The Phone Lady's Blog

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Eliminate This Word to Improve Every Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | May 26, 2024
woman and man having a work conversation while referring to a laptop on the table between them

One of my full-time obsessions is improving my listening and conversation skills. I enjoy a variety of podcasts and radio broadcasts as a favorite way to do this. In the past year or so, I’ve heard one specific word far too often. Why? Because it’s a word that: … Read more

Creating a Cold Call that Works

By Mary Jane Copps | May 11, 2024
business woman talking on the phone

Late on Wednesday afternoon, my business phone rang. Being “The Phone Lady”, I answered it. The person at the other end gave me their name, their company (one of Canada’s large telecoms), and verified my identity. My reply was immediate: “I’ll let you know right away that I’m … Read more

Voicemail Messages Made Easy

By Mary Jane Copps | April 27, 2024
woman talking on the phone

Recently, the number of incoming calls I’m receiving has increased. These are not necessarily scam callers. The majority are coming from local numbers during business hours. Yet no one is leaving a message. This is driving me crazy! Being “The Phone Lady”, I do make it a priority … Read more

Let’s Get Comfortable with Phone Conversations

By Mary Jane Copps | April 6, 2024
man talking on the phone

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about the word ‘comfortable’. Over 10% of the CEOs and senior executives who responded to the 2024 Report of Phone Communication Trends included this word in their comments. Here are a few examples of how the word was used: “Employees … Read more

How to Combine Phone Calls with Digital Options – Tip #1

By Mary Jane Copps | March 24, 2024
woman talking on the phone while writing

There’s a quote from a Canadian CEO who participated in my 2024 Report on Phone Communication Trends that I’m continually thinking about: “It can be confusing to understand when to call or text versus email or video calls … . People need help understanding where the phone fits … Read more

5 Revelations about Phone Conversations in Today’s Workplace

By Mary Jane Copps | March 10, 2024
woman looking at phone with a shocked look on her face

Over the past 40 days, I’ve been hard at work completing a research project that’s very appropriate for The Phone Lady. It was inspired by a quick conversation last summer with a trusted colleague. We met on our neighbourhood trail in the early morning. Initially, he whizzed by … Read more

What Do We Undervalue?

By Mary Jane Copps | February 25, 2024

Following through on an idea, especially one that involves using unfamiliar skills or putting ourselves in the spotlight, is a tremendous challenge. The possibilities of failure, appearing foolish or wasting one’s time all conspire to create doubt and, perhaps, a bit of procrastination. I’m well acquainted with this … Read more

8 Tips for Accounts Receivable

By Mary Jane Copps | February 11, 2024
woman talking on the phone

I’m currently spending time with an extremely diligent coaching student. Having never received any formal sales training, she reacts to new information and skills by using them immediately. This is a lot of fun. Each week she arrives with great success stories and questions to ask. And she’s … Read more

The Solution is in Your Pocket

By Mary Jane Copps | January 28, 2024
mobile phone in pants pocket

When listening to or reading the news, I’m often overcome by a feeling of helplessness. So many things happening, locally and internationally, are tragic. My brain spins around, grappling for something I can do to make a difference, to make things better. And while I have yet to … Read more

2 “Timely” Tips that Increase Revenue

By Mary Jane Copps | January 13, 2024
woman at desk looking at watch

This first week of January found me in a high-energy evening webinar attended by innovators worldwide. Their work includes seeking licensing agreements for their designs and creations. They wanted to learn more about the art and process of following up. Their reactions to my presentation reminded me that … Read more

One Word for 2024

By Mary Jane Copps | December 27, 2023

“There is a cognitive cost to shifting your attention from one task to another. When our attention is shifted, there is a “residue” that remains in the brain and impairs our cognitive performance on the new task. Put differently, you may think your attention has fully shifted to … Read more

Is This My #1 Conversation Skill?

By Mary Jane Copps | December 9, 2023

In less than six weeks “The Phone Lady” will be 18 years old. For this, I am both amazed and constantly grateful. In the beginning, the work was all about sales, working with teams and individuals to enhance their phone skills and confidence. Over the years, this expanded … Read more

Adventures in Sales: Reaching an Important Milestone

By Tegan Samija | November 26, 2023
woman at desk on video call with man

In my previous update on adventures in sales, I shared that I was having lots of positive first conversations with prospects, but was struggling to book follow-up calls for my team. Today I’m excited to share that I’ve now successfully booked my first follow-up calls! These secondary conversations have … Read more

Have You Been “Bulldozed” Lately?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 11, 2023
man talking on phone while consulting laptop and standing next to a bulldozer

Since 2020 the requests I’ve received for customer service training have grown by over 50%. Why? The main reason is the same challenge that’s impacting most industries – too few people with the necessary skills to satisfy customer demand. When creating training experiences for these teams, I approach … Read more

How Are You Collaborating?

By Mary Jane Copps | October 28, 2023
business people meeting

This past week the word ‘collaboration’ has been on my mind. It applies to many of the challenges our world is facing today. Where I live, the provincial and municipal governments, which should be vibrant examples of partnership, are tragically miscommunicating about one of our most urgent problems … Read more

Adventures in Sales #4: Even When You’re “Weirdly Lucky” There’s More to Learn

By Tegan Samija | October 13, 2023
woman talking on the phone while looking at computer screen

This week I’m just over four months into my new sales role and it’s been quite an exciting journey. Of course, not without some bumps along the way! A quick refresher for anyone new to my adventures in sales – I started making my first calls in July … Read more

10 Words To Change How You Think About Sales

By Mary Jane Copps | September 30, 2023
woman talking on the phone while looking at her tablet

“So well said! That just blew my mind…” This appeared in Chat recently while delivering the final webinar in my seven-part proactive calling series. It definitely caught me off guard. I get a lot of positive reactions to the skills I share but I think this was the … Read more

One Simple Skill To Improve Every Outbound Call

By Mary Jane Copps | September 9, 2023
business man talking on the phone

In the summer before my last year of high school, I landed my first job that involved answering a telephone. It was in the administrative offices of an iron ore mine in Northern Ontario. This was 48 years ago, in 1975. It was a time when there were … Read more

Adventures in Sales #3: Gaining Momentum and Staying Curious

By Tegan Samija | August 26, 2023
female sales rep exlpaining to male client

As the long summer days of August come to an end, my new role as a sales development representative with a learning and development company is in full swing. In my previous update, I was excited to have just completed my very first sales call and had a … Read more

Is This “Just” Another Blog Post?

By Mary Jane Copps | August 13, 2023
man talking on the phone while looking at laptop screen

Long-standing clients are the best gift I receive from being The Phone Lady. Earlier this month I had the privilege of delivering a workshop with an organization that’s trusted me for more than a decade. So fun! As I was wrapping up the customer-service-focused afternoon, the supervising staff … Read more

Adventures in Sales #2: Losing and Regaining Confidence

By Tegan Samija | July 22, 2023
female sales person on phone call

“You’re trying to sell to Fortune 500 companies?? And you’re doing this all by yourself, with NO experience? WOW, I couldn’t imagine being thrown more into the deep end than that!” I was on a call with a sales professional I had connected with after reading his book, … Read more

Creating a Great Impression, Miscommunication & Getting Answers

By Mary Jane Copps | July 9, 2023
young man talking on the phone

Whether it’s part of your work in sales or customer service, or phone conversations are part of your job search strategy, you want to continually practice the skills for creating a great impression. You also want to know ways to deal with a wide variety of communication hazards, … Read more

Summer School is Now in Session!

By Mary Jane Copps | June 23, 2023
woman using cell phone

Summer officially started this past Wednesday. There are very few places in the world as delightful as Atlantic Canada in the summer and I’m aiming to take full advantage. As I was thinking about the time I will spend with family and friends over the next two months, … Read more

Adventures in Sales: Getting Started as a 28-Year-Old Sales Newbie

By Mary Jane Copps | June 11, 2023
young woman working at computer with coffee cup and headset phone

I’m pleased to introduce you to Tegan Samija. With a series of posts, she’s going to share with us, in real-time, how she navigates learning to sell … everything from picking up the phone, speaking with potential clients and booking meetings. I’m joining her on this journey as … Read more

The Case for Over-Communicating

By Mary Jane Copps | May 28, 2023

Since March 30 I’ve been constantly thinking about an email I received from my dear friend and colleague, Natasha Marchewka. Natasha is definitely one of life’s constant learners and she’ll often send me things she’s discovered. In this case, it was a quote from James Clear, author of … Read more

Ignorance Shatters Sales Skills

By Mary Jane Copps | May 13, 2023
woman talking on the phone

In case you’d like to listen to this blog post, you can enjoy my audio version (I start at the 14 second mark.). – listen here. This past week I answered a call from an unfamiliar number in Ontario. There was a cheerful woman at the other end … Read more

Getting Curious About Curiosity

By Mary Jane Copps | April 28, 2023

Did you know that curiosity can help us overcome a fear or anxiety? That it can show us a way to navigate stressful situations? Neither did I … until recently. While scrolling through available audiobooks on business topics at my local library, a particular title caught my attention. … Read more

Opportunity Needs You to Get Gritty

By Mary Jane Copps | April 15, 2023
definition of grit

Throughout my 17 years as The Phone Lady, I’ve preached the value of consistent follow up. We do the work of listening to our clients and creating proposals or quotes in a timely manner. We also need to do the work of learning from their feedback and hearing … Read more

The Case of the Disappearing Workshop

By Mary Jane Copps | March 26, 2023

This past week contained a disappointment – for myself and others. What occurred was surprising and frustrating. Like a tightened knot I was convinced I could untie, I kept revisiting the situation, obsessing. This is always a sign that there’s a lesson to be learned. Uncovering it has … Read more

The Many Skills of Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | March 11, 2023

Here are some statistics that caught my attention this week: Worldwide, 23 billion texts (Forbes 2021) and 333.2 billion emails (Zippia Oct/22) are sent each day. Of those emails, only 18% actually get opened. And we know that “opened” doesn’t automatically indicate “read” – and certainly doesn’t mean … Read more

CBC Radio
Maritime Noon with Bob Murphy - On the phone-in: Mary Jane Copps has advice on making phone calls to people who are phone-averse. Listen in >
Radio New Zealand logo
How to tackle your telephone hang-ups. People with bad cases of telephone anxiety can experience nausea, increased heart rate and shortness of breath at the sound of a ringtone. Listen in...

Phone Phobia Hits the News

Phone phobia, or telephobia, has been getting a lot of attention in the news recently. See what Mary Jane has to say about it...
Margins of Error with Harry Enten
CNN's Harry Enten asks why we’re avoiding phone calls and whether we can be coached through our telephone-related nerves in this Margins of Error podcast featuring Mary Jane.
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
22 Minutes correspondent, Brandon Hackett, figures out which end is up on this thing called a telephone, with help from The Phone Lady. Watch Telephone Lessons for Millennials.