Sales Training Conference

Date: March 13 - 14, 2018Time: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm (ET)
Location:  Charleston, SC
Contact: Susan McGuirePhone: 703-998-3572Email:

ACCE's 2018 Sales Training Conference will take place on March 13-14, 2018, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Charleston-Historic District, located at 181 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29401. 

Conference registration:

 ACCE members: 

Early Bird Price: $499 (Cutoff date: 2/16/18)

Regular Price: $599


Price: $699

For questions or to register, please contact Yodit Gebreyes at or 703-998-3579.

Conference agenda (Schedule and speakers subject to change):

All meals and general session presentations will be held in Harleston Meeting Room.

Tuesday, March 13

8:00 a.m. Registration, light breakfast

9:00 a.m. Conference Welcome: Sheree Anne Kelly, President & CEO, ACCE

9:15 – 10:30 a.m. Opening general session presentation:

Recruiting Members for Chamber Growth  ⁄ Presentation Slides
Bryan Derreberry, President & CEO; Adrian Cain, Chief Development Officer; and Tim Rogers, Vice President of Membership, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
Welcome to Charleston! We will kick off the conference with an inspiring membership growth story from the leadership of the Charleston Metro Chamber. Learn the value of connecting with potential members most likely to contribute to sustained and lasting chamber growth and member engagement.

10:45 – 11:45 a.m. General session presentation

Moving on Up: Selling Larger or Premium Memberships ⁄ Presentation Slides
John Rosso, Founder & CEO, Peak Performance Management, Inc.
In this session, learn the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques that position you to “upsell” premium memberships. Nationally recognized consultant, trainer, and author John Rosso will present the three things that make the biggest difference in gaining a commitment to a deeper relationship.

12 noon – 1 p.m. Lunch buffet

12:15 – 12:50 p.m. Lunch & Learn:

ACCE Membership Resources / Presentation Slides / Membership Statistics Report / Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking / Membership Management Chamberpedia section, including Retention and Recruitment resource pages / HERO-Information portal
Sarah Melby, Director, Information & Research, ACCE
Don’t miss this interactive learning session on chamber industry membership statistics, trends in dues revenue, retention, first year membership, tiered dues, and more, with data from ACCE’s Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking system. More of ACCE’s membership resources will also be showcased, and there will be time for sharing and Q&A. Come ready with your chamber’s member stats, and you will be rewarded for your knowledge! Prizes and networking will be part of the informative and fun session. 

1 – 2:15 pm. Breakouts:

Breakout 1: Selecting and Coaching Your Team to Success ⁄ Presentation Slides  Location: Ansonborough Meeting Room
Mark Field, Senior Vice President of Chamber Development
Quality sales professionals are critical to the success of your membership department and to fulfilling your chamber’s mission. How do you select and then coach your sales team to success? Learn strategies for Identifying your sales team culture, evaluating whether individual candidates will be successful in the sales world and a right fit for your team, and then coaching them to success.

Breakout 2: Finding Your (Sales) Formula and Fudging Through ⁄ Presentation Slides / Sales Formula Spreadsheet / Location: Wraggborough Meeting Room
Sarah Cortez, Account Manager, Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce
Finding a formula for membership sales success can make all the difference in hitting your revenue goals. Your sales funnel should be larger than you think for chamber membership sales, and it takes discipline to work through your funnel each month. In this interactive presentation, develop a sales formula tailored to your personal sales goals. You’ll leave with a spreadsheet to track your contacts and manage your pacing, and access to an online sales velocity calculator to revise your formula as your goals change. This session will be helpful for all, but particularly for newer sales persons and chamber professionals with small (or no) dedicated sales staff.

2:30 – 3:45 p.m. Breakouts:

Breakout 1: Total Investment Strategy ⁄ Presentation Slides ⁄ Location: Ansonborough Meeting Room
Meghan Kelley, Managing Director, Membership and Revenue Growth
In this breakout, learn about the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Total Investment program, in which its membership and revenue growth team work with prospects to sell membership, sponsorship, and economic development from the very outset of the member relationship. While it has posed challenges for the organization, this strategy has resulted in an increase in revenue, a decrease in the sales cycle, and greater incentives for investors to engage in chamber programs and events right from the beginning of their membership. Learn more about this innovative program’s challenges, rewards, and lessons learned in this thought-provoking session.

Breakout 2: Getting Social to Build Your Brand ⁄ Location: Wraggborough Meeting Room
David Pruente, Vice President, Membership, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Rebecca Wood, Director of Member Services, Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Is building a brand on social media necessary for sales people? Social media and brand building can work for you. But it takes commitment and comes with responsibilities. We will share real examples of what has worked for others to connect with new clients and generate sales as well as what you should consider before you start. Learn key strategies you can implement immediately to enhance your chamber’s brand and leverage it to generate additional sales.

4 – 5:15 p.m. Interactive workshops:

Workshop 1: Welcome to Chamber Sales! ⁄ Presentation Slides / Workshop handoutLocation: Ansonborough Meeting Room
David Pruente, Vice President, Membership, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
You’re a new chamber sales person – congratulations! What now? David Pruente will walk through the nuts and bolts of setting yourself up for success in this small-group session. Learn how to get referrals and build your pipeline, schedule sales calls, organize your time efficiently, close confidently, and provide excellent follow-up customer service. Bring your questions!

Workshop 2: Negotiation Workshop ⁄ Location: Wraggborough Meeting Room
Rebecca Wood, Director of Member Services, Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Learn how to close that deal by sharpening your negotiation skills in this hands-on workshop. Rebecca Wood will review the principles behind effective negotiation within the sales process, and then facilitate some negotiation role-playing. Learn some critical skills (and have some fun!) in this fast-faced, interactive session.

By appointment: Ask ACCE
Sarah Melby, Director, ACCE Information & Research
Need membership retention stats? Want to benchmark your dues levels? Learn new data on tiers? Obtain a new retention plan or have other membership stats questions? Take the opportunity to learn this information and meet individually with Sarah Melby. Sarah can point you to ACCE resources and help you find all kinds of membership statistics on retention, market penetration, tiered dues, funding streams, revenue per member, average member dues investments, and more. Sarah can also locate 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.

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Happy hour reception, hosted by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, Renaissance Charleston Historic District, 68 Wentworth Street (short walk from conference hotel)

7:00 p.m. Networking dinners

If you have signed up online for these informal Dutch treat dinners, thank you! If you have not signed up on-line and still would like to participate, signups will be available at the conference registration desk on Tuesday, March 13, until noon. Please meet at selected restaurants; reservations are for 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 14

8 – 9 a.m. Full breakfast

9 – 10 a.m. General session presentation: 

How to Increase Sales by Just Being You
Ben Fanning, #1 Bestselling Author, Speaker, and Leadership Coach,
During this presentation you’ll discover practical skills to attract new members and sponsorships effortlessly and authentically. You’ll discover the simple steps to get prospective members to sell themselves, how to seamlessly turn a “no” into a “yes,” and the one ingredient necessary to boost your sales.

10:15 – 11:30 a.m. Breakouts:

Focus on Retention: Keeping Members on Board for the Long Haul
Our role in membership is much more than simply closing the sale. We are responsible for making sure new members have the information they need to engage in the chamber programs and opportunities that will help their businesses succeed. Select one of two breakouts based on chamber sales staff size to help members understand the value of their membership and encourage them to take advantage of the chamber offerings right for them. Both sessions will offer information and resources on strategic onboarding, including member retention plans for the first year and beyond.

Breakout 1: Smaller chambers or staff  ⁄ Presentation Slides  Location: Ansonborough Meeting Room
Tracy Bartholomew, Membership Development Director, Plano Chamber of Commerce

Breakout 2: Larger chambers or staff ⁄ Location: Wraggborough Meeting Room
Tim Rogers, Vice President of Membership, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

11:45 am – 12:45 p.m. General session presentation:

Selling Your Chamber's Value
Shari Pash, President and Owner, Strategic Solutions for Growth
In our closing session, we’ll discuss strategies for educating potential members on the value of their chamber investment. How can you help prospects appreciate the chamber's value beyond events and ribbon cuttings? We will also discuss tips for sharing the importance of investing even if the potential member has limited time to be involved. Help prospects, members, and your business community understand the value that their investment brings to your overall mission.

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