Durbin was recognized with the Platinum Lifetime Sales Achievement Award from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) during its 2016 annual convention in Savannah, Georgia. The award recognizes chamber employees around the county whose lifetime sales figures have eclipsed $750,000.
“Jeff absolutely deserves to be recognized for his hard work for our more than 2,400 Greater Phoenix Chamber business members,” said GPCC CEO Todd Sanders. “This lifetime achievement award shows what happens when dedication meets perseverance. We’re lucky to have him.”
Although Durbin’s actual lifetime sales figure is more than $900,000, he measures his success in Chamber members assisted, not dollar amounts.
“The membership sale is a small portion of what I do on a daily basis,” he says. “I really have a focus on assisting our members and I make sure they know I am available if needed. I will assist them in utilizing any opportunities that come about.”
And after a business joins the Greater Phoenix Chamber, Durbin keeps in contact to be sure it is using the many benefits that accompany membership.
“I follow up. If somebody joins and two months later I haven’t seen them at one of our great Chamber events, I give them a call and say, ‘Hey, we’re two months in and I still haven’t seen you yet.’” he says. “It’s a friendly reminder to help them use their membership to its fullest potential.”
Durbin has been in the Chamber business for nearly 13 years. He sold his first Phoenix Chamber membership in February 2010 on his second day on the job, to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona. His challenge that day was to be sure he was citing the correct membership benefits, since he had just moved over from the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
“It was my second day and I wanted to make sure I was accurate in what I was offering,” he says. “The most important part is learning each step of membership, the value of what the Chamber offers from a networking mixer all the way to public policy.”
After winning a lifetime achievement award, it’s easy to wonder how Durbin has found continued success in sales, typically a high-turnover profession. His keys are: know what product you’re selling and actually believe in it; be honest; follow up; and above all, have passion.
“Jeff’s service to our members and the Chamber is beyond compare,” said Durbin’s supervisor Debbie Drotar, GPCC director of business development. “This award is a result of his dedication to helping our Chamber member businesses succeed. Everybody knows Jeff and appreciates his passion.”
Durbin’s longevity and recognition in the sales business doesn’t mean that each day is a cakewalk for this seasoned pro.
“There are still challenges every day. I’ve had a lot of people I’ve worked with say ‘you make this job look incredibly easy’ which is, of course, a compliment, because it is a very difficult job,” he says. “I run business groups throughout the week. I plan ribbon cuttings. I help plan events. There’s a lot that goes into this job beyond just selling a membership.”
Even though he works for the largest Chamber in Arizona, Durbin still tries to welcome every single new member to GPCC with a handshake, the power of which he learned in his first sales job with American Greetings Co. in Cleveland. “People like handshakes. They represent a tangible commitment and are used less and less these days. But that’s how I like to do business,” he says.
Durbin isn’t one for talking about his own accomplishments too much, so he recognized his achievement by also giving credit to others.
“I am proud of all the hard work I put into this,” he says. “I look at all the people that I’ve worked with at the Chamber and am thankful for the opportunities that have given me the ability to continue to do this at a high level.”
– Interested in learning how GPCC can benefit your business? Want to make sure you’re taking full advantage of your existing membership? Want to talk about the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Championship? Contact Jeff Durbin at (602) 495-6482 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.