What INFER Implies

Yesterday we talked about INFER, an acronym to help you learn more about another person in the context of a one-to-one meeting.  The thing is, gaining information is fine, but it’s what you do with it that makes all the difference.  Now that you’ve gleaned all of this data, what does it imply?

Well, first (and I know I don’t need to tell you this, but just in case), the Hippocratic oath applies here:  Do no harm.  You must not use any of the information they have shared in order to take advantage of them.  If you do, I can only assume that there is a special place reserved for you in Hades — right next to the people who talk on their cell phone in the movie theater.

OK, now that’s out of the way.  Here are a few ways you might be able to help based upon what you may have learned.

Interests:  This is the big one, because this is what makes them human and it is quite often the passion that drives them. Once you know this, you can keep your eye out for articles or events that feature their interests to pass along.  You might even find a common interest and be able to share with them on occasion.
Networks:  If you belong to a group which might fit their needs, either personally or professionally, you can invite them as your guest to one of its events.
Focus:  If you help them to achieve their goals, you become a part of their success.  Of course, this has to be done properly.  If their goal is to complete the New York Times crossword puzzle, they probably wouldn’t appreciate your solving it for them.  Offer to help, but nothing further without their request.
Epic Journey: From this you may learn what awards they’ve received and further what ones they may deserve.  Nominating someone for recognition can be a terrific way to cement a relationship.
Resources: You might have some recommendations on organizations who are looking for such resources.  Perhaps you can nominate them to be on a board or committee based on the skills they can bring to the table.

If you take the time to learn more about another person, using that information to help better their lives is the logical next step.  If you just learn about them without doing anything, then you might as well have not wasted anyone’s time in the first place.  No one has room for that in their schedule.

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About Greg Peters

Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at www.TheReluctantNetworker.com or gpeters@thereluctantnetworker.com.

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