Course:  How to Build a Business Development Consultancy

"Other than simply helping people to create an income flow that adds to their business or becomes their business, I wanted to open the door to collaborative opportunities with my company and other business developers. That's how we get big, impactful things done.  So, here we are, at a new beginning and opportuniy.  Welcome to the Business Development Consultancy course."  

This page starts the modules for the Business Development Consultancy course.  There are 5 modules with 3 segments each that include video tutorials along with the script in text form and some other resources here and there.  When you are complete with each module, you'll find a button to click to access the next module at the bottom of the page. And, if you get stuck or have a question, all that you need to do is to click here for contact.

Module 1 - Segment 1 below is "Breaking Old Thoughts on Networking."

Script and Resources: Breaking Your Old Thoughts About Networking

First, networking is not a bad word - it just often conjures up negative thoughts, especially for people who are a bit shy or not used to connecting with different people. That was actually me years ago, so I understand what it feels like but also how that feeling can be changed. This segment is all about helping you make that change and adopt a mindset that will move you forward quickly and comfortably.

In this segment, you’ll learn how to:

    • Redefine how you connect with people
    • Identify and replace old negative networking habits with new positive ones as you change your old mindset
    • Create a “go-to” ready opener for relationship building

At the end of this segment, you will:

    • Feel empowered with your new mindset
    • Comfortable with relationship building
    • Able to make a new business connection for someone other than yourself

Let’s get started:

I'm going to dive into how networking is currently defined. A dictionary definition says it is an "action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts."

Now, let's look at the top 3 reasons most people hate networking:

-Feels like selling - not genuine

-Uncomfortable around people they don’t know

-Awkward at not knowing how to open a conversation

Surprise! You've actually been networking all your life. No one ever accomplishes anything alone. In fact, by the end of this day, you will likely have made contact with someone for the very reasons mentioned in the dictionary definition I just shared.

Here’s how I know:

You can’t:

Take a class

Volunteer for charities

Find a job or advance your career

Buy a house or car

Join a club, church, or a school

Raise a child

Get involved in politics

Join a Chamber of Commerce or professional association

Attend a wedding or baby shower

Start a house remodel

Throw a party

Or even find a spouse...

Without some form of networking. Think about it - it's true. And, now think about this: you didn’t die from it. You've actually been doing this successfully for a long time. You may be thinking, "but that's not networking!" And, here's my response: If it isn’t networking - what is it?

It's relationship building. That list of things you've been doing all your life is really all about relationships. So let's call this activity what it really is. And, if you're still skeptical, let's consider what makes the tasks on this list feel different from what you think about networking.

    • Goals are different. You are personally motivated.
    • Engagement is different. The results feel more satisfying.
    • Structure in place. For many of these, there's a known process in place for engagement.
    • Acceptance is built in. For many of these, you know how people are going to react to you (mostly).
    • Conditional requirement. Some of these are required or "must-do" situations so you have little or no choice but to follow through. Even that, however, feels more comfortable sometimes than having a choice.

Most of the entries on the list you just accept as a natural part of your life experience. You probably hardly give most an anxious thought. A question for you: Wouldn’t it be great if all networking were like this? Simple, satisfying, and natural; without giving so much weight or intense thought to it all. It can be.

Your one integrated feature as a human being is actually what changes networking to relationship building.  And, it's the same for everyone - hard-wired into us as our real and only way to thrive. And, that is human connection.

Here comes the paradigm shift. (Definition of a "paradigm" is simply put - a set of ideas)

To start this process, let's replace self-sabotaging habits and excuses based on your old paradigm of what networking is with new habits and ideas:

You want to change from:

    • Avoidance of connecting due to feeling pressured

to lifting the pressure and setting the stage for building a relationship

    • Focused on yourself

to putting the focus on the other person

    • Confusing networking with selling

to forgetting both of those things and focusing on relationship building

    • Worry about failure

to there is no failure in relationship building

    • Worry about how you’ll be perceived

to confident and appreciated for your interest and genuine approach

Next steps in shifting into relationship building: (this is a need to do)

-Attach a good memory of a first-time meeting with someone and how that relationship has developed. Pick one that evokes emotion.

You can see one of my memories in the above photo. I was 18 and serving as a Page in the NC Senate. The gentleman was North Carolina's Lt. Governor. He was running for Governor. That photo was taken on my last day of service and the conversation that began right then around his campaign later turned into a job offer. I was both nervous and excited - so yes an emotion-attached memory, for sure. He won his election and I ended up being the youngest staff member - working in his Press Office. The relationship building that began then set the path for many years (almost 20) that resulted in media and business skills development and led to some amazing leadership opportunities.

-Make a statement - visualize and verbalize your claim on relationship building.

-Have a ready "go-to" opener -- your introductory conversation. Be genuine, ask for advice, give feedback, and depending on the situation, mention that you'd like to connect them with someone you know. Note something that they can identify with like maybe you share the same hometown or college. Compliment.

Practice challenge: Ask for a conversation with someone you don’t know with the full and singular intention of introducing them to someone else.

Use your opener as a means of starting the relationship

Listen for gaps or places in the conversation that make you think about other people they might want to meet

Let them know you'd like to connect them forward if okay with them and include information about the other person

(Example: An easy way to do this would be when you see a post on Linkedin about an event, conference, or new direction someone is taking that makes you think about someone they should meet. Ask for a short call to connect before making the introduction.)

-Review key points:

-You’ve been successfully networking all your life

-The reason why the networking you’ve been doing has worked well is that it’s actually relationship building

-Replace bad networking habits and ideas with positive ones

-Shift your mindset by attaching a good relationship-building memory and verbalizing how it felt. Lock in that feeling

-Develop a ready opener as a sort of flexible template

-Your practice challenge: Ask for a conversation with someone new and introduce them to someone else.

The next video is about learning the 3 priorities for relationship building.

Resource: Sample Introductory Conversations

These are real introductions with some personal details removed, but we've included a variety to help you develop your own ideas. Every one of these introductory conversations secured a positive response, and in the cases where a conversation was requested, it was granted. Important to note: there are some conversation starters here that you will see don't look as though they are aimed at securing any business. Remember, we are here to focus on others. Reaching out on behalf of others is really the best and easiest way to start a conversation with a new person. Once we have people engaged (whatever the reason) then we have them in our network.

"You were actually discovered by my assistant, (Name). She is interested in exactly what you are doing. I wonder if you'd be up for me to introduce her to you and perhaps you can have an exchange of info."

"(Name) - thanks for responding to my LI invitation. I'd be interested in having a conversation about your work and seeing where there could be synergies with what I do in business development in impact spaces. I have some activity in Africa. Let me know if you are up for a chat."

"(Name) - I actually have a contact who is an innovator in AI who would like to have a conversation with you. I'll send you his LI profile. You'll be able to see what he's doing from there. Let me know if you'd be interested in that conversation and I'll be happy to make the introduction."

Hi (Name): Hope you are well. I'm reaching out because I'm mentoring in an African-based program to help young women develop digital skills. As part of their experience, they have to do a 2-week voluntary internship with an org. There's a gal who specifically is looking to work with an org where disability is the focus. Here's a bit of her info: (details inserted). Here's her profile (profile link inserted). If you think you could utilize her for a couple of weeks to help out on an event, campaign, or something meaningful, I'd be happy to connect you.

(Name)- do you think you and the team could be available this Wednesday around 11 am eastern? The (Name of Organization) leader asked me to facilitate a panel with her. Be about 30 minutes or so recorded on Zoom. Let me know if you think you can pull it off.

(Name)- Good to be connected. (Name) speaks so highly of you. She's quite a dynamo. I'd really like an opportunity to have a chat and see what you are up to. There could be synergies within the healthcare/health tech world of innovation where I find myself a bit lately.

The example below is a reconnection with a fairly new contact in my network who eventually became a colleague. She followed up on this referral and the gentleman I was introducing became a team member representing the company she works with, as well.

(Name)- This is the Dad of my African Mentee (she's 15) and I've known her for more than 2 years. Known her Dad that long, too. Helped to save the life of one of my members in Zambia a little over a year ago. He is a patient advocate/pharmacist in Zambia. I told him about the work you are doing and sent him your interview. I told him I thought he could be a good contact for you as you start to move your work out of Nigeria and beyond. He is open to meeting with you. This would be "networking ahead" - setting up good contacts before you actually need them. And, no telling what you might stumble across in the process that helps you. Let me know if you'd like me to connect you. (Insert Profile)

Hopefully, you get some inspiration from checking out these conversations on how to instigate and continue relationship-building.

The next lesson will teach you the 3 priorities for relationship building.

Course Author: Mary Kurek, President, Frontrunners Development, Inc.



To email the author:

Copyright 2022 ©

The next segment on priorities involved in relationship building is just below.

Module 1 - Segment 2:  The 3 Priorities for Relationship Building

Script and Resources: The 3 Priorities for Relationship Building

In this segment, we’re going to learn key factors in relationship building that will help you to shift more purposefully into that mindset

You’ll learn:

    • 3 priorities that are important to any new relationship
    • How relationship building works best in a global setting
    • How to make relationship building feel natural and positive

After this segment, you will be:

    • Able to identify the 3 priorities for relationship building as they are happening
    • Able to develop globally diverse relationships with more confidence
    • Able to easily practice relationship building as your first motivation upon contact with someone
      Yorghas Foundation Founders holding Mama Kits headed to Chisi Island in Malawi. June 2022[/caption]hoto: Co-founders of the Yorghas Foundation. Genuine interest expressed over a few introductions and shared stories resulted in a campaign to secure over 100 "Mama Kits" to be delivered to a poor community in Malawi. Very good global relationship building can create an amazing impact.)
    • Let’s talk about the 3 Priorities:  (Each has a “what you want to deliver” and a “what you want to receive) component.  For example:  When I spoke with my community member, Dean, recently, just to catch up, what I wanted to deliver was unconditional support to him.  What I wanted to receive was to sense him relaxing into the conversation and helping me to feel trusted.  What I delivered were questions about his new baby and genuine excitement over this new book.  What I received was not only an update on his and his wife’s work, but also a surprise question from him on how he could help me.  The result of that was the set up of another call introducing him to a new potential collaborator.  That went well, and now there’s another call adding on two more people.

So, here are the priorities with their “deliver and receive” components (not in any particular order)

    • Genuine interest   (Deliver:  worthiness    Receive:  attention or attentiveness)
    • Personal stories/background   (Deliver:  credibility and personality   Receive:  trust)
    • Consistency  (Deliver:  dependability    Receive:  loyalty)

Of course, you’ll offer support and help where appropriate.

Next, I want to talk about relationship building in a global context.  Issues you may come up against can be directly related to cultural differences, but those cultural differences can sidetrack and stall a deal long enough for it to disappear.  So knowing in advance some of the issues you can encounter and preparing for them is a smart idea.  Here are some:

-preference for personal connection before business

-the tendency to be nonresponse for long periods

-an expression of suspicion or not fully trusting

-misunderstanding intentions (can be a language barrier situation)

-religious differences

-a commitment to personal time (family, festivals, religious events)

-elevated expectations to the point of assuming you will handle everything and make it happen

These are just a few but handling them requires patience, compassion, clarity, and most of all, a new mantra; “peace at all costs.”

While we always want to present ourselves in the best most trusted and common-ground way, we don’t circumvent or discount our own standards or personal beliefs to force something to work. Not worth the stress.

So, in your mindset shift, adopt a means of keeping the peace even if that means pulling back.

Lastly, the way that anything is going to feel like a natural process is to practice it. First, think about the close relationships you’ve built in your life (personal and professional). Identify the 3 priorities that were mentioned in this video in a couple of those relationships. If there’s a new relationship emerging, see which of the 3 priorities might already be in place. If there’s a relationship that really never got going well, can you identify what was missing from these 3 priorities?

Examples where 1 or more of the 3 priorities are missing:

-someone on social media sends you a “hello” with nothing else

-when you meet someone in person at an event, and while you are talking with them, their eyes wander to someone else and they excuse themselves to go to that person

-when someone asks a favor from you and you reconnect to help them and can’t get their attention back

-when someone is consistently a no-show for planned meetings

-when someone is too focused on business and expresses no interest in you

I’m sure you have some to share.

Simon and Quinton

(Photo: Quinton Scholes -left - of South Africa met Simon Bailey of the US at a speaking event after a call I arranged between the two resulted in consistent communication and a desire to connect in person. They sent me this photo just after they met.)

Here’s a simple point about all of this:  Good old-fashioned courtesy goes a long way.  Be to others how you wish they would be to you.  It’s comfortable and natural.

So, let’s review key points:

    • Regarding relationship building:
  1. Genuine interest   (Deliver:  worthiness    Receive:  returned attention)
  2. Personal stories/background   (Deliver:  credibility and personality   Receive:  trust)
  3. Consistency  (Deliver:  dependability    Receive:  loyalty)
    • Global relationship building can be challenging but adopting patience, compassion, clarity, and a  “peace at all costs” standard will help you gain ground.
    • Be aware of the 3 priorities that are present in relationships in your life and practice with purpose as new relationships surface.  Actually, put it in your mind before you meet someone that the first order of business is to express genuine interest.

Here’s a quick story to set the point about the first two priorities on this list:  As a coordinator for a youth leadership program years ago, we set up a police ride-along in the middle of the night so the high school kids could see what was going on in their community after dark.  While they thought it was entertaining, what was really happening was the police officers were talking with them, telling them why they became police officers, and answering questions. It’s relationship building, and the return for all of us on that:  The youth were less likely to get into trouble if they knew the officers personally and could identify them using their first names. Secondarily, and almost by accident, we were able to use the ride-along as a community outreach for the police department to receive a grant.

Relationships built - connections made - and impact created.

No matter what kind of relationships you are building, you want to build them like that.  The impact is too good to pass up.

Check out this article that helps make the point.

Read this additional article below for more insight.

The Power of Authentic Connection 

By Mary Kurek, Pres, Frontrunners Development, Inc.

Spring 2022

In the last few weeks, as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia has escalated, I think the powerful presence of authentic connection has never been so impressively experienced worldwide.  People who know people in Ukraine are banding together to bring support to needed areas. Former service members are joining up to help protect Ukraine.  Charities are linking arms that never would have before, and celebrities around the globe are connecting to bring hope, food, and prayers.  This is the stuff of miracles.

When momentum drives motivation, it is easy to see authenticity come out in building instant relationships that likely never would have been possible before.  But, what does authentic connection look like when you try to put that label on everyday business, governing, or nonprofit leadership?  It can often look like telemarketing, direct emails, and sales team correspondence without even so much as knowing the other person’s name...none of which is particularly human-being-centric.

The simple answer to authentic connection is that it is a relationship, one that begins with knowing who the other person is and what they are about. In my work as a business developer, I utilize my media platform to interview people from around the world that I want to have in my network.  I start with their backgrounds to know why they came to be the person with the mission they have today.  The moment they start answering that question, I have begun my relationship with them.  It’s personal...for both of us.  And, it is the basis for everything moving forward - more connections - business opportunities - sharing of resources - and praises for good works.  They become part of my partner community at that point and I literally count them.  In fact, the experience of creating these relationships connects to my own mission of impact for building “bridges of peace,” and thereby, causes me to keep track of the countries where I’ve been able to establish such.  I’m up to 69 countries as of this writing.

Authentic connection is easy when you have a vehicle for developing relationships, such as a media platform, a community or membership organization, or a social group, or you are simply adept at working social media.  But, even more, important than having a vehicle for connection is the reason for creating connections. Your reason is directly tied to your mission - what you wish to accomplish in your life.  Just know that there’s no point in building relationships in a silo; diversity in your network is going to be key.

Authentic connection is such an easy driver for goals.  Once you get good at it; you will fall over people trying to connect with you.  In my work, I’ve been blessed to create business development connections for diplomats, university chancellors, royals, and innovators worldwide.  The partnerships I’ve been able to work on involve multi-million dollar smart city developments, university campus locations, and innovation partners. The connections I’ve created on both sides of the partnerships came from developing those authentic relationships to the point of being able to see the gaps that needed to be filled. Additionally, I’ve attracted partnerships and appointments for my own business:  In Africa, the presiding Monarchy of Madagascar appointed me to serve as a Counselor for Commerce and Industry.  The Federation of Int’l Gender and Human Rights Ambassador, Ghazala Khan, representing Pakistan, has partnered with me and 2 partners in my community to develop the Global Governance and Diplomacy Course. HE Dr. Osita Aniemeka of the Sub-Saharan Open University in Nigeria has appointed me to his governing board to assist with global content development for entrepreneurship.  I have been added to the development team of an enterprise company in Malawi I helped to instigate.  And, that’s not all, but, what inspires me has to do more with the potential impact on human lives all of this activity represents.

If we could all get past traditional methods of connecting with people we don’t know and start thinking about how to be of service keeping in mind that relationship is where you want to be, just imagine how business would lives would change.  And, if lives change, so do communities...cities, countries, and our world.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s simply a way to change how we operate.

A couple of years ago, early one morning, I noticed a string of Linkedin messages from the father of a 13-year-old girl from Tanzania who I had begun mentoring. The father was sending me personal bits about his daughter so I’d know her better.  The spontaneous communication surprised me.  Two hours later, I received a desperate message from my partner in Indiana telling me that one of my community members was in crisis.  Turns out that the woman in crisis (who lived in Zambia) had met another member from Norway in our community Whatsapp group.  They befriended one another and the woman in Norway became worried when she sensed depression and unresponsiveness from the Zambian.  My inability to get the Zambian (who I knew suffered badly from Lupus) on the phone prompted a call between my partner in Indiana and the member in Norway.  Not thinking we knew anyone else in Zambia who could help, we were stuck...until I remembered that my mentee’s father (who had been communicating with me all morning) was not only in Zambia but a pharmacist and patient advocate.  He responded immediately to my request for help; went to see her within the hour, and sent me pictures of their meeting.  With a collective effort, we were able to get her some food, tests, and her medications straightened out. Authentic connection, I’m convinced, saved a life that day.

I’m always looking to meet dynamic changemakers, charity and governing leaders in marginalized areas, problem solvers and innovators from around the world with solutions to big challenges, and UN Sustainable Development Goals advocates who are serving as board members and influencers. Who are you looking to meet?

Course Author:  Mary Kurek, President, Frontrunners Development, Inc.



Copyright 2022 ©

The next and last lesson in this module is about Locking in Your New Mindset.

Module 1 - Segment 3:  Locking in Your New Mindset

Script and Resources: Locking in Your New Mindset

This video is about locking in your new mindset. We all know habits don’t happen overnight. We need this mindset of relationship building versus the old networking thought to get solidly established. It’s not only the foundation on which you’ll build your business development consultancy, but it will determine how successful you will be and how impactful your work will become.

We all want to make money but also make a difference in this world. While any company can find a way to give back to their community or a cause, very few occupations deliver the wide-open opportunity to make a critical difference in people’s lives in so many ways as business development.

When you connect people for business purposes, think about the spaces and locations where that connection is occurring. If it’s health - think mental or physical health, data, innovation, clinical trials, medical devices, and sales - all aspects). You could be connecting in education, technology, economic development, trade and commerce, the arts, food/nutrition -- it’s literally endless and every bit of it matters. You are helping to make something happen that will make a difference somewhere in the world to many. And you need one great big toolbox of diverse relationships to help make that something happen.

Now that you understand the importance of what you are doing - you understand why I feel the way I do about the mindset shift. You simply can’t do this kind of work to earn money and make a difference without being a good relationship builder.

So, let’s talk about what you’ll learn in this video:

  • 3 steps to take to help you lock in your new relationship-building mindset
  • The best and most creative way to make relationship-building part of your lifestyle
  • Specific ways this new mindset will serve you in other areas of your business and personal life

At the end of this video, you will be able to:

  • Develop or enhance a skill that will help solidify relationship-building in your business
  • Develop your own reason why relationship building will help you transform your work
  • Feel confident that relationship building is now a part of your lifestyle

The 3 steps to help you lock in:

-Think about it on purpose (ponder success examples)

-Incorporate it (utilize a statement about it in your own mission)

-Do it - (practice makes perfect)

The best overall way is to teach it

Educate others, write about it, post about it, talk about it, mentor on it, and advise others. What happens when you teach anything:

-You view it from a different perspective (you must view it as a learner)

-It makes you identify and target the most relevant points and examples

-You start to own it

The Big “Why”

Your own personal “why” is key to making relationship building a natural part of your lifestyle. What I mean by lifestyle is that relationship building actually becomes part of your personality and your character. It’s embedded so that when you are at the grocery store and notice an acquaintance, you don’t turn and go the other way. You engage. When you’re at the hair salon, restaurant, or car repair shop, you engage.

(Photo above is of my business partner in Nigeria. We've developed a relationship over the last five years that makes us family. He calls me his African sister in the US. What that relationship-building has also done is build trust for us to serve together on global advisory boards and work together on business deals. I could have just easily interviewed him and let it be just a posting on my site, but, we both felt that there was an impact we could create together, so we've been nurturing our relationship development to meet that mutual interest.)

Examples of how relationship building can transform your business:

  • I was at a restaurant one evening with my husband. The server and I started chatting and connecting on the subject of business development. We exchanged contact, I introduced him to my partner, and he is now a business development team member. He has already created deals that have put us both in the commission flow-several times. That could have easily been a missed opportunity.
  • I reached out to a woman on Linkedin for an exploratory conversation. She worked in a consulate in Africa in trade and commerce. I was just wanting to get to know her a bit and see if there could be synergies. I shared a little about myself and waited for a response. She took the relationship opportunity right away, signaling her assistant to set up a call with me and 2 of her colleagues in the US State Dept. All have reached out to start a relationship with me. In this case, it was literally my intention of relationship building that put this in motion.
  • Personal stories: I may have shared these examples before, but they bear repeating for relevance. Two years ago, a member of my network was in a life-threatening medical crisis (without food or medicine) in Zambia. No one could even get her on the phone. Another member of my network contacted my business partner who contacted me, and, literally, the only person I knew in Zambia to call to try to make contact with her was the father of my little teenage mentee. He was a pharmacist and patient advocate. From the time he introduced his daughter to me, he’s maintained communication, often sharing family stories. But, it took me a while to remember what he actually did for a living. I called him, and he not only agreed to help but went to see our troubled woman in person within the hour and was able to arrange for medical tests and more help. I’m convinced we collectively saved a life that day. Then, there’s my own story where a member of my network who is the CEO of a Stem Cell R & D facility helped to save my own husband from an early death with his disease. If the relationship hadn’t been built with genuine interest, story sharing, and consistency, I don’t know that either of these scenarios would have happened.

My personal “why” is the foundation of my business and personal life. Relationship building is a critical habit and, I believe, a human being responsibility. Building relationships wherever you can is a win for everyone.

Now, what’s your why?

How to Know When the Transformation to Relationship Building is Part of Your Lifestyle

You don’t have to clearly see the path to transformation or benefit -- you just trust that what you’ve become is working on your behalf. But, if you’re still asking how do you know when you are transformed?

The measuring comes in the form of trust and loyalty like when I did a Facebook fundraiser on my birthday and raised more than the goal for an NGO partner in Poland.

Like when I asked the local computer repair guy who repaired my laptop if I could have the stack of used or broken laptops stacked in the corner of his shop. I only met the guy a week earlier, but, I had been in the shop 3 times that week where we exchanged enough communication that I could sense his personality and we could talk a little “shop.” He gave the laptops to me without hesitation and I shipped them off to an organization that wanted to repair them and send them to Malawi for a library they built in a refugee camp. The organization kept its word about reimbursing me shipping costs the same day. Relationship building with both parties is continuing to create benefits from a business and impact standpoint.

Notice that these examples have nothing to do with a business transaction. It’s all about trust based on relationships. It’s a kind of return on investment you cannot purchase. This is when you know that the transformation is real.

Knowing what you want out of your business and personal goals, think again about your big “why.” Be specific. I’ve conducted more than 500 interviews with leaders in almost every field and I always like to get them to tell me their “why.” A thoracic surgeon told me his relationship-building "why" had to do with his own hospital stay with meningitis and an understanding of whole patient care that prompted his mission to personally get to know his patients and their goals. He even wrote a book series called The Art of Human Care.

Time to review key points:

  • Think about it (ponder success examples)  Incorporate it (make it a policy/mission) Do it - practice
  • Teaching is the best way to learn - changes your perspective and causes you to own it before you deliver it
  • Developing your own “why” promotes a lifestyle transformation for natural confidence. Be specific - connect it to a personal memory or event.

That ends this module. The next module is about transforming your old network, but before that, please take the short quiz that accompanies this module.

To email the author:

Course Author: Mary Kurek, President, Frontrunners Development, Inc.



Copyright 2022 © Mary Kurek

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