Upcoming Events

    May 11

    Renewing and Revitalizing Downtown Indianapolis

    Join SMPS Indiana and ICR as we host a panel discussion moderated by Michael Huber with Indy Chamber.

    May 21

    Get to Know Your Town Happy Hour - Members Only Event (Bring Your Dog!)

    Join us for our a unique "Get to Know Your Town" happy hour hang out at pet friendly Metazoa Brewing Co. Bring along your furry best friend and enjoy free drinks and networking with your fellow members!

    President's Corner

    As we look towards the end of 2019, the SMPS Program Year is just beginning! Your SMPS Indiana Board is planning and already implementing some of the goals we have laid out for 2020:

    Excellence in Programming, Membership Engagement, Giving back to the Community


    Celebrate Leadership and Our Chapter

    Mike Harmon, SMPS Indiana Chapter Past President, has everything set for the annual Holiday Party on December 5 at the District Tap Downtown. Details are on our website www.smpsindiana.org so register today. A special THANKS to you Mike, for your leadership in 2018/2019 and for your guidance this year!

    Programs and Education

    Julie Kost and Megan Young are busy planning programs and education events to inform, teach, and support our members. AND, how about BD Palooza!?!? Look for details to help plan another successful event in September 2020!

    CPSM Study Group ‘20

    Sign up soon! Lead by our own Certified Professional Services Marketers, Christina Nash, CPSM; Carrie Sermersheim, CPSM; and Karen Loftus, CPSM. Thanks you ladies for preparing us for the exam.


    Please consider being a sponsor when Kate Sacker’s, Committee Director, contacts you so that we can implement the plans we have made.


    Just wait until you hear about the Member events, including a goal of giving back, and a New Member Experience program (NMX) that Travis Stevenson and Tracy Park have planned!


    Brittany Burke, Dawn Olsen, and the communications committee are sharing all the news and dates on social media about our upcoming programs and events, along with our webmaster Megan Gilliam. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and then, like, comment and share!

    Joe Jameson is watching the budget that allows us to offer great programming and events. Ashley O’Neal is keeping us on task and organized, and Jamie Raymond is planning the annual scholarship fundraiser bowling event in February. Also, Jamie and Julie will be attending the NEW CLS (Chapter Leadership Symposium) in Washington D.C. in April to collaborate with chapters across the country and elevate our Indiana offerings to our membership.

    There is so much to do to make this Program Year successful – consider volunteering on a committee or for just one event (micro-volunteering). It’s all about YOU! If you show up, you won’t be disappointed! Bring a guest to introduce them to the value of SMPS and spread the love!

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    Welcome New Members

    A great big SMPS Indiana Welcome to those who became members since July.

    Dandi Prasad, PE – Fishbeck
    Megan Keller – Fanning Howey
    Mary Ann Lucas – Commercial Office Environments
    Natalie Shanks – American Structurepoint
    Michael Firsich – Michael Firsich Photography
    Lily Michal – American Structurepoint
    Austin Walton – R & B Architects
    Claudia Hess – Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf


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    Shad Tidler

    June 20, 2019

    You knew this event was going be like no other when the presenter says, “Here’s what we’re not going to do today…”

    Shad Tidler of Lushin gave insight and perspective on what a buyer goes through with the seller, what the seller goes through with the buyer. He shared potential hidden weaknesses of marketing and business developers during the sales and/or qualification process, and shared a seven-step process to get potential clients onboard.

    Sometimes, when considering a larger purchase, it seems that the sales process is one sided instead of an agreement and when we are being “sold” to, our value feels diminished. We, as the buyer, although sometimes unrealized, put the seller through a process:

    • The first thing we do is lie. Even though we were the ones reaching out to the seller about their products or services, when confronted, we “lie,” about why we contacted the seller in the first place.
    • Next, we steal. We are quietly absorbing information from a website, webinar, white paper, their marketing materials, etc.
    • Then, we lie again. At this point, the seller is probably reaching out to us about our interest in their product or service and we tell the seller that we are “just doing some research…” Or we give them fake contact information – the “catch all email address” we’ve set up for times like this.
    • The next thing we do is hide. We avoid the follow up calls and emails from the seller.
    • Finally, we lie again. At this point we may say something like, “We’re going in a different direction…”


    As Marketers and Business Developers when reaching out to prospective clients, there are hidden weaknesses that can neutralize our natural skills and strengths. When “we” are the seller, these weaknesses can include:

    • A need for approval – some we go into potential opportunities to make friends, thriving off of hearing, “We really like you.” Sometimes this need for approval lends to avoiding rejection and then the tough questions are not asked.
    • Emotional involvement – when there is emotional involvement, we tend to stop listening due to over thinking. It is sometimes the result of an inability to simply respond appropriately and naturally.
    • A non-supportive buy cycle – meaning that when we go through the process of buying something, our buying process does not support our selling process. Our “buying cycle”, as marketing and business developers, should mesh with our company’s sales cycle. The process we have for making a purchase influences how we support the buying process of our prospects.
    • Money tolerance – if we have money issues, we may be uncomfortable talking about money and therefore unable to uncover a true budget.
    • Records and recordings – this means that what plays in our head can be self-limiting and can ultimately sabotage successful selling outcomes instead of supporting them.


    However, these potential weaknesses can be “thwarted” or overcome by developing a process when reaching out to prospective clients. We can sometimes get them on board by interrupting their pattern for “dealing” with sales people. This includes:

    • Bonding and building rapport with prospective clients during the first meeting.
    • Set an Up-front Contract determining what success would “look” like.
    • Discover/Uncover the potential client’s pains.
    • Find out what budget is available for the project.
    • Make a decision about the prospect based on the information you’ve gathered.
    • Closing or fulfillment – relaying compelling reasons why they should work with your firm.
    • Post Sell by setting an Up-Front Contract about the next steps.


    Shad delivered an interactive presentation that helped to solidify the need for acknowledging and building a process from both a potential client’s perspective and from the perspective of us as marketers and business developers.

    July 17, 2019

    The SMPS Indiana Chapter's Annual Meeting was held at the Action Duckpin Bowling Center in Fountain Square. This year, however, there was something a little different added. This year the entire family could attend! It was great to meet all of the spouses, significant others, and children of our members. With bowling, drinks, and food, it is a fair bet that everyone enjoyed themselves in a relaxed and casual atmosphere.

    Our Annual Meeting is a great way to kick off the new fiscal year and offers a chance to reflect and celebrate the accomplishments of the current year's committees. It is also the perfect time to welcome the incoming chapter president along with new board members, setting the stage for the upcoming year.

    During our break from bowling, information about the Indiana Chapter was shared: 18 new members, 114 chapter members, 21 CPSMs, 7 FSMPSs. We also recognized our sponsors and voted on the new Board of Directors.

    Thanks to all who attended and a special thanks to those who served on the 2018/2019 Board, our Chapter could not have produced such great progams and activities without your hard work and dedication. 

    Welcome 2019/2020 Board Members!

    • Past President - Mike Harmon
    • President - Susan Guinson
    • President Elect - Jamie Raymond
    • Treasurer - Joe Jamison
    • Secretary - Ashley O'Neal
    • Programs Director - Julie Kost
    • Eduation Director - Megan Young
    • Sponsorship Director - Kate Sackers
    • Membership Director - Travis Stevenson
    • Membership Co-Director - Tracy Park
    • Communications Director - Brittany Burke
    • Communications Co-Director - Dawn Olsen
    • Webmaster - Megan Gilliam

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    BD Palooza

    BD Palooza Rocks the House
    by Rosemarie Kelly

    The first-ever SMPS Indiana BD Palooza lived up to the hype of its name: Marketers and Business Developers learning and having a good time in an energetic environment! About eighty people packed into the Biltwell Event Center on the near west side of downtown Indy Sept. 26 to jam with some of the country’s best marketing and business development gurus.

    Three star-studded headliner acts – Courtney Kearney, Matt Connor, and Susan Murphy – took to the Main Stage to share their insight on how to find, cultivate, and win business opportunities. After each of the first two Main Stage speakers, palooza-goers could choose either the Marketing Side Stage or the Business Development Side Stage to further explore the topic via each specialty.

    Courtney Kearney kicked off the Main Stage set beating her Marketing drum extolling the virtues of CRM for finding the opportunity.  She sang the message that CRM is more than an electronic rolodex.

    “Business development is a team sport – it should be everyone’s responsibility. Every employee should be a seller/doer,” Courtney says. She suggests equipping every employee with an elevator speech about your company that they can share any place with any audience anywhere.  

    Courtney also advises that you should know your conversion rate – how many nos or touches it takes before you get a yes for the business. What’s consistent about your chases equates to your best fit, Courtney said.

    In his “Cultivating the Opportunity” session, Coach Matt Connor covered how we can take our client relationships from the vendor/friend zone to the partner/trusted advisor zone.

    “Your technical ability is just your ticket to the dance,” Coach Connor said. “To take your relationship to the next level, you have to make an emotional connection. Make people want to work with you.”

    To help build long-lasting, personal relationships, Connor shared a tool that millions of BD pros have used for generations, the Mackay 66. Legendary business leader Harvey Mackay developed the 66-question customer profile and requires all his sales people to use it to focus on the person who does the buying and makes the deals. In short – the profile helps you gather info about what your customers value most so that you build a high-value relationship. “Knowing your customer means knowing who they are, one human to another.”  

    Keynote performer Susan Murphy, one of the country’s most sought-after coaches to win BIG deals, closed the event with her rousing “Winning the Opportunity” presentation.  Susan says you close the deal by being authentic and addressing what’s most important to your client. Here are some chart-topping tips from her talk.

    • The first word in the interview should be “you.” (referring to the client)
    • Ask for their thoughts.
    • Talk about  what you will do to expand their vision of what they want.
    • Invite them to talk. Ask what’s changed since you last met and how you can address that today. 
    • They don’t hire your experience so much as they hire YOU. So show authenticity.
    • People want to hire a team they love, so be comfortable with who you are to connect with people.
    • Show good manners and common sense and life will be beautiful.


    A huge shout out goes to all our Side Stage speakers – Michael Meddock, Josh Miles, David Peterson, and Amanda Roehl – who rocked it out giving additional follow-up on finding and cultivating the opportunity from the marketing and business development perspectives. A special thanks goes to Amanda and Josh who filled the bill at the last minute when two performers couldn’t make the gig due to technical difficulties.    

    The paloozaing continued at the networking and after-party event on the spacious deck at the Biltwell. A taco bar, plenty of adult beverages, and the pop/rock sounds of the band Phone Club filled the warm summer-like air. The inaugural BD Palooza served up an awesome lineup of star-power presentations full of practical tips we all can use. Can’t wait to see what the second annual BD Palooza will have in store for 2020. You won’t want to miss it!


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    Build Business

    At Build Business 2019, Harmony Gratzer, CPSM the Marketing Director for Lochmueller Group was our "feet-on-the-street correspondent." She twice went live on Facebook, Tweeted throughout the day, and wrote recaps of the sessions she attended as a result of our Twitter poll. We cannot thank her enough for her diligence during Build Business, bringing some of the lessons and energy digitally to those who were not able to make it this year. Below are links to her recaps.

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    Upcoming Events

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