Building Relationships

Mid-Year Review: 2013-2014: The Year to THRIVE

Posted by smpsarizona on April 02, 2014
Organizations / No Comments

The Year To THRIVE

Advocate, Educate, and Connect to THRIVE!

Greetings SMPS Arizona!

We are already half way through our annual calendar and fresh off of our mid-year leadership retreat; so I thought it was time to give everyone an update on the organization. In my kick-off Letter from the President, I laid out our strategic plan and the major goals this leadership team wanted to accomplish. Well, I am here to tell you we have already achieved many of these goals! Your leadership team has worked incredibly hard to provide you all with the following:


  • Salary Survey, completed and sent to membership.
  • SWRC Scholarship.
  • Inaugural Arizona Marketing Awards are in progress, with Gala set for April 3rd.
  • Social media and blog are being used for individual and firm promotion.


  • Established two distinct programming tracks: one for Business Development and another for Marketing. These programs are selling out due to their popularity. Did you know we offer:

    ¤   Low cost software training
    ¤   Mentoring program
    ¤   AEC Bootcamp
    ¤   CRM Users Group
    ¤   Marketing Council to sharpen your skills
    ¤   Monthly client-driven programs to further your business development efforts


  • We improved email marketing, hope you have seen the difference!
  • Increased usage of MySMPS to help foster connections and provide resources.
  • Holiday Mixer / Fundraiser for Maggie’s Place.
  • National President Brad Thurman, and 2013 Chapter President of the Year, Kate Mullaney spoke at our mid-year retreat.


  • We have provided extended outreach to new members.
  • We rebranded the chapter and revamped how messages are communicated.

So, what’s left you ask? So much more!

♦  We will be awarding another Build Business Scholarship in April.
♦  The Vendor Fair is back in June.
♦  The National SMPS Board will be here in June for a meet and greet.
♦  Brand new, user-friendly website coming soon.
♦  Opportunities for you to promote yourself and your firms through the blog/social media.

But now that I have regaled you with what SMPS has provided over the past 6 months, it is time for me to ask something of you…. Get Involved.

If you are not actively engaged within the organization you are losing out on its #1 benefit, the network of amazing people willing to share their experiences and skills with you. We have 16 different committees looking for new people to help us provide all of the offerings listed above, as well as a regional conference we are hosting February 2015. Not sure where you fit in? Call me. Email me. After 14 years of being a part of this great organization, and working within almost every committee we have, I can provide you some insight on what might be a good fit and connect you with the folks you need to know.

To the SMPS Arizona Leadership Team, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the hard work you have put forth these past few months. The entire membership owes you a standing ovation.


Deirdre Booth, CPSM – SMPS Arizona President
TankGirl Marketing

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SMPS National Coming to Arizona: Managing & Leading a Successful Business Development Team

Posted by Kimberly Mickelson on February 08, 2012
Event, Marketing/PR, Professional Development / No Comments

Is your firm retaining clients and winning key projects?
This workshop will provide you with skills and tools to manage an effective business development program. Discover how to lead ALL of your employees to focus on client satisfaction and generate profitable business for your firm.

By the end of this day-long workshop, you will understand how to:

  1.  identify the characteristics of a successful business developer
  2. motivate your business development team
  3. cultivate productive relationships among BD, marketing, and technical staff
  4. develop and implement an effective BD plan
  5. create actionable business development goals
  6. build strategic alliance partnerships
  7. foster client satisfaction to build client loyalty
  8. coach presentation teams to win projects

You will return to the office with proven techniques and tools for effective management of your firm’s business development team and plan.

This program is designed for any A/E/C professional—whether you work for a one-office firm or a global corporation—who is responsible for:

  • securing work for a professional services firm
  • training and leading employees to develop business
  • creating and implementing a business development plan

Directors and managers of business development and marketing, project managers working with clients, and principals will benefit from the opportunity to strengthen their leadership and management skills through the material covered in this workshop.

The program is taught by seasoned practitioners representing some of the most successful architectural, engineering, and construction firms in the United States. Through a mix of discussion, presentation, and exercises, they will guide you to:

  •  identify BD potential in others
  • engage technical staff in BD strategies
  • motivate presentation teams
  • effectively manage client relationships

To learn more about SMPS’s stellar faculty, visit

The workshop will begin at 8 am and conclude at 4:30 pm. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided to give attendees additional time to network.

Identifying BD Talent
• Characteristics of a Business Developer
• Developing BD Skills in Others
• Motivating Your BD Team

Developing BD Plans
• Working with Your Strategic Plan
• Setting BD Goals and Objectives
• Creating a Sales Pursuit Plan

BD ROI Strategies
• Different Methods for Tracking ROI
• Key ROI Metrics to Track
• Communicating BD Value to the C-Suite

Building Strategic Alliances
• When Alliances Are Necessary
• What to Look for in a Partner
• Maintaining Win-Win Relationships

Leading with Communication Skills
• Building Trust with Clients
• Working with Colleagues
• Developing Your Industry Reputation

Creating a Client-Focused Culture
• Fostering Relationships among Staff
• Understanding Roles
• Recognizing and Celebrating Success

Building and Motivating Project Teams
• Developing a Message
• Hitting the Client’s Hot Buttons
• Coaching the Presentation Team

Client Maintenance and Management
• Why Client Maintenance Is Vital
• Understanding Client Needs
• Leading a Client Satisfaction Process

Date: April 5
Location: Fiesta Resort Conference Center, 2100 S. Priest Drive, Tempe, AZ 85282

SMPS Member: $395 (Early Bird: $345*)
Nonmember: $545 (Early Bird: $495*)
Registration includes a 100-page seminar workbook and continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments.
Teams of 3+ Employees: Save $100/person!**

   This workshop is approved for 6.5 CEUs for the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) Program and 6.5 LUs from the American Institute of Architects.

Visit to register!
Register early to save $50 plus receive a series of readings on best practices in business development.*

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AIA Southern Arizona Continuing Education Seminar Series

Posted by Kimberly Mickelson on June 20, 2011
Construction, Design, Event, Marketing/PR, Professional Development / No Comments

In the current economic climate, A/E firms are continually re-evaluating their approach to marketingAIA Southern Arizona is pleased to present this SERIES of six (6) seminars wSouthern AIA Arizonahich will focus on the successful approaches used by marketing professionals from basic business marketing plans to writing proposals to interview skills to using social media.  This fresh overall look at marketing will be presented by the much acclaimed Phoenix marketing firm of Small Giants

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Principals and marketing professionals from any A/E firm will benefit from this SERIES.  Whether considered as a refresher course for the seasoned marketer or an introduction to the finer techniques of new approaches to marketing; this series is timely, targeted, and professionally presented.  AIA members will not want to miss this series of outstanding presentations about marketing A/E services in a difficult economy.

June, 28, 2011—Strategy Marketing/Business Development Plans (Presenter: Danielle Feroleto)

July 26, 2011—Business Development Basics (Presenter: Danielle Feroleto)

August 23, 2011—Winning Proposals (Presenter: Deirdre Booth)

September 27, 2011—Interviewing to Win (Presenter: Deirdre Booth)

October 25, 2011—Essential Marketing Practices & Social Media (Presenter: Danielle Feroleto)

November 8, 2011—Hands-On Social Media for Architects (Presenters: Deirdre Booth/Kimberly Mickelson)

Location— AIA Southern Arizona office, 1001 N. Alvernon Way, Suite 101, Tucson, AZ 85711
Time— 8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Check-in / Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 10:30 a.m. Seminar
SEATS LIMITED to 21 per class; classroom style

AIA MEMBERS $59 per seat per class (1.5 LU) OR $169 per one (1) seat in three (3) sessions (must choose sessions at time of registration) (4.5 LU total) OR $299 per one (1) seat in ALL six (6) sessions (9 LU total)
NON-AIA MEMBERS $79 per seat per class (1.5 LU) OR $225 per one (1) seat in three (3) sessions (must choose sessions at time of registration (4.5 LU total) OR $399 per one (1) seat in ALL six (6) sessions (9 LU total) )

For Registration Form: Visit:

Contact Kathy VonCannon
AIA Southern Arizona office
1001 N. Alvernon Way, Ste. 101
Tucson, Arizona 85711
Phone (520) 323-1115
FAX (520) 323-3399

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Building Relationships with Public Owners

Posted by Kimberly Mickelson on May 05, 2011
Event, Marketing/PR, Professional Development / No Comments

relationshipsThe following is a guest post by Michelle Kelly, Audio Video Resources, SMPS Arizona Programs Director.

In an effort to find out what public entities are doing in Arizona, SMPS set out to answer a few questions with some owners that have projects. The April 21st event held at The Duce in downtown Phoenix was a departure from the usual Wyndham Downtown location, and lent itself well to the interactive roundtable format.

A few highlights of Q&A with the speakers:

How do you like to be contacted? By whom and how often?

As our speakers included Directors, an Engineer, Project Manager, and Procurement Specialist, the answers to this question varied, but one thing was the same – they all welcome the contact. Bill Fay with the City of Chandler and Danny O’Brien with Tolleson Elementary School District prefer being contacted by the individual they have a relationship with, or are likely to interact with most. John Hauskins, with the Maricopa County Department of Transportation said he prefers “principals with either BD representatives or Project Managers depending on what we are discussing.”

“The City of Maricopa and my department in particular, are short staffed so we do not have staff time for one-on-one meetings,” Brent Billingsley told attendees. “I prefer to set up 30 minute blocks for phone calls to facilitate interaction and to answer any questions.”

How can firms gain exposure with you?

Many of the speakers agreed that one of the best ways to gain insight into their agency was through participation on an evaluation panel. As shared by Terri Spencer with Pima County, “It is an ingenious way to gain exposure for your firm by interacting with County staff and providing valuable information on your firm’s capabilities during the panel meeting.”

How can firms become a known entity to them?

The answer heard most often from the speakers was that a good project manager is crucial to getting past the shortlist to win the project. “A PM well versed regarding the project for which the firm is applying” and the importance of the project manager’s “communication skills along with technical expertise,” were the words of advice.

And then once you’re selected, the intuitive message was PERFORM. “Focus on bringing that project in within schedule and budget. In other words, do what you said you would do during your proposal or interview. Live up to the County’s expectations!” was Spencer’s advice.

Speakers included:

We hope you can make it to our next breakfast program, “Selling the Team” with speaker Karina Bohn, Senior Director of Marketing for the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 19th!

More details can be found here…

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship of SMPS events provides you access to a membership of more than 200 marketing and business development professionals from the A/E/C industry. There are several sponsorship opportunities throughout the year, on a variety of events with specific audiences and focus. For information on sponsorship opportunities with SMPS Arizona, please visit our Sponsorship Page or contact : Laura Turiano

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Enhancing your visibility through professional associations

Posted by Kimberly Mickelson on October 12, 2010
Marketing/PR, Organizations, Professional Development / No Comments

The following is a guest blog from James Patrick.

Part of my morning routine while I sip my coffee is to bulk trash the daily flurry of e-mails I received from various social networking websites. There will no doubt be about 20 friend requests, 5 people asking for recommendations, and about 70 people asking me to click a button to publicly prove that I “like” their club, business, group, whatever.

It is an enslaving temptation to lose yourself in the illusion of networking via a bevy of digital social media channels. If one were so inclined, or addicted, they could spend several lifetimes swimming in an ocean of wall posts, tweets, and fan pages. Since I’ve sat down to write this article, I’ve managed to check my Facebook status feed three times. Okay, now four times.

Despite the countless hours you may spend online; orchestrating a successful personal brand cannot solely be achieved by simply starting a Facebook Fan Page, LinkedIn or Twitter profile. I only wish it were that easy.

Yes, these are massively powerful channels that permit us to communicate in a way never possible before. And yes, these tools can be extremely useful. However, the problem with online social networking is that it is far too easy to be ignored.

Constructing your personal brand is about being seen (literally). Identity. Visibility. Ubiquity. Business is still rooted in human connections, so get comfortable with the idea of being an active participant in face-to-face settings.

One of the most fruitful endeavors to exponentially grow your personal brand is the involvement in professional associations. This is a paramount opportunity not only to network; but also to share and learn best practices, to grow, to connect, to contribute, to build a culture, to stay atop of industry trends and developments, and to devote yourself to enhancing the viability and professionalism of your field.

Each professional association, and there are a lot of them, is founded based upon an idea. That “founding idea” can be as simple as supporting the niche community or as powerful as organizing a group of people to enact change in an industry.

First, explore which association to join. It doesn’t take long to discover that there is an association, organization, or coordinated group for just about every niche of every industry imaginable.

Thus it ends up looking something like this; you have the commercial photographers over here and the editorial photographers over there. You have the professional service marketing people over here, and the marketing people that work for agencies over there. The reality is, you can find a very specific niche group of people and connect with them; because you want to be connected with them. To determine out where to invest yourself (and yes, this is an investment both personally and monetarily), you must decide what you hope to achieve through your membership.

If your goal is to learn more about your specific work field, collaborate with like-minded individuals, or support the overall direction of your industry; then seek out a group of professionals within the same genre as yourself.

Another option is to seek involvement in organizations that your clients support. This helps you stay abreast of the current issues and challenges affecting their business (and subsequently your business) on a day-to-day basis. Keeping informed of their business will prove mutually beneficial and can give you that needed leg up on your competition. Additionally, this will afford you the opportunity to garner bonus face time with your clients which can often be hard to achieve.

Secondly, participate. Participation within organizations you are a member of is imperative. The only thing worse than not being a member, is being an inactive member – an empty seat. This can have quite the negative impact on your personal brand.

Here’s why: An empty seat is easily forgotten. The last thing you want is for you to lose your personal brand. You want to stand out and be remembered but in order to do so you have to be active.

Throughout my career, I all too often encounter individuals who would much prefer to hide behind their desk. Those who would rather send an e-mail than pick up a phone. Or pick up the phone before meeting in person. It is an ineffective, vicious cycle and all too common. The more we hide, the easier it is to be forgotten. When circumstances become harder, the more we are compelled to hide.  We need to break out of old habits and establish a new paradigm.

When you attend a meeting, seminar, workshop, networking event or the like, your mission (whether or not you choose to accept it) is talk to someone new; someone you have not yet had an interaction with. A quick introduction today can lead to a mutually beneficial relationship tomorrow.

If the meetings are during lunch, sit next to a new group of people each time. Reach beyond your comfort zone and make the effort to grow your web of connections. Imagine if you were able to meet one new person at each meeting. Think of how those connections could multiply over the course of a year, two years, five years, and so on.

Communicate your ideas with fellow members as well as the board of directors. As a paying member, it helps ensure that you are personally getting value out of the membership you paid for. Often times there are opportunities to serve as part of committees. This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with others in an effort to achieve a common goal and to reach beyond your comfort zone in a solid attempt to visibly brand yourself. Or better yet, look at the potential of serving on the board of your favorite organization. What better way to stand out and be heard?

In writing this article, I keep thinking to myself that whoever reads this is going to be sitting at their desk thinking, “well of course, all this is common sense. Anyone in business would know this!

Perhaps you’re right. In that case I’ll look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

James Patrick, ACB, ALB is a professional Marketing Coordinator for Stantec Consulting Service’s Tucson Office and possesses a degree in journalism from the University of Arizona. He is a recipient of the Inside Tucson Business Up & Comer Award in 2008 and the Gold ADDYÒ Award for Color Photography in 2010 from the American Advertising Federation. James also works as a commercial and editorial photographer and a public speaker on topics including marketing and business development. He can be reached at

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