How well do you know your members?
As a manager, I like to believe that I have trained our employees to the standards that we expect to maintain as a chamber. After new team members come on board, I routinely tag along on sales calls and listen in on their member retention calls. I feel like we have fairly good procedures in place. But, I often wonder what happens when I'm not listening in or tagging along. Is every call handled up to our expectations? Would I be perceived as a "micro-manager" if I tag along more frequently?
Several years ago I started doing "secret shopper" calls to find out how calls were being handled when nobody is standing over their shoulder. I'd place a call from an outside line, or have one of our Ambassadors call in and pretend they are looking for membership information. That's okay when the calls go as expected. But, it was awkward to point out mistakes and provide coaching, without the staff member feeling spied on. Maybe it was just one bad call, or one bad day they were having. That started to feel like a bit of a "big brother is watching you" tactic, and I wasn't very comfortable doing it.
So I remembered one of my summer jobs that I had back in college, working nights on the paint line at a scaffolding factory. The plant manager would routinely stop by and casually chat with each employee for a few minutes. There were 150 employees working the night shift, so that was a lot of conversations. But what he was doing was subtle, yet completely awesome at the same time. He stood at every position in the factory and did the job of each employee for a few minutes while he chatted with them. I call it the "not so undercover boss."
Now, instead of conducting secret shopper calls, I will occasionally step in and cover the phones when my team is away. I also tag along on sales calls, not as an observer, but as a participant. I not only say that there isn't a single job that my team does on a daily basis that I wouldn't do myself, but I actually do it for all of them to see. Being the "not so undercover boss" has led to the team asking more questions of me and has enhanced our team's communication and effectiveness. Perhaps there are aspects of the "not so undercover boss" technique that you can use at your chamber.
To your continued success,
Chair, Membership Development Division Advisory Board
Senior Director, Membership Development & Service, Greater Cleveland Partnership
Get Ready for Convention
Check out a full membership development/sales track at the annual ACCE convention in Savannah, August 9-12. Instead of a formal MDD meeting this year, we will hold a networking and brainstorming session in which MDD advisory board members will facilitate problem-solving roundtables based on chamber size. Learn more and register for #ACCE2016 here.
Get the ACCE rate at our convention hotels by clicking here. You will not get the ACCE rates by calling or booking directly through the hotels. The early bird deadline for convention registration and the last day to get the negotiated hotel rates is July 18, 2016.
Events Training Conference: Call for Presenters
Register and book a room for ACCE's next Chamber Events Training Conference, taking place October 13-14, in Louisville. The conference, limited to 60 registrants, is designed for chamber staff responsible for planning and running distinctive and memorable chamber events. Have an idea for a session? Submit it here.
60 Ideas Through the Year
It wouldn't be an ACCE Convention without the popular "60 Membership Ideas in 60 Minutes” session. In this issue we feature a prize-winning idea presented at last year's session by Vicki Keibler, membership and sales director of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Vicki was looking for a new twist on a video to present at the chamber's annual chairman's luncheon. She visited 30 chamber members and shot a short (6 – 10 second) video of each of them dancing to "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang. The video – which was also shared on YouTube and at the chamber's annual gala – became so popular that other members asked her how they could get in on the next one. The following year the chamber charged $500 for each member business participating. Vicki videotaped them for 10 seconds each (no notice was provided before she arrived to shoot the video), put together the completed video on her iPad, and made $20,000 for her chamber – in four days' work.
More ideas from the 2015 convention's 60 Ideas session can be found in our new 60 Ideas eCourse package, which also contains a recording of the 60 Ideas session from the 2015 events conference.
Take the Tour!
View the recording of the latest eTour of ACCE information and resources during which we discussed how to search our 3,000-document sample library; sign up for e-communications; find information Toolkits, samples, and survey results, and much more. Contact the HERO team for more information.
Circle of Champions Recognition Programs
We're in the home stretch! Thanks to everyone who has participated in this year's contest (view current standings). Post 4th quarter numbers by June 6, 2016.
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Lifetime Achievement Award applications must be emailed to Yodit Gebreyes by June 3, 2016. Please note that award level recognitions are awarded only once for each level for each participant. The following criteria are used to determine the recognition levels:
- Bronze: 500 sales or $175,000 in sales
- Silver: 750 sales or $300,000 in sales
- Gold: 1000 sales or $500,000 in sales
- Platinum: 1250 sales or $750,000 in sales
- Million Dollar Circle: $1 million in sales
- Diamond: $1.5 million in sales
Sales Contest and Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented at #ACCE2016. To participate in the Sales Contest or to apply for the Lifetime Achievement Award, you'll need to join the Circle of Champions with this online form, or contact Susan McGuire.
HERO News and Notes
Your ACCE login (<<SSA_LOGIN>>) and password (<<SSA_PASSWD>>) are required to access some HERO pages.
Don't miss our recently updated Membership Management Chamberpedia pages, including membership policies and procedures; referral programs; member surveys; and young professionals groups.
Help us keep our library up to date! Our information staff is seeking these example documents from chambers. If you can help, please contact our HERO team.
- Membership Department/Team annual goals and reports
- Member Benefits (communications pieces)
- Membership Dashboard Reports
- Diversity and Inclusion Statements
Finally, thanks to all who participated in the FY 2015 Operations Survey in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking (DCB). Your customized reports await you! If you didn't participate, you can still do so, and your FREE reports will be available as soon as you enter your data.
In addition to the customized reports, check out these publications that are also now available:
CCE: Just get it.
Remember that the learning and networking you do at ACCE (including convention, sales conferences, and webinar participation), all count towards earning your Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation: the only national certification for chamber professionals. For more information on how you can become one of the select few to attain this prestigious certification, check out the CCE website page, or contact Susan. The application deadline for the 2017 class is January 9, 2017.