The Phone Lady's Blog

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The Logic of Employing Empathy

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

The details we can uncover about an individual or an organization through a website, a Google search or reviewing an internal file are all extremely valuable and they do support our ability to be a storyfinder. But often, they are only the tip of the … Read more

Preparation: Less Equals More

By Mary Jane Copps | October 17, 2021

Preparation is an essential element of storyfinding. It allows us to develop and ask great questions. The challenge is finding the right balance between scant and excessive research. The key to successful preparation lies in understanding how it supports our ability to discover more through … Read more

3 Steps to Prepare for Storyfinding

By Mary Jane Copps | October 9, 2021

One specific spring day in 1980 was my biggest teacher in terms of preparation. Along with hundreds of other students, I’m in John P. Robarts Research Library (one of my very favourite places) at the University of Toronto. It’s one of those crunch times – … Read more

Ignite Your Curiosity

By Mary Jane Copps | October 3, 2021

Storyfinding allows us to create communication and service excellence with both prospects and customers. The first element is curiosity, which is a HUGE topic. This video includes more information about curiosity, as well as examples of how it can be used … or not. Enjoy … Read more

Truth and Reconciliation: A Personal Story

By Mary Jane Copps | September 30, 2021

Since bodies were found this past May on the site of a formal residential school in British Columbia, I have been haunted. You see, it was no surprise to me that these bodies were found, that more were found at another site in June and … Read more

Curiosity Did Not “Kill The Cat”!

By Mary Jane Copps | September 26, 2021
woman on video call

“Curiosity is the engine of achievement.” Sir Ken Robinson Allowing curiosity to guide our conversations is the first step of storyfinding. With both prospects and customers, curiosity helps us clarify and deliver on expectations, reveal additional ways to serve and work together, and continually build … Read more

Discover Storyfinding + Examples

By Mary Jane Copps | September 19, 2021

The comparison between storytelling and storyfinding created feedback and excitement here on this blog, and also on social media and directly via email. Thanks! In my 16 years teaching communication skills, I’ve always focused on the importance of asking great questions. And on constantly improving … Read more

Storytelling vs Storyfinding

By Mary Jane Copps | September 12, 2021

Circa 1963: I’m sent to bed early, where I strain my ears to catch every sound, word and movement of my uncles and dad in the living room below. There is the rattle of ice and the splash of rye or rum, the click of … Read more

What’s Popular on LinkedIn?

By Mary Jane Copps | August 29, 2021

LinkedIn is my “go to” social media network. It’s where I stay in touch with colleagues around the world and gather and read articles that support my business growth. And it’s a vital element of my sales process. It’s also where I share my own … Read more

Sales Communication That Inspires Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | August 14, 2021
woman working at desk

When you make sales calls, to prospects, referrals or existing customers, you likely have an outcome in mind. Perhaps you believe it will be an immediate sale. Or maybe you are aiming to strengthen and expand an existing relationship. Or maybe you want to begin … Read more

What Alzheimer’s Has Taught Me About Branding

By Mary Jane Copps | August 1, 2021
forget-me-nots

When you hear the word “Alzheimer’s” what comes immediately to mind? For most of you, the answer will be memory loss. And you’re correct. Memory loss is a major aspect of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s societies and associations even use the forget-me-not flower as their icon. … Read more

What Alzheimer’s Has Taught Me About Work/Life Balance

By Mary Jane Copps | July 17, 2021
balancing rocks

How to balance “work” with the rest of “life” is a discussion that comes up in almost every workshop and conversation I have with new entrepreneurs and business owners. In many instances when you ask someone why they chose to start or own a business, … Read more

What Alzheimer’s has Taught Me About Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | July 3, 2021

In June of 2017 my husband, David, and I sat in the office of a kind and compassionate doctor who gently told us that David had early-onset Alzheimer’s. There were the expected moments of silence, then lots of effusive optimism and cheerfulness. There’s no correct … Read more

Being Customer-Centric … Even on Vacation!

By Mary Jane Copps | June 18, 2021
empty office

Picture this … it’s mid-July or late August. You call a company or individual for some necessary information. They are on vacation, which is to be expected – especially this summer! What’s unexpected, frustrating and annoying is the voicemail message you reach. The message you … Read more

29 Weeks = Number Crunching Time

By Mary Jane Copps | June 5, 2021
man using calculator at desk

It’s true. As of June 6, when we post this blog, there will be 29 weeks until the end of 2021. That’s hard to believe. This is almost mid-year for many of you. And definitely, an ideal time to look at your sales performance and … Read more

Top Sales Skill #4 … and How to Practice It

By Mary Jane Copps | May 22, 2021
woman working on laptop

When it comes to things I’ve done to build my business, I’ve certainly spent a lot of time doing the wrong things. Some of them have been things that are perfect for other businesses but not right for me. Building online courses is top of … Read more

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 2006, 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

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.