You’ve probably heard the phrase,”Membership has its benefits.” When it comes to A/E/C industry professionals, a membership in SMPS definitely does. When you join SMPS, you are not only a member of the preeminent national society focused on supporting people and businesses in the built environment, but also part a group of engaged A/E/C colleagues who are movers and shakers in your region. From newcomers to the industry to seasoned veterans — SMPS has a bounty of benefits for you.
Don’t take just my word for it. Read "SMPS Membership Makes Sense" below to see what one of our members, Lindsay Young, has to say.
This edition of the Ozarks Chapter newsletter highlights events you may join, an introduction to the wealth of resources available to our members, and tools to help you navigate today’s A/E/C challenges. I encourage you to take advantage of all of them, especially now.
President, SMPS Ozarks
Calendar of Events
Virtual Happy Hour
Let’s take a little time to catch our collective breath and catch up with our friends in AEC.
Grab a Coke, beer, wine, or cocktail and join us for casual conversation and to connect during happy hour. Anyone is welcome to join us at the virtual bar.
These days laughter is great medicine. Please feel free to share any of your recent interesting/funny experiences. Swap stories. Or ask questions. And of course, feel free to let us know if we can share any tips to help you through these unusual times.
Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (872) 240-3311
Access Code: 613-003-557
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:
Special thanks to our virtual meeting sponsor
Our friends at SMPS Oklahoma have some virtual events lined up. The 2020 Spring Training Webinar Series looks especially good. You are welcome to register for the free series.
Why Join SMPS?
I have been involved in for almost 15 years and have gained valuable resources throughout my career. SMPS has helped me become the leader and business owner that I am today. Through my network, I have received support and guidance to all things marketing.
Right now, employers are looking for ways to cut costs. As a business owner, I understand the need to evaluate costs. However, I also understand we need to invest in employees. Now is NOT the time to cut professional development for employees. The business landscape looks much different than it did just three or four months ago, but we must invest in ourselves and our employees.
SMPS is a great place to learn, develop, and grow in marketing and leadership. There are forums, webinars, and online events to educate us about all things marketing related. These resources include social media tips, marketing technology trends, communications in crisis, just to name a few. Investing in marketing. Investing in employees. Investing in SMPS. It’s just smart business.
Lindsay Young, CPSM
Chief Difference Maker
Resources for SMPS Members
Pivot and Focus
Business as we know it has changed, bringing us online instead of in person. It’s time to pivot and shift our focus. Tune in to a new series dedicated to bringing you valuable content, videos, and tools—all virtual and complimentary with your membership. The recordings will be made available to all members for each part of the series. Visit https://www.smps.org/?s=pivot+and+focus Follow the updates on social media with #SMPSPivotandFocus.
On Demand Learning Labs
These learning tools are complimentary to SMPS members. The On Demand Learning Labs are a large archive of educational materials, recorded webinars, and handouts. For the latest content, search from the bottom of the list upward.
Virtual Learning Programs
Check out SMPS HQ’s upcoming virtual learning programs. The next one is on Wednesday, May 20. Creativity Workout | Online Boot Camp for A/E/C Marketers & Business Developers
Just when you thought business development (BD) marketing was about selling, you discover good BD work is mostly about research. That’s right, the introvert’s best friend, research! Before you ever step out in conversation to sell your services, you should know;
- Who makes a perfect client for our services?
- Can this client afford our services?
- Is this client likely to hire us for multiple projects for multiple years?
- Is this client a good fit for our culture and values?
- Will we have an opportunity to grow as this client grows?
- Will this client allow us to be profitable?
The Right Fit
Is the client perfect for our services? You need to develop some client evaluation criteria to determine this answer. Do they have multiple projects which we can perform? Are they the kind of client to whom we want to be associated? Will they be easy and enjoyable to work with? Are they able to articulate their needs and goals? Are they structured and funded to pay invoices on time? Will they recommend us to other potential clients?
Financially Stable Clients
There really is no point in spending time, money and energy pursuing clients who have no funds to pay for your company’s services services. This is true of both private and public clients. For private clients, it may cost some money to discover their financial stability (Dodge Data & Analytics, Dun & Bradstreet Reports, Better Business Bureau). For public clients, public records are available for their annual budgets, revenues, and expenditures.
Repeat Work Potential
Who has the client been working with preciously? Do they shift from one firm to another often or stay loyal to one or a few firms? How is the work contracted (on-call and task ordered, or project-specific contracting)? Is price always the primary factor in selection or qualifications? Is the selection team consistent, low turnover? What is their growth potential? For public clients, do they have a Capital Improvement Plan and a history of infrastructure expenditures? What are the barriers or pre-qualification hoops to working with them?
Culture and Values
Review the prospective client’s website, marketing literature, newsletters, etc. What is their stated mission and vision? Meet with several members of the client’s organization at various levels to gain a sense of internal communication and cooperation. What is the staff retention rate and turnover rate? Look online at employer reviews.
Can you cross-sell to this client because they have projects in multiple disciplines? Will this client be able to take us into a new geography or market? Does the client have competencies that you wish to gain by working with them? Do they have a plan and vision for growth and the ability to execute?
Again, look at how the client contracts for services. Do they ever “sole source” with a vendor or do they always make every project competitive? How are you allowed to price services? Hourly contracts, while good, limit profitability by the number of hours you are willing to work. Value-based pricing, such as lump sum, allows for greater margins. What does it cost to do business with this client? Do they value engineering or see us as a necessary evil?
Does any of this work sound like selling to you? Great BD work takes time to research, create strategy, and execute a client capture plan. The selling only takes place when both you and the prospective client know each other well enough to “want” to work together.
Thank you to Gabe Lett, CPSM & Sr. Marketing Specialist with Allgeier, Martin and Associates, Inc. in Joplin, MO for this month's insight. Gabe can be reached via email at [email protected].