Meet a Build Business Attendee

Learn more about SMPS member Michael Knowles, CPSM

“My favorite parts of the job are chasing a project and the sharing of information. Being able to connect the dots and make connections. And the fact that there is no such thing as a typical day.”

SMPS member Michael Knowles, CPSM, is marketing director for The Robert B. Balter Company located in Owings Mills, MD. Knowles took time out of his busy schedule to chat with the Society and about his career, what a typical day is like, and why he decided to attend Build Business in 2016.

Tell us a little about your current role. I basically cover all of the six domains (CPSM)—finding project leads, getting us on teams, meeting with current and potential clients, working on proposals and research, and attending conferences for relationship-building. I do have a marketing partner, Trish Molkau, with whom I work very closely and is my backbone at the office. There’s no way I could do all that I do without her.

What’s a typical day like for you? First, there’s no such thing as a typical day in this industry. However, my day basically begins where I go over my to-do list and get focused on what needs to be done. This includes contacting clients for either a new pursuit, sharing information I’ve found or just staying in touch with them, as well as following up with new clients who I’ve met with. I always meet with my marketing partner, Trish, every morning to see where we are with items such as information to clients for submittals, updating résumés for our project managers, making sure we get our paperwork in to keep our certifications current, and so on.

I’ll sit down with our vice president, Eddy Balter, to go over all the marketing/business development items. We’ll discuss different pursuits, where we stand with them, different upcoming events, and setting up meetings with new clients. I’ll also follow up with other senior staff to see what proposals they’re working on, what events they’re attending, and how Trish and I can assist them. Most days I have a meeting with a client and/or an event, so I try to put aside blocks of time during the week to work on big items like our strategic marketing/business development plan.

What’s your favorite part of the job? I would have to say chasing a project and the sharing of information. Being able to connect the dots and make connections. And the fact that there is no such thing as a typical day.

As a first time attendee at Build Business, can you describe your experience? Absolutely amazing … engaging … exhausting … everything I heard it was and more. I was able to connect to others in the industry who are doing similar things that I’m trying to do at my office. We were able to sit down and compare notes of what we have found to work and what didn’t work.

What was your favorite part of the conference? I very much enjoyed all part of the conference; CPSM Day, Communiqueso Live, are just a couple of examples. I just wish I could have had two of me, because there was so much great information there.

For those on the fence about attending, what would tell them about the benefits of going? You will greatly expand your knowledge. You will meet new people who are facing the same challenges you are facing and help you find creative solutions. You will come back with new ideas for your office. You will comeback energized!

Was there anything you gained from the conference that you took back and successfully used at your firm? I came back with a thousand ideas to do at my office, but the best piece of information I received was to just take two or three things and implement them. So that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’ve started implementing more seller-doer items and doing strategic marketing planning. Those two are pretty big, so I’ll get those going before I move on to the next item.


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