Business Development for the A/E/C Industries

Position your firm for success with these SMPS Business Development Workshops!

Business Development for the A/E/C Industries will provide you with the special tools and techniques necessary to develop and maintain successful business development practices for your professional services firm. Whether you’re a new or seasoned business developer, the workshop will strengthen your skills to build more business for your firm in any economy.

This in-person, interactive workshop is led by seasoned, active practitioners in the A/E/C industries with responsibility for bottom-line contractual results. By the end of our day-long program, you’ll understand how to:

  • Define BD and identify trends
  • Generate leads that end in contracts
  • Executive BD strategies to build profitable business for your firm
  • Differentiate between business development and marketing
  • Build Business by managing the client relationship

Workshop and Registration Information

2019-20 programs announced soon!

  • February 26, 2019: Orlando, FL
  • March 28, 2019: Alexandria, VA
  • April 2, 2019: Boston, MA
  • May 29, 2019: Detroit, MI
  • July 30, 2019: Washington, DC
  • August 22, 2019: Portland, OR

Sample Agenda

7:45 – 8 a.m.
Registration/Continental Breakfast

Noon – 1 p.m.
Lunch & Networking Activity

8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Workshop Topics



Defining Business Development

  • What is BD
  • Seller-Doer and dedicated BD staff models
  • Your personal brand
  • Differences between BD and marketing
  • BD roles in the sales process
  • Trends in BD

Lead Generation

  • Sales funnel and prospecting, how to generate leads
  • Importance/how to of networking
  • Qualifying best practices and tactics
  • Qualifying leads, Go/No Go decisions

Business Development Planning

  • Context within planning hierarchy: strategic plan, business plan, marketing plan, BD plan, individual capture plans
  • Sample BD plan
  • Articulating your unique value proposition

Capture Planning

  • What a proactive firm does
  • SMPS capture planning form: utilization, decision making, pitfalls, best practices

Execution Strategies

  • Targeting, warm/cold calling, first call script
  • Client visits, first meeting/uncovering client drivers, qualifying opportunities
  • Advancing toward a sale: Proposal 101 and BD role in preparing for the presentation

Wrap up

  • Recommendations and resources

Meet the Faculty

Business Development for the A/E/C Industries is taught by a rotating faculty representing some of the most successful architectural, engineering, and construction firms in the United States. The instructors are senior executives within their firms–seasoned, active practitioners of business development with responsibility for bottom-line contractual results. Combined, they offer decades of practical experience. Instructors will be selected from the group below and are subject to change.

Gilbert S. Brindley, P.E., CPSM
Director, UHPC Solutions

Throughout his 33-year career in the A/E/C industry, Gilbert Brindley has worn hats of the owner, engineer, and contractor. His journey from operations into marketing and business development began as a project director working for a national contractor in Pittsburgh. That journey included acquisitions, strategic planning, communications, and new office start-ups. A long-time member of the faculty, Gilbert has been teaching business development classes since 2009.

Laurie A. Buckman, CPSM
Vice President of Business Development
Process Plus

Laurie Buckman has over 28 years of experience in business development for private- and public-sector engineering and environmental consulting services. Her focus has been the development of matrix driven strategies that directly correlate with overall business goals and the associated new market/client definition and outreach. She has also developed and implemented extensive seller-doer training and participation programs as well as door-opening strategies.

Michael T. Buell, FSMPS, CPSM, Assoc. DBIA
Client Development Leader, CCI Mechanical, Inc.
International Speaker
Adjunct Professor, University of Utah

Michael T. Buell has been a strategic marketing and client development professional in the A/E/C industries over the last 26 years. He has worked with construction, architecture and engineering firms from regional to national in market size. Throughout his tenure, Michael has continued to build strong relationships with clients, colleagues and peers alike from coast to coast. Whether for his firm at any given time or for the thousands of marketing and technical staff he has lead training sessions for, Michael’s number one goal has always been to help others build stronger and more abundant client relationships.

Karen O. Courtney, AIA, FSMPS
Chief Marketing Officer, Architect
Fanning Howey Architects/Engineers

Karen O. Courtney, AIA, FSMPS, has been a marketing director and business developer for 30 years in A/E/C firms ranging in size from medium to extra large, and she is both a registered architect and interior designer. She has worked for architecture, engineering, and construction management firms, giving her a unique perspective of the challenges faced by each segment of the industry in building business. She was honored by SMPS in 2013 with the Society’s Weld Coxe Marketing Achievement Award for her lifetime of work in marketing, business development, and firm leadership.

Kathryn A. Mullaney, CPSM
Associate Vice President, HGA Architects and Engineers

Kate Mullaney has over 17 years in marketing and business development, working for architecture, engineering, and program/project management firms. Her involvement with and leadership in firms of varying sizes, service offerings, markets, and cultures gives her a holistic perspective on the industry and both the unique and similar challenges that firms face.

Jason Robertson
Director of Business Development, CRB

Jason Robertson received his Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and finance, with a minor in marketing, from Northwestern College in 1998. After gaining close to two decades of experience in the construction industry and serving as as vice president of business development with The Weitz Company, Jason now serves as Director of Business Development for CRB.

N. Anthony Steinhardt, III, FSMPS, CPSM
Principal, RATIO Architects, Inc.

As one of RATIO’s principals, Tony Steinhardt provides leadership relative to strategic client development, and identifies and cultivates opportunities for diversification with the education, community, life sciences, workplace, lifestyle and cultural marketplaces nationally—all while facing a consistently challenging business landscape.

Who Should Attend?

Business Development (BD) for the A/E/C Industries is ideal for professionals who are:

  • new to business development
  • looking for formal BD training
  • working in a technical profession and responsible for BD and client development
  • transitioning from marketing to BD
  • training technical staff to develop business

Gain insight into your specific business development needs. You will be challenged to evaluate the effectiveness of your current sales efforts, to strengthen your firm’s business development strategy, and to explore effective solutions to challenging business development situations.

What Attendees Are Saying

Here’s what recent attendees have said about the workshop:

“Interactive and chock full of information shared by successful BD practitioners that I can use today. The workshop exercise role playing and implementing of what we learned really provided me great takeaways.”

“I’m a seller-doer with no BD training. I liked having time to interact with my classmates and work on group activities.”

“I encourage all marketers to attend—and bring your BD team with you.”

“This workshop covers a wide range of topics and forced me to reflect on my current practices.”

“Well worth it! Whether you’re new to BD or just need a refresher. It was fun and informative.”


Early rate* Regular rate
SMPS members $395.00 $445.00
Non members $545.00 $595.00

*Early discount 
of $50/person will apply to registrations received and paid 30 days prior to the workshop date. Member registration rates apply to the named SMPS member and are not transferable.

Team discount: Teams of three or more employees from the same company benefit from a $100/person discount. Fax or email all team discount registrations together to 703.549.2498 or

Cancellations: Registration fee will be refunded if cancellation is received two weeks prior to the event. No registration fees will be refunded with less than two weeks notice. A substitute may attend for no extra charge or registration can be transferred to the same event in another city within 12 months of the original event, provided SMPS is notified of the substitution or transfer prior to the start of the event. A registration can be transferred only once and fees cannot be refunded after a transfer has been made. If SMPS cancels a workshop for any reason, SMPS’s liability is limited to the workshop fee. Requests must be sent to 

SMPS Registration and Cancellation Policy

This day-long workshop is approved for 6.5 hours of CPSM CEUs and AIA learning units.

Bring Business Development for the A/E/C Industries to Your Office!

SMPS will come to you! SMPS’ Corporate In-House Training programs offer training for larger teams for a fixed price. This means no time out of the office, no travel expenses, and customized, consistent training for the entire group. Each program can be tailored to meet your organization’s needs and schedule.