ACCE National Sales Training 2017

Date: March 9 - 10, 2017Time: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm (ET)
Location:  St. Louis, MO
Contact: Susan McGuirePhone: 703-998-3572Email:

ACCE's 2017 National Sales Training Conference will take place on March 9-10, 2017, in St. Louis, MO, at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, located at 1 South Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102 (note venue change). 

Registration for the conference is now full. If you would like us to contact you if a space opens up, please click here to send an email to our conference registration coordinator. Thank you!


Early Bird Price: $429 (Cutoff date: 2/10/17)

Regular Price: $529


Conference hotel information:

Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark

Single/Double $159

To reserve within hotel block, call 800—Hiltons, and use Group Name “Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives”

Hotel block cutoff extended to COB Friday, 2/17/17



(Schedule and speakers subject to change) 


Thursday, March 9

8 – 9 a.m.       Registration, light breakfast

9 - 9:15 a.m.   Conference welcome

Kelle Marsalis, CCE, IOM, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Dallas Regional Chamber and Chair, ACCE Membership Development Division Advisory Board

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.    General Session Presentation - Teaching is the New Sales

Kyle Sexton, Speaker and Marketing Strategist

Business owners are focused on growth of their business - not growth of your chamber. Teaching, sharing, and recommending proven approaches to business growth means being a business specialist rather than a chamber specialist. In this lively opening session with Kyle Sexton, discover nine ways to attract members by helping their businesses grow.

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. General Session PresentationThe Brooklyn Way: Bridging Membership with Non-Traditional Membership Services

Andrew Hoan, CEO and President, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

Chambers sell benefits to members, but what happens when a chamber sells education and workforce development or small business development to grow its membership base and strengthen the local economy? The Brooklyn Chamber has experienced outstanding membership growth and retention through its funding for workforce development, the "Chamber on the Go" program, and its "Brooklyn Made" certification program. Andrew Hoan, the Brooklyn Chamber CEO, will share the success experienced by the chamber through its focus on innovative membership services, which have resulted in the largest and fastest-growing chamber in New York state.

Link to presentation slides

Noon – 1 p.m.   Lunch Buffet

12:30 – 1 pm:  ACCE eTour with Sarah Melby, Director, ACCE Information & Research

Learn how to make the most of your ACCE membership during this optional Lunch and Learn session with Sarah Melby. Sarah will show how you can access membership statistics such as retention, market penetration, dues investments, and more using ACCE’s Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking system. You’ll also learn how to search our 3,000-document sample library; sign up for e-communications in areas of interest find information Toolkits, and get answers to Chamber questions on topics ranging from membership development to marketing to government relations.

1 – 2:15 p.m.      Breakouts

Breakout 1: Effective Prospecting: The No Pressure Cold Call

Duane Weber, Director of Memberships and Sponsorships, Indy Chamber

Is cold-calling one of your prospecting activities? Should it be, but the phone seems to weigh 100 pounds? Contrary to popular belief, cold-calling is still an effective method for gaining new members. The “No Pressure” Cold Call Outline provides an effective structure leading to real conversations about chamber memberships. Understand the psychology behind the fear of cold-calling and how to overcome it, get tips to get past the gatekeeper, and learn how to stop sounding less like a salesperson and more like a trusted advisor.

Breakout 2: Sponsorship & Dues – A Happy Marriage 

Cara Christianson, Director of Membership, Columbia (MO) Chamber of Commerce

Do you sell sponsorships in addition to memberships? In this session, learn about ways an organization can marry membership dues and sponsorships instead of having the two fight against each other. We will also discuss how to use staff and volunteers to make the most of your sponsorships and create higher investment levels for your membership.   

2:30 – 3:45 p.m.  Breakouts

Breakout 1: The One Call Close – Walk Away with an Application and Payment

Duane Weber, Director of Memberships and Sponsorships, Indy Chamber

Has this ever happened to you? You have a great meeting with a membership prospect. They love everything you Chamber offers. The prospect assures you they’re going to join and asks you to follow up next week. Then – crickets. Wouldn’t it be great if you could walk away with payment when they are the most excited about joining? In this session. we’ll cover a meeting structure and strategies that help you end your meetings with an application and payment, and not “great meeting, call me next week.”

Breakout 2: Retention During the Critical First Year

Jason Wittenberg, Membership Director, Rapid City (SD) Chamber of Commerce

Learn how to educate your staff and volunteers to build business relationships and connections to engage your members. By investing in your members and understanding their niche, you can give them the correct tools to make an impact in the community.  Adding multi-tiered programs and education opportunities help your members understand the value of their membership and will encourage them to stay involved, increasing your overall membership retention.

4 – 5:00 p.m.  Small group sessions

In the optional closing hour of Thursday’s educational sessions, we’ll offer small group sessions and appointments:

Chamber Sales – the Basics

Doug Holman, Partner, Holman Brothers Nonprofit Sales Solutions

In this special session especially for brand-new (or almost brand-new) chamber sales representatives, Doug Holman will go over the basics: how to put together an initial sales plan, schedule sales calls, manage your time, and more. Learn why you don’t need to become an expert on your chamber before you begin making sales calls. There will be plenty of time for questions and group discussion as well. Newbies – join us!

Accountability – The Key to Leadership

Duane Weber, Director of Memberships and Sponsorships, Indy Chambe

In 2016, the Indy Chamber increased new memberships by 160 percent over the previous year with virtually the same membership team, primarily due to an increased emphasis on accountability. In this special small session for managers, we’ll discuss how to involve your team in the planning process so they willingly accept responsibility for their performance. We’ll talk about measuring leading indicators so you are never caught off-guard, and how to implement ladder consequences that help your team know what is expected of them and what will happen when expectations are not met.


Sarah Melby, Director, ACCE Information & Research

Got burning membership questions? Make an individual appointment with ACCE's Sarah Melby. Sarah can point you to ACCE resources, and help you find membership statistics on retention, market penetration, tiered dues, funding streams, revenue per member, average member dues investments, and more. Sarah will obtain resources, examples, and chamber best practices to help you get your job done more effectively and efficiently. Signups will be available at the conference registration desk.

6:30 p.m.      Networking Dinners (reservations for 6:30 p.m.). All restaurants are within walking distance of the hotel.

Please meet at selected restaurants. 

Sign up for Networking Dinners here! You may also sign up at the conference registration desk until noon on Thursday, March 9.


Friday, March 10

8 –9 a.m.       Full Breakfast

9 – 10 a.m.    General Session PresentationDon’t Manage Your Stress - Rekindle Your Spirit!

Dr. Scott Sheperd

In this presentation, Dr. Scott Sheperd, author of Who’s in Charge? Managing the Stress Myth, challenges the way we look at stress and handle it. Both humorous and though-provoking, Scott’s presentation will challenge you to rediscover the power in your own life and reenergize your passion for living, working, and making a difference.

10:15 – 11:30 a.m.  Breakouts

Breakout 1: Selling Your Chamber’s Mission

Doug Holman, Partner, Holman Brothers Nonprofit Sales Solutions; Lisa Hermes, IOM, President, McKinney Chamber of Commerce; Ronald Bunch, CEcD, President & CEO, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce

Far too often, we sell chamber benefits and features, and forget to sell the work that our chambers do to make our communities better places to live and work. Can you persuade new members to invest in your organization and its work, including its advocacy efforts on behalf of the business community? Our panel will discuss their own ideas, experiences, and advice on these topics. Be prepared for a stimulating discussion on this topic, and bring your own ideas and questions.

Breakout 2: Communicating for Success Using the DISC personality profile

Ashleigh Christian, Membership Development Manager, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce

In this session, Ashleigh Christian will discuss the four basic communication styles using the DISC personality profile test. You’ll discover your own personality style and how it can better help you communicate with co-workers, members, and prospects. You’ll also learn how to identify the styles of your prospects, and how that information can help you formulate the best sales approach to close the deal.

11:45 am – 12:45 p.m.  General Session PresentationNot So Random, Really Helpful Ideas, Gathered Through a Life in Sales

Doug Holman, Partner, Holman Brothers Nonprofit Sales Solutions

Doug Holman will close our sales training in the way only he can. Learn how to pass the reality check. Discover the absolute best way to ensure you write new sales. Never forget that winners keep score. And get introduced to the best coach you'll ever have. Join Doug as he presents these and other themes presented throughout the conference in a motivational closing session.

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