Personal Development Industry – Automation Vs Personal Contact in Direct Sales

The path of personal development and self-growth can be a lonely and non-effective journey if we had no one to share it with. Yes, it’s wonderful and empowering to grow spiritually and mentally for the betterment of oneself, but how fulfilling is it really if you’re the only one who experiences it? What is it’s true value if you’re not able to reach out and share with others the new enlightened you, because you’re living it only inside your own head?

Personal growth includes the heightened and increased development of all of our five classical senses. We as humans need and crave the see, touch, feel, smell and taste of the universe and our fellow humans. Our greatest desire is to feel gratified in the belief that our lives have value and that we bring value into this world. Thus, we need to have personal human contact with the world outside of our own four walls.

Those of us who are entrepreneurs and run home based businesses tend to find that our personal human contact outside of our own four walls is greatly diminished due to the nature of the business. Sitting alone at our desks in our home offices, we use two major methods to reach out and contact others. One way is through cyberspace via the Internet. The use of cyberspace can be completely void of human interaction and therefore doesn’t necessitate the activation of many of our senses. It is difficult to transmit expression, emotion, tonality and inflection through the Internet. Although internet technology is working hard to duplicate the human factor by developing video streams, webcams and even the cyber appearance of actual people jumping out and talking to you on your screen, it still and always will lack the human touch and feel of communication in real time. I mean can you really feel like you had a satisfying personal human interaction with someone via your computer screen?

The other way, which is the main way of communicating in this business, is by telecommunication. Picking up the telephone to call and speak personally to another person. This still cannot replace face-to-face contact, whereas you are both breathing the same air and can feel and see each other’s vibration, energy and body language, but it is still better than cyberspace communication. When speaking on the phone we use our hearing sense to pick up cues that help us interpret the other person’s energy level, interest and vibrations. You can get a “sense of feel” as to where the other person “is at”.

So, what happens when you take the telecommunication portion out of your business and rely completely on cyberspace technology thus becoming fully automated? What you have accomplished by doing this, is completely discarding one of the most basic forms of the human factor by becoming automated much like a robot. Have we reached that point in our technological world where we prefer to interact with a robot vs. a live human? I certainly hope not and hope that mankind never reaches that level of social isolation. I don’t think there is anyone out there who has not experienced the frustration of calling a business for assistance only to endure 5 minutes of listening to an automated voice spew out an endless menu of options before you can actually speak to a live human being.

And how many of you actually enjoy talking to an answering machine vs. the real person? There are many entrepreneurs out there who do enjoy total automation, believing that a system can do all of the work for them and make them rich. But, systems are just that, systems and systems don’t sell, people do. A system is only as good as the product it’s pushing. A well made system could potentially work well for a limited time, but even the best made systems require human programming to continuously update and evolve to the ever changing world and to the tastes of the fickle human consumer.

The business of direct sales means exactly what the definition of the word “direct” implies. It’s you personally initiating contact with your potential customer, it’s you making the sale, it’s you who earn the commission and are paid directly.

Now, what does personal growth and development have to do with running a successful home based business? Well, if your business is based on Personal Development products, you must first become the product. And as I said at the beginning of this article, it’s a lonely and ineffective journey to experience personal growth without anyone to share it with. If you don’t have any human contacts to be the recipient of the gifts the new enlightened you can offer and teach, then what is the true value of your personal growth. Is a party of one truly a party worth having? You need to reach out and give of yourself to your potential customer through the personal factor and touch. Personal growth does not involve hiding behind an automated system, being afraid to pick up the phone and make human contact.

Any direct sales representative will tell you that one of the keys to success is the ability to network, mastermind and learn from other successful entrepreneurs. A strong successful network marketing business is based on a high rate of retention due to a solid foundation achieved through leadership and relationship building. Relationship building can only be obtained through human contact. And only by building a relationship with your individual team members will you be able to identify your strongest members thus enabling you to spend extra time to train and mentor them in becoming the future leaders that will help to solidify that foundation.

Building a big team rapidly with an automated system may seem like a gold mine at first, but it’s a team built on an unstable foundation that never will solidify and take shape due to the high drop out rate. It lacks the human personal factor. It lacks the relationship building block, because the whole process was so impersonal and automated from the start, the new member never receives a validated sense of belonging, a sense of value, a sense of being part of a cohesive group with a personal connection to their leader.

A critical component of leading by example starts with the human factor, which was created with your very first conversation. By personally taking the time to initiate contact, the leader has demonstrated to the member that they have value and is respected as part of the team.

A leader just on paper is not the same nor will it ever have the same impact and significance as a leader who truly leads through personal contact and relationship building.

Automation or Personal human contact, should that even be a consideration when seriously building a strong and successful direct sales home based business?