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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

Summer Picnic
Plan to just socialize with other CNers and their families and guests at the annual CN picnic at Debby Peters and Steve Cotner’s home on Sunday, August 7 from 2-5 PM.  Keeping the cost the same as last year:  they are $6 for adults and $3 for children.  Plan on lots of food including hot dogs, hamburgers, turkey burgers and salmon burgers.  CN will also provide the sides.  We are signing volunteers to bring dessert and there is a rumor that we will again have the dessert contest.  The meal will be served shortly after 2, but food will be available through the afternoon.  We provide pop, water and lemonade, you can bring the rest.  Swimming, kayaking and fishing are usually enjoyed by all. DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION IS AUGUST 2. 
Quarterly Lunch
We usually don’t have two events in one month, but this summer we will!  Our next quarterly lunch is August 15 at Smokey Bones in Maumee.  It starts at 11:30 and ends at one.  Pay $13 at the door with a check or cash.
Just Added!
OK, so we don’t usually have more than one event in one I said above. Now we have added a third August event.  Partnering with WEN and several other organizations, a trip on the Sandpiper is planned for the evening of August 30.  There is never a dull moment on these excursions with owner, Mary Dalby, adding her colorful commentary.  More details to follow via the CN emailing list serve.
Social Media
Stay in the Know!!
Never miss out on a networking event again!  As CN confirms an event, it is set up under the Events tab on our Facebook page with all of the info and links to register if applicable. Did you know you have the option to subscribe so that you receive a notification on Facebook to those events so you don't miss out? While on our Facebook page, simply click on the Events tab and you will see the Subscribe button on the right just above the list of events. Click on it and you are set to go! You can also invite people to the events and share them to your Facebook page as well! Visit our page at today! 

Member Spotlight:

Ray Meiers
by Kerrri Brimmer

Meet Ray Meiers! Ray met his wife, Dawn, at the Volley Bar where her volleyball league team was regularly winning over his team. (He may deny this.) The two teams started to hang-out after games and the rest is history. Dawn and Ray have two sons: 10-year-old Jake and 7-year-old Will. The boys attend Toledo Christian School, where Dawn works in the Development Office. 

You can tell a lot about a person by how they arrange their closet... and you may be pleased to know that Ray's closet is NOT organized by color. Or so he claims. However, the contents of the trunk of his car are rather telling. In his trunk he keeps a towel, Armour-all wipes to remove child residue from his car upholstery and his radio headphones he uses when jogging. Ray has no pets, but if he did one may presume there would be more than one towel in the trunk. 

Ray's trick to balance a demanding work schedule and two active boys is to get up very early. A few hours of quiet, uninterrupted work to start the day allows him to leave the office around 5:00 to horse around and make balloon animals with his sons. He is currently taking guitar lessons with his son Jake, as the younger son, Will, learns piano. Someday, he hopes to teach his sons to play volleyball. Hopefully, when the moment of decision arises, they will choose to join his team instead of his wife's. 

"What is Ray's ask?",you ask.  Ray would appreciate a referral whenever a trademark or patent question arises. His favorite clients are doctors as he enjoys working on medical design patents. One of his clients is creating a complex computer program to combine all the patient records into a virtual-reality type surgery. Imagine the surgeon's goggles filled with a combination of MRI images, CT scans and live footage. Wow. 

True story: recently Ray was working with his Hong Kong client who sells internationally. An Italian company/competitor accused his client of infringing on a Vietnamese patent. (Subtitle: "Lawyers without borders"? or "It's a small world after all"?)

To schedule a 1-2-1 with Ray Meiers, give him a call: 419-580-1000 or email


CN Horn Tooting


Sarah Krafty, Krafty Travel, reports that she has accepted a nomination for a two-year term on the Perrysburg Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.  Additionally, she has also accepted the invitation to remain as president of BNI Masters of Networking for a second term. She is very honored and proud of both nominations.

Andrew Stainbrook, dotnet technologies, shares that they just launched their new website!!  It was designed by our very own CN Grad, Chris Kapelski from IDS.

Richard Chamberlain, Chamberlain Law Group, Ltd, was just elected to serve as President of the Perrysburg Schools Foundation Board for the next year. The mission of the Perrysburg Schools Foundation is to be a leader in the promotion, support and recognition of academic achievement and innovative programs for Perrysburg Schools.

Pam Weirauch, Pam’s Corner, is one of the finalists for The Center for Innovative Food Technologies contest to get one of her products to market. She presented her product and idea on Wednesday, July 13th. Her entry is her pumpkin "Pam"cake recipe.

Nick Nigro, Davis College, says that when the fall quarter commences, he will be teaching the 15th accredited version of the CN course at Davis. He says that it is hard to believe.  The classes have been anywhere from 24 to 2 students in size. Most of the time it has been between 6-12. It has been an amazing class for Davis students and the reviews have been very positive for the program as well as the instruction. Although many of the students are not involved in the CN community, many of the grads from the class have used the tools taught in the class.

David Bodner, Mass Mutual Financial Group, has accepted the position of President of the BNI Referrals to Riches chapter starting October 2016.  Dave has been a member of BNI for 16 years.

Greg Peters, The Reluctant Networker, LLC, was inducted as President of the Michigan Chapter of the National Speakers Association. In the same meeting he was also named the Chapter Member of the Year for 2015/2016.

Patty Slupecki, Professional Etiquette Consulting, completed the MBTI Certification Program with the Myers & Briggs Foundation. She is now certified to administer and interpret the MBTI to individuals and groups! She plans to use this tool in her life & business coaching practice. 
Why Personal Introductions?
by Debby Peters, 
So many have asked me, “Why should I make the effort to make personal introduction when I am referring someone? It takes so much of my time.”

That’s a very valid question, because it does seem as if we are all time-starved these days.  But here’s the deal, if you won’t make the effort, then you can’t expect it in return.  Think about how much easier it is to gain an audience with a prospect when someone else paves the way.  Think about the last time you were personally introduced.  Was it a lot easier to make the sale?  Think about how quickly you were able to close the sale.  Did it take less time?  Usually the answers to the above questions are, “Yes, and yes!”  So the time you gain when you are on the receiving end of a personal intro, means that you can extend some of the banked time to help others.

But beyond the above, all three of you benefit.

If you are referring someone else, you will learn more about your referred partner and what they do.  It’s always helpful to see someone in a sales situation, because you gain a better sense of how they operate and what they have to offer.  You also get to see how good they make you look for referring them.

The prospects gains a sense of their importance, that you would “give your time” to them to foster the new relationship with your referral.  You will also learn more about this person seeing them in the buying mode.  You’ll gain a better idea of what challenges are being faced currently and even in the future.  This means you’ll be able to more easily refer others that can help to satisfy some of these challenges.  

Your referral partner or source will gain considerably by having you make the introduction.  You can highlight the talents of this person.  If he or she said the same, if might seem as if they were bragging.  You can also state why you are putting the two together so that there is no confusion as to what you thought the two could accomplish.  You can also interject during their conversation, if an important point is being missed.  You really became a part of the sales team in this situation.

So yes, it does take a few extra minutes to schedule an appointment for three people to meet and yes, it does take your time when you go to the introduction appointment.  But think of it this way.  What you give you can expect in return.  And when you’re on the receiving end, think of the time that will be saved.  Personal introductions really take less time and benefit all!

Summer Networking 
by Andrew Stainbrook, dotnet technologies,

Picture it: July 2016 Maumee Ohio:  Your competition (Let’s call him George.) just got back from a two-week vacation with his family and friends. George starts his week knowing that he has an upcoming networking event on Wednesday evening where he’s going to have a chance to meet some potential new clients. Unexpectedly, George gets a phone call from his good buddy, Stan. Stan invites George to a  cookout on Wednesday night around the time of the big networking mixer.  Guess what?!? George decides that a cookout with Stan in the middle of the work week sounds way more fun than networking with a bunch of people he hardly knows.  George goes on with life not knowing the opportunities he missed because he wanted a few extra hours of fun in the middle of the week. 
In 6 months George realizes that he JUST failed to reach his sales goal for the year.  What George doesn’t realize is that the sales he needed to meet his annual goal could have come from the connections made during that summer networking event he skipped for a cookout with a friend. 

Networking and building relationships is a lot like farming. A farmer will plant their seeds and then nurture them over time in the hopes that their time and effort will produce something strong and sustainable, something worth waiting for. Networkers should work their networks in a very similar fashion.  As we all know, relationships don’t happen overnight, and it takes time to build trust with a potential client or referral source. It is extremely important to make an effort to stay visible and focused all four seasons of the year.
Below are 4 strategies that will help you can stay focused and active while you network this summer: 

1.    Develop a networking plan of action. 
It is very easy to derail your sales goals during the summer months. Take the time to put a structured plan in place to keep yourself honest about your networking.

2.    Be strategic about how you network.
Your time is a very valuable resource, so why not take a laser-specific approach to how you network? Determine what types of industries or individuals you are trying to target and focus your networking efforts in an area that will give you the highest return on your time investment. 

3.    Be a creative networker.
Networking opportunities are all around us; we just have to open our eyes! Volunteering your time with a nonprofit or charity will help you accomplish several objectives.  Giving back to a cause or charity that you believe in, all the while having an excellent opportunity to meet new people.  You can then enter into those new relationships at a much higher level of credibility due to the common focus you now share. 

4.    Stay visible.
We can’t all make the commitment to ourselves to stay active and focused during the summer months.  Even taking time to go to a baseball game or to a summer festival is doing more for your visibility and credibility than staying inside in the air conditioning.  You never know who you might run into while you’re out enjoying your summer!


Networking Swimming Pool
by: Debby Peters

What is the world is a networking swimming pool?  Think of the pools you may have swam in when you were little and had to stay in the shallow end.  All around you children just like you splashed and had a good time separated from the deep end by that rope threaded through with buoys to keep it afloat.  

Now envision a pool segregated with three such dividers, so there are four separate water chambers.  Each depth has much in common with a type of networking group.  The very deep end is similar to BNI, in that there are very deep relationships.  The whole concept is depth rather than width...a more narrow focus.  As you swim back toward the shallows there are groups that fit within each area: women’s groups, chambers, professional associations, community groups, etc.  It really doesn’t matter what groups are within each section, only that you swim from time to time around the whole pool.  The reason for this is that you have to develop new connections to take back to the people who swim with you in your main area.

For example:  If you are a member of a BNI chapter, you’ll want to experience chamber meetings, maybe a community service organization or even a professional association.  This is not for you, but so you can find opportunities for the other networkers in your life.  So strap on those water wings in order to become a strong swimmer in the networking swimming pool!

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