Is it possible to offer both high tech and high touch with today's online systems?

Many lead generation programs and network marketing companies offer their members high-tech systems. It is sometimes said that these systems, "Build for you...Work while you sleep...Build your business while you're on vacation..." and the like. Is that really possible?

The features offered by today's lead-generation programs and online management systems are truly out of this world--custom e-mail html letters, auto-responders, lead imports, contact managers, custom lead capture forms, and Web sites to help you promote your online business, just to name a few. It just keeps getting better and better; it's as if technology knows no barriers it can't leap and surpass.

But high touch is the special ingredient that makes our world a better place; it is people helping people and building relationships. Using high-tech online dating systems, some couples are meeting online and building relationships that end in marriage. Gee whiz, if people are getting married after promoting and selling themselves online, anything is possible...isn't it?

Is it possible to merge high-tech and high-touch?

Yes--if you are open-minded, it is possible. You can have a system that is truly high-tech, and still build strong relationships with your potential business partners. You just have to know that that's what you're doing.

Most systems are designed to help you collect the needed data (name, address, phone number) and create interest in the prospect's mind. But that's only the beginning: once they're "in the door" it's up to you to make it a genuine two-way experience.

Many of us use the Internet as a source of information. This is how you can offer your customized information to your potential business partners. The minute your prospects reply that they are asking for "more information," pick up the phone and start building a relationship.

Ask questions: where are they from, what do they do for a living, what are their hobbies, what are they seeking in a home business, do they have children...? Get to know their "Why" so you can help them meet their needs. A perfect partnership is people helping people. Listen; talk about them--not about you. At the end of the call, ask permission to send them additional information. They are more likely to trust, respect and join you if you do.

Everything is fast-paced in our world; people expect everything quickly. We are a very spoiled society. However, you can't build cold relationships and expect them to stick. The warmth of high touch is what is needed for long-term success. The more high-tech we have, the more high touch we need.

All you need is a phone line, a computer, an Internet connection--and strong relationships.

JUDE HODGE is a self-described high energy, relationship-building, global InterNetwork Marketer and has been in the profession for 13 years. She lives with her husband, David, and their children, Jessica and Derek, in the small town of Harbor on the Oregon Coast.