Sales Training Conference

Date: March 11 - 12, 2021Time: 11:30 am - 4:00 pm (ET) Contact: Susan McGuirePhone: 703-998-3572Email:

ACCE's annual sales training conference will be held virtually on March 11 and 12, 2021. Our 2021 program will provide opportunities to learn, share, and network on the challenges facing chamber of commerce sales professionals and their organizations and communities. We will welcome both new and more experienced membership team members and will meet in general and concurrent sessions. 

Register here. Tuition rates are:  

$99/early bird (by February 18)

$139/regular and non-ACCE member



Sessions and speakers subject to change. Additional sessions may be added. 

  • All times in ET.
  • We will break for 15 minutes between each session block. 

Except where noted, sessions will be recorded and will be made available to all attendees for later viewing beginning on Monday, March 15. 



11:30 am – 4 pm ET


Optional pre-conference networking (11:30 am)

Hop on early to chat with friends!


Welcome and general session (noon - 1 pm) 

SOLD with a Story: Master the Art of Storytelling to Fuel More Sales
Libby Spears, Bravo cc
In a crowded and noisy marketplace where there is so much competition, how do you get in front of your potential members and close the sale? In our opening session, Libby Spears shares her favorite strategy to cut through the noise: STORY. She shares how story is the essential ingredient in her sales philosophy and helps her to close more sales. Join her and learn about HOW to tell a powerful story that creates deep connections to create a sense of “we.” Learn WHAT kinds of stories to tell and the most common Uh-Oh mistakes that salespeople make when telling a story. You will leave with clearly actionable steps to put into play now that will have you closing more sales in no time.


Breakout block 1 (1:15 - 2 pm)

Concurrent sessions 

Master the Art of Storytelling: Workshop with Coaching
Libby Spears, Bravo cc
Join Libby after her general session (described above) to explore, experiment, and get excited about the possibilities of a powerful story to close more sales. Bridging the gap between knowing and doing is where the good stuff happens. Together we will practice what you learned around great storytelling. Break out and work on a story, return and share. Volunteers will share a story and get real time coaching from Libby along with input from other participants. Leave with a working list of what to do next to elevate your storytelling practices. Small working groups may not be recorded; opening and closing portions of session featuring Libby's coaching will be recorded. 

Better Bottom Lines, One Membership at a Time (Part 1)
Jessica Moore, Senior Manager, Membership Development, Kentucky Chamber
Educate. Engage. Retain. Repeat. In this two-part session, walk through the entire sales cycle to learn how these four fundamental steps work together to help you recruit the right members for your organization and establish the foundation for robust engagement and retention. In Part one, Jessica will cover the importance of educating yourself on your organization's value proposition and how that education will allow you to match investors with the connections and tools they need to grow their bottom line (and yours).

LinkedIn – A Strategic and Virtual Recruitment and Member Engagement Tool
Shari Pash, Founder, Strategic Solutions for Growth
Jordan Clemons, Investor Development Manager, Greater Louisville Inc.
In this session, learn tips and strategies for growing your LinkedIn network, creating habits that increase engagement from your network, and how and why to leverage your network as a member engagement strategy. We look at LinkedIn as a productive recruitment, development, and engagement tool, a way to stay front of mind with your members and business relationships, and a tool to increase warm referrals.


Breakout block 2 (2:15 - 3 pm)

Concurrent sessions 

The Times, They are A-Changing: Transitioning from Benefit to Mission Selling
Ashleigh Christian, IOM, Director of Investor Development, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce
In 2020, the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce completely revamped its traditional membership sales strategies to focus on recruiting investors interested in contributing to its community advancement work as defined in its new strategic plan. To succeed, the Knoxville team needed to develop new sales processes, revise pipeline assumptions, create sales materials reflecting revised investment tiers, and develop strategies to upgrade current investors. Ashleigh will share her insights and tools for success, and you will leave the session with the information you need to boost revenue and increase retention by selling your chamber’s mission.

Data: The Yellow Brick Road to Sales Wizardry
Allison Walden, CCE, Senior Vice President of Resource Development, Tulsa Regional Chamber
Jonathan Packer, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, Austin Chamber
Charisma and people smarts make for outstanding sales results, right? Think again. The true sales wizards know that the magic of membership sales is in the data. Effective use of a simple sales pipeline and key metrics can gain tremendous insight into your sales activity — to uncover patterns, reveal processes, and yield predictions of future results. Join Allison and Jonathan as they discuss how they use data to understand their customers, drive sales performance, and guide their organizations to make big decisions.

Better Bottom Lines, One Membership at a Time (Part 2)
Jessica Moore, Senior Manager, Membership Development, Kentucky Chamber

In Part two of her two-part session, Jessica will dive deeper into how to develop game-changing non-dues revenue opportunities and products that have the potential to grow your chamber's bottom line substantially. She will also walk through a year-long retention plan aimed at connecting your investors to the resources, programs, and information most valuable them and their businesses.


Breakout block 3 (3:15 - 4 pm)

Concurrent sessions 

Innovative Revenue Models, 2021 Check-In
Tiffany Esposito, CCE, President & CEO, SWFL, Inc.
In 2020, The Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce announced a name change; new, customizable membership packages; and an innovative new revenue model incorporating a free membership level. Now, as SWFL, Inc., the organization has significantly expanded its reach in southwest Florida and has six months of data by which it can evaluate its success. President and CEO Tiffany Esposito, CCE, will share the story of SWFL and discuss what is working, lessons learned, surprises, and how other chambers can learn from and incorporate components of the SWFL model.

Run the Play: The Key to Growing Revenue
Kristin Glass, Chief Strategy Officer, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce
John Maxwell, Growth Path
Have you or any of your team members struggled with building a sales plan that serves as the consistent framework to you or your sales teams’ success? In this interactive session, learn why and how the Quad Cities Chamber created a membership sales playbook to guide their staff through the consultative sales process. Kristin and John will provide the framework to help you create your own custom sales playbook, offer advice to help you build a selling mindset within your organization and teach you how to build accountability through goals and outcome reporting.

Peer Roundtable: Small Chamber, Big Impact
Facilitated by Kerri Green, President & CEO, Commerce Chenango; and Josh Suiter, Director of Membership and Business Relations, The Chamber of St. Matthews
No matter what your size or how small your staff, your chamber can prove enormously impactful for local businesses and your community, and can communicate effectively the "why" of a chamber investment. In this roundtable, build your network of colleagues from like-sized chambers while sharing challenges and successes to help grow your membership and advance your mission in 2021 and beyond.


Post-event networking (4:30 – 5:30 pm)

Our networking lounge will be open for informal conversation and network-building. This networking session will not be recorded.



11:30 am – 4 pm ET


Coffee and Connections, Sales Conference Edition (11:30 am)

Join your peers for informal networking in breakout discussion groups. This networking session will not be recorded.


Welcome to day 2, keynote, and small group discussions (noon - 1:45 pm) 

The Diversity Advantage: How Intentional Leadership Can Boost Your Chamber and Build Stronger Communities
Keynote by Anton J. Gunn, MSW, CSP
Followed by facilitated small group discussions

This session will not be recorded.

We will begin the second day of our time together with a keynote address by author, speaker, and leadership trainer Anton Gunn. An authority on socially conscious leadership and a former advisor to President Barack Obama, Anton works with leaders of Fortune 500 companies and other organizations of all sizes to develop diverse, high-performing teams focused on advancing their missions and developing world-class organizational cultures. Anton will present on the importance of intentional leadership around diversity, equity, and inclusion and how to promote deeper involvement by business owners and leaders of all backgrounds as investors and partners in our work to create stronger communities with opportunities for all.

Following Anton's address, we will break up into small groups for deeper conversations on these topics, including practical steps to start or continue work in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space relating to membership development work. Each small group will be facilitated by a DEI practitioner working in the chamber industry. Small group discussions will begin at 1:15 after a 15-minute break.


Breakout block 4 (2 - 2:45 pm)

Concurrent sessions 

Set Your Team Up for Membership Success
Shari Pash, Founder, Strategic Solutions for Growth
You have expectations for intentional recruitment and increased engagement to impact your 2021 growth goals. Do you have plans, strategies, and the team to implement and deliver successful outcomes? In this session, Shari Pash will share insights on key steps to team success, including:
• Tips on interviewing and hiring the right team members;
• Onboarding and training plans that set new (and current) staff up for success;
• The right production measurements for recruitment and engagement; and
• The role of those measurements for accountability and strategic direction for your team.

Join us and bring your questions!

Zoom Selling 101 - How to Remain Consultative in a Virtual World
David M. Pruente, IOM; Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Zach Snyder, Membership Engagement Manager, Grand Rapids Chamber
Nobody likes it, but we are all selling online these days. Join us for a fun, fast-paced session to learn some tips and tricks to get the sale virtually. Zach and David will share their perspective from new member sales to sponsorships and everything in between. 

Strategic Investment Packages that Fund Your Chamber’s Mission
Kathy Blank, Vice President, McKinney Chamber of Commerce (facilitator)
Rita McDonald, Vice President of Member & Investor Relations, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Todd Murphy, President & CEO, Jefferson Chamber of Commerce
Now more than ever, it is essential to tailor your chamber’s investment opportunities to the needs of your members. Innovative sales professionals understand that timing, flexibility, and creativity can make all the difference in successful investment packages that provide value and drives your mission all year long. Hear from innovative chamber peers about using a one-ask annual investment approach that delivers results for investors and provides a diversified funding source for your chamber.


General session and conference close (3 - 4 pm) 

Top Ten for #ACCESales 2021 - Value, Innovation, and Impact
With MCs Leo Cummings III, Director of Sales, Conway Area Chamber of Commerce; and Britt Delo, Director of Membership, Michigan West Coast Chamber

It has been a roller coaster of a year since we met together at last year's ACCE sales conference. Since then, chambers have stepped up and demonstrated value to their members in new and innovative ways. To close out this year's conference we will showcase a curated “top ten” set of innovative and impactful ideas for chamber membership sales, engagement, retention, and revenue. We look forward to a fun, fast-paced, idea-packed session to close out our 2021 sales conference experience.

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