The Phone Lady's Blog

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Peggy’s Persistence Keeps Paying Off

By Mary Jane Copps | May 9, 2021
man talking on video call

This week I’m re-introducing you to Peggy Issenman, owner of the graphic design firm Peggy & Co., based here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I have known Peggy for about a decade as we have friends in common and have found ourselves enjoying each other’s company at … Read more

Top Three Sales Skills and How To Practice Them

By Mary Jane Copps | April 24, 2021
woman talking on the phone

How do we become really good at something? Whether it is baking or golf or Minecraft, we all improve our skills by doing, by practicing. The same is true of sales. And we don’t need a special time or place to practice our sales skills. … Read more

Elevate Your Customer Service: Focused and Successful Inbound Phone Conversations

By Mary Jane Copps | April 10, 2021
composing music

Picture it. A darkened movie theatre in 1973. Paul Newman and Robert Redford are mesmerizing in The Sting. What captures my attention? The music. Scott Joplin‘s ragtime, combined with an existing fascination with Nat King Cole, sparked my life-long romance with jazz. I’ve listened to … Read more

Elevate Your Customer Service: Effective and Efficient Conversations

By Mary Jane Copps | March 27, 2021
man planning a phone call

It happens to all of us. We finish a conversation with a client and feel, well, unaccomplished. Perhaps the next steps aren’t clearly agreed upon. Or important items are completely forgotten and another conversation needs to be booked. It doesn’t have to be this way. … Read more

Strengthen Your Sales Process: Effective & Simple Proposals

By Mary Jane Copps | February 28, 2021
woman working onlaptop

In 2016, as I began to build The Phone Lady brand, I encountered a business protocol that really annoyed me. It was the request for a proposal. At the time I believed confirming new business should be possible with a detailed conversation. Once a solution … Read more

Strengthen Your Sales Process: Your Discovery Call

By Mary Jane Copps | February 13, 2021
man talking on the phone

Recently a dear friend and colleague approached me looking for some sales advice. She was concerned about a potential client’s reaction – or lack of reaction – to a proposal she’d sent. She believed it was exactly what the potential client wanted, and needed. So … Read more

Making the Move from Nice to Kind

By Mary Jane Copps | January 30, 2021
home delivery with care

In the past 12 months, I’ve experienced a substantial increase in requests for customized reception and customer service training. And I say “yes” as quickly and as often as possible. My interest in phone communication was sparked early in childhood, by the major role the … Read more

Email Assumptions Revealed by Persistent Follow-up

By Mary Jane Copps | January 17, 2021
woman using laptop

As 2020 ended and 2021 began I found myself in the midst of an unusual communication challenge. In mid-November, the head of a medical team filled out my website Assessment Form, looking for information on phone skills for front desk staff. Through a series of … Read more

A Formula for Cold Emails

By Mary Jane Copps | January 2, 2021
woman using laptop

Many years ago I participated in a workshop that included a graphic facilitator – an individual that recorded our discussions and ideas by drawing them on the walls of the room. It was an amazing experience and a skill I’ve been fascinated by ever since. … Read more

One Word for 2021

By Mary Jane Copps | December 26, 2020

“Take care of your words and the words will take care of you.” – Amit Ray For the sixth year, I’m sharing with you the concept of One Word. I was introduced to this idea at the end of 2015 by my colleague and friend Jeanie … Read more

When 911 Calls You

By Mary Jane Copps | December 19, 2020
male operator

About five years ago, I connected with Donald O’Connor on Twitter. Since then we have created a friendship founded on our shared interest and passion in sales and communication. Earlier this year, when he attended one of my monthly webinars, I discovered his wealth of great … Read more

Communicate Clearly Even When You’re Not Working

By Mary Jane Copps | December 12, 2020
phone on desk

Even though we’ve all been spending more time having video meetings this year, our global pandemic has also created a bit of a renaissance for phone conversations. The challenge has been – and remains – how to reach people on the phone. Have they returned … Read more

Celebrating 500: It’s All About Process

By Mary Jane Copps | December 5, 2020
woman working at table

This post is my 500th blog post! I’m amazed. Blogging sparked my curiosity about 10 years ago. When I began to write the stories and bits of advice, I had no clear vision of where I was going or for how long. In the early … Read more

Do You Need A Stop Sign?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 28, 2020
woman at desk holding stop sign

Over the past few months, I’ve experienced an amazing increase in requests for front desk and customer service phone skills training. I’m delighted, of course. This is where my interest in phone skills began, way back in 1979. I was working part-time at a real … Read more

What Are Your Missed Opportunities?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 21, 2020
conversation over coffee

Earlier this week I spent the morning with a group of brand new, energetic business owners. In one of the exercises we did together, they each estimated the average annual worth of their average customer. This is not an easy number to figure out when … Read more

Are You Talking Too Much?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 15, 2020

“Our job isn’t to tell customers everything all at once. It’s to make them curious to learn more.” – Bernadette Jiwa It isn’t easy to admit we talk too much. Sometimes we are unaware this is our challenge. Perhaps we’ve been taught, or assumed, that … Read more

Ring Ring … Opportunity Calling!

By Mary Jane Copps | November 7, 2020
man on phone call in store

Receiving and making phone calls has always been an essential ingredient in the success of any business. Contrary to popular behaviour – websites with no phone number listed, businesses that don’t accept or pick up their voicemail messages – revenue opportunities still arrive by phone. … Read more

4 Ways to Help Others Hear You

By Mary Jane Copps | October 31, 2020
man listening

“Communication is not saying something; communication is being heard.” – Frances Hesselbein We’ve all had the experience of speaking to someone and, much to our surprise and/or frustration, they don’t hear us at all. Even in a quiet setting, when we’ve chosen our words carefully, … Read more

Three Easy Ways to Improve Your Customers’ Experience

By Mary Jane Copps | October 24, 2020
reception desk

This past week I’ve had two customer experiences that left me frustrated, sad and … briefly considering taking my business elsewhere. One was with my optician. This past August marked my 23rd year as their customer. In person, all of the staff are energetic. They … Read more

Practical Advice for 4 Common Communication Challenges

By Mary Jane Copps | October 17, 2020

One of the things I love about my work is its diversity. This past week I delivered webinars to global, North American, national and local audiences. Fun, right? What stood out for me was the similarity in the feedback on all of these presentations. The … Read more

One Word or Two?

By Mary Jane Copps | October 10, 2020
woman buying coffee

In Canada this is Thanksgiving weekend, a  holiday also celebrated by our US neighbours (in just over 6 weeks) as well as in Brazil, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Liberia, Leiden in South Holland, Norfolk Island and Puerto Rico. It stems from a tradition of celebrating and … Read more

The Value of “Failing Spectacularly”

By Mary Jane Copps | October 4, 2020
microphone

This past week I had the great privilege of spending six hours with five new business owners determined to increase their sales. At the end of our time together, they were prepared to connect with prospects and explore possibilities by inspiring great conversations. They were … Read more

Are We Excluding By Not Including?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 26, 2020
woman using cell phone

A few years ago I sat with two trusted colleagues and made numerous decisions about my company’s social media and marketing strategy. There were a few things that got added to the activities already in play. One of them, even though I was hesitant, was … Read more

What’s In A Name? Everything!

By Mary Jane Copps | September 19, 2020
nametags

It’s happened to all of us. We’ve called somewhere, perhaps a customer service centre, or a government department, or a company we are thinking about hiring. A person answers, or we reach their voicemail, and their name is so muffled, said so quickly, that we … Read more

Have You Done Your Year-End Math?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 12, 2020
doing sales calculations

There’s no doubt it has been a strange and challenging year. Some of us have had to press “reset” when it comes to our original 2020 financial goals, while others have thrived beyond their expectations. No matter your experience, you want to take full advantage … Read more

Powerful Words: The Reason For My Call

By Mary Jane Copps | September 10, 2020
woman making business phone call

One of the most important “tricks” to effective telephone communication lies in acknowledging this simple fact: every phone call is an interruption. While this was true when I began my career on the phone (1987), people still had “space” in their day. They could, and … Read more

Questions That Will Improve Year’s End

By Mary Jane Copps | September 5, 2020
gear shift

Imagine that one morning next week you leave your home to go somewhere and find that your bicycle has been replaced with a motorcycle. Or your automatic car has been replaced with a standard. Or your SUV has been replaced with an 18-wheel tractor trailer. … Read more

Fear and Discomfort? You’re Learning Something!

By Mary Jane Copps | August 30, 2020
man with headset

About five years ago, I connected with Donald O’Connor on Twitter. Since then we have created a friendship founded on our shared interest and passion in sales and communication. Earlier this month, when he attended my monthly webinar, I discovered his wealth of great sales … Read more

What Are Your Great Questions?

By Mary Jane Copps | August 21, 2020
man and woman talking

Interesting and valuable conversations are often easily created with family, friends and colleagues. Can we create this same level of communication with prospects and clients? How do we inspire conversations that build trust and relationships, and deliver value to everyone? The answer is in the … Read more

Mary Jane shares her wisdom on lead generation, lead follow-up, and sales strategy on this podcast.
CBCs-The-Current
CRTC has recently taken new steps to fight fraud calls and phone scams. Read (and listen) to what Mary Jane has to say about this problem.
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
Episode featuring The Phone Lady - watch Telephone Lessons for Millennials.
The Wall Street Journal.
Some on Wall Street are hanging up on voicemail. See what The Phone Lady has to say.