What if You Changed Your Mind?

May 31, 2015
Mary Jane Copps


“Change your thoughts, change your world” was introduced to us by Norman Vincent Peale , a minister and author who, in 1952, published The Power of Positive Thinking,  a book that garnered him a lot of criticism and created quite a bit of controversy. Today is has been translated into 17 languages and sold over 7 million copies. Why? Because it’s true – revising how we think about something can result in monumental change.

So if you are hesitating to call that prospect you believe is your ideal client, or that customer you haven’t heard from in awhile, or that employer you’d love to work for – stop thinking about the call in terms of “sales” and think about it as the last step in your research process. Here’s what I mean:

1) People mention a certain company to me frequently saying things like “They could really use your services” or “You should give them a call”. I delve into their website, read press releases, annual reports and other bits of information that all indicate effective phone communication is key to their success. But until I speak to someone and present what I do, the fact that we can work together is only an idea. In order for me to truly know if they are a prospective customer, I have to complete my research by talking to them. They could say “No thanks, we do all our training in-house” or “We just spent a lot of money on training but call us back in 2016” or “Yes, we’d like to know more about The Phone Lady”. In order to find out, I’ve got to pick up the phone and complete my research.

2) I have a customer that’s worked with me regularly for several years. I suddenly realize I haven’t heard from them in quite awhile. Certainly I could send a quick email to let them know I’ve been thinking about them and find out if they have future training dates in mind. But they could respond with “Nice to hear from you. We have no training needs at this time.” While that’s valid information, it doesn’t allow me to strengthen my relationship with them or know how to serve them going forward. A phone conversation allows me to do some research. Perhaps the company is under new management, or they’ve changed their sale strategy, or they’ve been so busy they’ve forgotten to call me. I won’t know until we have a conversation.

3) There’s a company you really admire and you think it’s an ideal place for you to work. You check their website and other job sites regularly, but there’s no indication the company is looking to hire. You can accept that as fact or you can pick up the phone and find out. When you introduce yourself and say “I’ve admired your company for years and have experience in such-and-such which I believe is a good fit for your engineering department. I’m wondering, how can I organize an interview?”, you are completing the last step of your research process. You’ll find out if they are hiring, when they are planning to hire and how you can be considered. Any or all of that information is what good research is all about.

For the all the talented people I’ve met over the years that avoid the phone because they think “But I don’t want to sell”, I encourage you to listen to Norman Vincent Peale and change your thoughts. Become a diligent researcher and you’ll “change your world”.

Happy dialing everyone!

The Phone Lady on the Road

June 2 – One-on-One Coaching, LaunchPad Accelerator, Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship, Dalhousie University

June 3 – Effective Phone Presentations, BDC, National

June 5 – Phone Skills for the Job Search, The Older Wiser Labourforce – Job Junction

June 8 – Phone Skills for the Job Search, VANSDA, Kentville, NS

June 9 – Phone Skills for Entrepreneurs, LaunchPad Accelerator, Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship, Dalhousie University

June 9 – Effective Phone Presentations, BDC, National

June 10 – Building Relationships by Phone,TD Bank, Ontario

June 11 – Telephone Sales Skills, Metro Guide Publishing, Halifax

June 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC Cumberland, Amherst, NS

June 15 – Telephone Excellence: Skills for Building Stronger Customer Relationships, Accessibility Professionals

June 18 – Building Relationships by Phone, Newfoundland & Labrador Association of CBDCs, Port aux Basques, NL

June 24 – Building Relationships by Phone,TD Bank, Ontario

June 25 – Tell Me More: Increasing Sales By Asking More Questions and Staying in Touch, Arrow Construction Products, Halifax, NS

June 26 – Excellent Telephone Communication, Dalhousie Science, Information Technology, Engineering Cooperative Education, Halifax

June 30 – Phone Skills for Entrepreneurs, LaunchPad Accelerator, Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship, Dalhousie University

July 8 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

August 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

October 14 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS

November 17 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS



  1. Cathy Cornelius says:

    Fantastic article!

  2. Jacqueline Steudler says:

    You are so right. I have to get to my list as soon as possible and complete the research. (smile)
    Always good advice! Thank you Mary Jane

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thanks, Jacqueline. It makes a difference in your tone of voice and your approach to the call when you know it is about research not sales.

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