Team building, long distance or face-to-face, is all about connecting. In today’s networking world, building long-distance relationships through technology has become more viable than ever before.

Ten years ago, when we didn’t have the widespread Internet access we enjoy today, we used home meetings and hotel meetings to build our businesses. Today people don’t want to go to meetings, they want to cocoon; in fact, that’s one thing that attracts them to our business in the first place. Does it work that way? Absolutely. These days, building a prosperous, flourishing organization right from your home, using primarily the phone and email, is totally realistic and doable.

Using systems that support the sharing of information and education—conference calls, three-way calls, web sites, audio CDs and DVDs—enable you to build a team anywhere. In addition to the tools themselves, it’s also important to sharpen your people and listening skills and learn to pick up on subtle cues, because on the phone and email, you’re missing two critical elements of communication: body language and visual cues.

Conference call training is an extremely effective way to bridge the distance gap. Having leaders teach skills on various topics on a regular basis can be the glue that holds a team together. People get to know their upline and the talent and experience they can offer so they can call on them for coaching, mentoring and in-the-trenches assistance.

You can also use interactive calls in smaller groups on relevant topics—sponsoring, recruiting, compensation, professionalism, specifics about the company—with individual teams on an as-needed basis to create a more intimate venue for getting to know each other and building skills, confidence and belief.

The three-way call is a great education and team-building tool that lets you meet with a lot of people individually and quickly. Email doesn’t cut it here: the phone brings the element of the voice, which is more personal and allows you to learn more about the other person than will the written word. I often travel around (via telephone) with a team member as she introduces me to her team members. This allows me to build relationships quickly, share my vision, teach skills and give the other person a sense of support and connection.

As in all relationships, it takes time to build trust and value. With regular contact and responsible leadership—showing up when you say you will, being honest and direct and truly caring about your team—you can build a team across town, across the country or across continents. If you do it right and stay committed, you’ll have a chance to meet all those people face-to-face at conferences and conventions throughout the year!

AMY POSNER is a veteran network marketer and CEO of LeadsLab, an Internet lead service for network marketers.