Kevin Rollins - The Hot 25

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Kevin Rollins likes to credit Duke University for his company’s success. Not because they’re propping Rollins and his team up through orders of promotional products, but because the philosophical catchphrase of Blue Devil basketball inspires his approach to business. Attend a Duke basketball practice and you’ll hear “next play” repeatedly, says Rollins, co-owner of the aptly named Next Play Promotions, which is an AIA Corporation (asi/109480) affiliate. The phrase is repeated, he says, to refocus players literally on the next play whenever they miss a shot or make an error. In that same sense, he wants his employees to do the same. And Rollins isn’t immune from the phrase’s effect. When one large client cut ties with Rollins in 2014, he refocused his sales efforts on another department within the same company, creating more sales than he’d had before.

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