Sales Wizards to Lead Display Stream

Larry Levine Wants Attendees to "Think Outside the Box"; Julio Melara Promises His Audience Will Be "Changed Forever."

“Most sales people have pre-conceived notions about what can be accomplished with clients,” says sales wizard Larry Levine, an author and speaker with 20 years of sales experience. “They think, ‘I can’t ask a client for 80 percent of their advertising budget.'”

Levine will help AAN sales managers and their charges overcome these self-imposed limits during an all-day advertising seminar on Wednesday, May 26, the day before the official commencement of the 1999 AAN convention in Memphis. According to Levine — who formerly managed a $90 million division for Ziff-Davis, one of the country’s largest special interest publishing companies — his “Getting Extraordinary Results from Ordinary Salespeople” workshop is designed to help sales people “think outside the box. I plan to provide attendees with more tools and more choices to help them deal with their clients more effectively,” he says.

AAN Marketing Director Adam Ebbin previewed dozens of speakers at the magazine industry’s Folio Show last fall and says that Levine was by far “the most enlightening.”

“Larry blended entertaining war stories with practical sales theories in a way that really clicked,” Ebbin says. “I’ve been in sales for ten years, and his seminar helped me to approach common challenges from a fresh perspective.”

Levine’s all-day session will be followed by several other workshops that promise to make this year’s display advertising stream one of the best ever.

Another display ad headliner this year is Julio Melara, a self-described “lethal weapon in selling.”

He has the track record to back up those words: As an 18-year-old college freshman, he got a job as a courier with New Orleans Citybusiness, a local business paper. Within five years, Melara became the company’s top-producing salesman and assumed leadership of the national sales department. By age 28, Melara was selling advertising for the 50,000-watt New Orleans radio station, WWL. He quickly broke all of the station’s existing sales records and went on to become Louisiana radio’s first million-dollar producer.

Now part owner and publisher of the Baton Rouge Business Report, the 31-year-old master salesman/motivational speaker will be the presenter of three display ad seminars, including “Are You in the Right Club, or Getting Clubbed?” — a seminar on creative selling ideas — and “Recruiting, Rewarding and Retaining Sales People.”

Attendees of the latter workshop will be introduced to non-cash incentives that will help to motivate and retain good sales people. But Melara promises much more: “Everyone who comes to my sessions will be changed forever.”

The rest of the display advertising workshops at the Memphis convention look like this:

It Only Takes Everything You’ve Got! (with classified stream), Presenter: Julio Melara
Show Me the Money!, Moderator: Jeffrey Goldberg of the Memphis Flyer
Questioning Skills: Uncover Needs, Barriers, and Payoffs, Presenter: Bob Treadway, Treadway and Associates
Getting Past Resistance: How to Leverage Customer Objections, Presenter: Bob Treadway
Sales Management in the Future Tense: Anticipate the Challenges of the Next Five Years, Presenter: Bob Treadway
Alternative Alternative Models for Smaller Papers: Stop the Insanity!, Presenter: NUVO Newsweekly’s Kerry Farley
Fundamentals of Selling Internet Media, Presenter: Larry Allen of Real Media
The Effective Sales Meeting, Presenter: Catherine Nelson