share the Secrets of Their Success, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1980.

The Chief Executive Officers: Men Who Run Big Business in America, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1981.

(Ghostwriter) Mary Kay Ash, Mary Kay (autobiography), Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1981.

(With Martin D. Shafiroff) Successful Telephone Selling in the '80s, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1982, revised edition published as Successful Telephone Selling in the '90s, Perennial Library (New York, NY), 1990.

Why Didn't I Think of That?, New American Library (New York, NY), 1982.

The Shaklee Story, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1982.

The Book of Why, illustrated by Michael Senett, Hammond (Maplewood, NJ), 1983.

(With daughter, Carrie Shook) What to Name Your Dog, Tribeca Communications (New York, NY), 1983.

Survivors: Living with Cancer: Portraits of Twelve Inspiring People, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1983.

(With Stephanie Matthews Simonton) The Healing Family: The Simonton Approach for Families Facing Illness, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1984.

(With Joe Gandolfo) How to Make Big Money Selling, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1984.

(Ghostwriter) Mary Kay Ash, Mary Kay on People Management, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1984.

(With F. G. "Buck" Rodgers) The IBM Way: Insights into the World's Most Successful Marketing Organization, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1986.

The Perfect Sales Presentation, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1986.

(With David Sams) Wheel of Fortune, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1987.

Honda: An American Success Story, Prentice Hall (New York, NY), 1988.

(With Frank Foster) Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks, John Wiley and Sons (New York, NY), 1989.

(With Joe Girard) How to Close Every Sale, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1989.

(With daughter, Carrie Shook) Only in Canada: The Wonders, Wilds, and Wisdom of the True North, Putnam (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Carrie Shook) Only in Texas: What's Bigger, Better, and Larger than Life in the Lone Star State, Putnam (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Carrie Shook) Only in Virginia: The Unique History, Humor, and Heart of the Old Dominion, Putnam (New York, NY), 1990.

(With son, R.J. Shook) The Wall Street Dictionary, New York Institute of Finance (New York, NY), 1990.

Hardball: High-Pressure Selling Techniques that Work, Morrow (New York, NY), 1990, published as Hardball Selling: How to Turn the Pressure on without Turning Your Customer Off, Quill (New York, NY), 1991, reprinted, Sourcebooks (Naperville, IL), 2003.

Turnaround: The New Ford Motor Company, Prentice Hall (New York, NY), 1990.

(With James Gagan) America's Best Kept Secret, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1991.

(With son, Michael D. Shook) The Book of Odds, Penguin (New York, NY), 1991.

(With Michael D. Shook) It's about Time, Penguin (New York, NY), 1992.

(With Ramon Greenwald) The Name of the Game Is Life, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1992.

(With R.J. Shook) The Winner's Circle: How Ten Stockbrokers became the Best in the Business, New York Institute of Finance (New York, NY), 1992.

(With Carrie Shook) Franchising: The Business Strategy that Changed the World, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1993.

The Greatest Sales Stories Ever Told: From the World's Best Salespeople, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1995.

(Compiler, with Eric Yaverbaum) I'll Get Back to You: 156 Ways to Get People to Return Your Phone Calls, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1996.

(With C. Britt Beemer) Predatory Marketing: What Everyone in Business Needs to Know to Win Today's Consumer, William Morrow (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor, with Bradley N. Bleefeld) Saving the World Entire and 100 Other Beloved Parables from the Talmud, Plume (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Alan R. Schonberg and Donna G. Estreicher) 169 Ways to Score Points with Your Boss, Contemporary Books (Lincolnwood, IL), 1998.

(With Alan R. Schonberg) Headhunters Confidential: 125 Insider Secrets to Landing Your Dream Job, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 2000.

(With C. Britt Beemer) It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit: Fifteen Trends that are Reshaping American Business, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.

Jackpot: Harrah's Winning Secrets for Customer Loyalty, John Wiley and Sons (Hoboken, NJ), 2003.

(With David L. Steward) Doing Business by the Good Book: Fifty-Two Lessons on Success Straight from the Bible, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

(With Bob LaMonte) Winning the NFL Way: Leadership Lessons from Football's Top Head Coaches, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: Robert L. Shook is the author or coauthor of a long list of advice books on marketing, sales, business trends, job hunting, and making a profit, a number of profiles of successful businesses, and several volumes on other topics. It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit: Fifteen Trends that are Reshaping American Business, written with market researcher C. Britt Beemer, is typical of Shook's business advice books. In the book, the authors note that only one in ten businesses stay current on the changing needs of their customers and then go on to list fifteen social and business trends that bear watching.

Jackpot: Harrah's Winning Secrets for Customer Loyalty is Shook's study of the gambling organization that owner Bill Harrah founded in the 1930s based on strong customer service. Harrah employed background checks in his hiring, used no house players (shills), and set his operation in Reno, Nevada, rather than in Las Vegas. Harrah died in 1978, but his successors have held to his standards and expanded the chain of casinos into states that have since legalized gambling. The book includes interviews with Harrah's employees, from management to dealers and wait staff. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that Shook "spins a well-researched, focused account that offers uniformly sound advice."

Shook told CA: "I have a business background and have always been sales-oriented. In considering an idea for a book I always address myself to the questions: What is my market? Who will want to buy a book on this subject? After all, like any other businessperson, an author has a product that must be sold. In negotiating with publishers, I always offer to help market the book in many nontraditional ways (outside retail book stores). I believe that an author must make every effort to help sell his book. My motto is, 'Nothing happens until something is sold.'"

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 2000, David Rouse, review of It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit: Fifteen Trends that are Reshaping American Business, p. 593.

Library Journal, January 1, 2001, Laurence R. Maxted, review of It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit, p. 127; December, 2002, Stacey Marien, review of Jackpot: Harrah's Winning Secrets for Customer Loyalty, p. 144.

Publishers Weekly, July 27, 1998, review of Saving the World Entire and 100 Other Beloved Parables from the Talmud, p. 68; November 11, 2002, review of Jackpot, p. 51.

Research-Technology Management, September, 2001, review of It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit, p. 61.

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