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The Truth About Phone Skills

Welcome to the second in a series of posts by Leslie Gallagher, owner of, documenting her discovery of the power of phone communication. I’ve been inspired by the joy, excitement and success she’s generated while developing her new skills – and I hope you are too. Enjoy and share! 

I never expected to become an entrepreneur. Frustrated by all my friends leaving the province because of a lack of jobs, along with the conflicting message from the business community that a scarcity of talent was limiting their growth, I started my company in my spare time. 

I worked constantly to build an innovative job board that could help local businesses hire more effectively by having candidates apply with Video Interview Messages. When it launched in January 2015, I was so proud and relieved. I sat back, and waited for companies to start using it.

I know you’re laughing right now. 

I honestly thought that building a smart, customer-validated product would be enough.  Sales? Marketing? That’s for other people. But clearly, the success of my company depended on my ability to introduce more companies to my service. 

I was fortunate enough to be at a networking event where I met Greg Poirier of CloudKettle, who wasted no time telling me the way to do this was by picking up the phone.

“How many calls are you making a day right now?” he asked. “About three a week,” I admitted. “You need to be making at least 10 a day,” he said.

I was horrified. But if the success of my business depended on those calls—and he assured me that it did—I would find a way to make it happen. He was kind enough to introduce me to Mary Jane Copps, The Phone Lady. 

Before I met Greg and Mary Jane, I’d believed that:  A) the phone wasn’t important;  and B) that it should be easy to use, neither of which turned out to be correct. 

To the latter point, one of the first things that Mary Jane did when I met her was compare using the phone to public speaking, which I found an incredibly useful comparison. It was a relief to accept the fact that being able to introduce your business or sell over the phone is not an easy or intuitive thing to do. It’s a skill! Which means that it can be taught, learned, practiced and improved. 

Armed with these new insights, I was off—I was up for the challenge, and about to learn that most of what I believed about phone communication was completely wrong.

Leslie Gallagher is the founder and owner of, an innovative job board where job seekers apply to positions with recorded Video Interview Messages. Their mission is to keep talent in the region. She can be reached on Twitter @LG_HFX and at

Enjoy your PhoneWork everyone!

2 thoughts on “The Truth About Phone Skills”

  1. Mary Jane, you’ve got a good thing going here with Leslie’s story – I can’t wait to hear more of her exploits!

    • Thanks, Linda. This is a lot of fun for me as the story is still unfolding. There are more installments to come that I haven’t read yet. It is great to capture the evolution of phone skills in real time. And it certainly helps that Leslie is such a good writer.

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Where’s The Phone Lady?

September 17 – Phone Skills for Job Search and On The Job, YWCA, Halifax, NS

September 19 – Telephone Excellence that Book Meetings and Grow Revenue, Desjardins Insurance, National, Webinar

September 26 - Kickstart Your Business Blog, in partnership with Linda Daley of Daley Progress - only 6 spots available. 

October 1 - Phone Skills for Job Search and On The Job, Youth Employability and Learning Lab, Musquodoboit Harbour, NS (Miriam Jobin, Facilitator)

October 1 – Telephone Skills for Today’s Busy Professionals, Desjardins Insurance, National Online Summit

October 1 – Talking to Your Customers, CBDC Hants Kings, Kentville, NS

October 2 – Talking to Your Customers, CEED, Halifax, NS

October 4 – Creating Your Sales Process, CEED, Halifax, NS

October 7 – Talking to Your Customers, CBDC NOBL, Truro, NS

October 9 – Customer Service Excellence, Bayshore HealthCare, Halifax, NS

October 10 - Phone Skills for Job Search and on the Job, Phoenix Youth Programs, Halifax, NS

October 15 – How to Make Sales When You Hate Selling (part of Small Business Week), Halifax Central Library, Halifax, NS

October 17 – Talking to Your Customers, CBDC NOBL, New Glasgow, NS