Immediate Past-President

Featured Author

Lauren Mead


Lauren Mead
  • Member, SMPS-NY
With the first SMPS-led Seller-Doer Symposium on the horizon at the upcoming Build Business conference in August, there are several questions floating around. When, where, and most importantly why host this program? SMPS recently published “Sell.Do.Win Business.”, a report on how AEC firms are using staff to win more work. Below is just one of the several data points that make it very clear that technical staff is in need of training and guidance. The Symposium is a high level program (not a ‘how-to’) about defining the environments that will allow the seller-doer to thrive. What does the seller-doer environment look like, what kind of leaders are needed, how do you create accountability, how do you provide training, what is the incentive, what kind of operational systems need to be in play for it to work succeed, what does it mean to your firm, to staffing, how do you formalize it? Piggy-backing this program with Build Business is a great opportunity for technical staff to participate in an industry event. In addition to the program, participants will also be able to attend the Build Business kickoff networking event and hear from keynote speaker, Ben Casnocha. To get the scoop, I interviewed Paula Ryan, FSMPS, CPSM, SMPS President and Director of Marketing at Jezerinac Geers & Associates, Inc. Here is what she had to say: “At some point in our career, we train technical staff whether it’s for a presentation, a panel discussion, or any other client-facing activity. It only makes sense that SMPS supports that effort, as it is part of our mission.” Q: How did this symposium come to fruition? A: It’s never been a secret that our technical professionals practice business development. After the “great recession,” it became a more recognized way to win business. The SMPS Foundation book, “A/E/C Business Development: the Decade Ahead” really validated that concept and brought to light the significant need for business development training, and that’s where SMPS comes in. Q: Why is it important/what are the benefits to a seller-doer culture? A: A seller-doer culture is important because, like the old saying goes, “nothing happens until someone sells something.” Combined that with the fact that owners are more sophisticated and want to form relationships with the people doing their work, and you have the reason to create a business development culture for your seller-doers. Q: What can attendees expect to learn? A: For the seller-doer model of business development to be a success, there has to be a structure in place that focuses on strategy, accountability and training. The program covers what it takes to create that environment and shares real-life case studies of how firms have created success with technical professionals playing a role in business development. The program will also focus on the important partnership between seller-doers and marketing/business development in winning work. Q: How should attendees prepare for the symposium? A: Attendees should come with an open mind as to what is possible to win business for their firm. Q: Who should attend? A: This session is targeted for mid- to senior-level technical professionals who have the ability to influence the business development culture in their firm, and want to learn how to affect business development success. For full details on the program, visit