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The Phone Lady's Blog

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Sample Pitch #1

By Mary Jane Copps | March 6, 2011

Picking up where we left off last week, we’re going to design phone pitches for Claudina Whisken, Director of Business Development, Thomas International Maritimes. We’ll create a pitch for each of the three categories of cold calls and discuss the pros and cons of each. … Read more

Making It Work!

By Mary Jane Copps | February 27, 2011

Lots of response to last week’s post – many thanks! Before I introduce our cold call “guinea pig”, I’ll respond to two much-asked questions: “Is it still viable to sell over the phone?” The short answer is an emphatic YES. Through The Phone Lady I’m … Read more

Categories of Cold Calls

By Mary Jane Copps | February 20, 2011

Before you get completely overwhelmed by even the thought of making a cold call, one of the things you need to do is take a few moments to determine what type of cold call suits your service and/or product. The task may be much less … Read more

It’s Not About You!

By Mary Jane Copps | February 13, 2011

Whenever I give a talk or deliver a workshop I eventually get around to sharing one of the most important elements of success on the telephone: It’s not about you! When it comes to cold calling, if you understand this, you will always – and … Read more

In the Beginning…

By Mary Jane Copps | January 16, 2011

As part of her 25th and last season with her daytime talk show, Oprah, along with Hollywood powerhouse Tyler Perry, did two segments on a subject rarely discussed in public – male sexual abuse. In the audience for those two segments were 200 men, many … Read more

Speaking of Gatekeepers …

By Mary Jane Copps | January 9, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone! I did make it back to my desk on January 4 and the first week after the holiday seemed both long and short at the same time. It is as if holidays create a kind of time warp that you carry … Read more

Disturbing Reception, New Year’s Resolution and Being Grateful

By Mary Jane Copps | December 12, 2010

This past week I made a few cold calls on a project that involves approaching businesses that cater to the higher-end market. One of my leads I’d discovered at the Halifax airport when returning from a recent trip to Ottawa. There they were on the … Read more

Check Up On Yourself

By Mary Jane Copps | November 21, 2010

This past week I had the pleasure of spending time with two focused, energetic entrepreneurs. I felt rejuvenated simply because of our brief conversations and know they each have success ahead of them. Both conversations were initiated by the individual entrepreneur – they each called … Read more

Thoughts on Reception

By Mary Jane Copps | November 14, 2010

This past week I’ve found myself both startled and well … lost for words really, at the aggressive unprofessionalism that is often used by receptionists. And before you think that I’m picking on receptionists – I’m not. I realize that their behaviour is often indicative … Read more

A Lack of Efficiency and Thoughts on Storytelling

By Mary Jane Copps | November 7, 2010

What is the right etiquette for missing one’s blog submission for three weeks? This is a question that hasn’t been covered in any of the social media workshops I’ve attended so if you know of an existing guideline, please do share! In the meantime … … Read more

More Telephone Tales

By Mary Jane Copps | October 5, 2010

I know I promised to give you another cold calling formula this week – if I didn’t run into something “news” worthy. I’ve been on the phone steadily this past weeks so have collected some stories to share. First is the voicemail system that results … Read more

Taking the First Step

By Mary Jane Copps | September 26, 2010

I get approached frequently for advice on cold calling and the topic a lot of people want to talk about is procrastination. For many people, it is not fear of cold calling that is stalling their sales process, but the fact that they simply don’t … Read more

Right Message – Wrong Words … and a few other bits

By Mary Jane Copps | September 19, 2010

This week I did one of my favorite things. I delivered my three-hour Telephone Talent workshop to SEB students in Halifax. It was a great group. There were lots of questions, everyone participated, they had fun, I had fun and then … things got heated. … Read more

Putting It Out There

By Mary Jane Copps | September 12, 2010

In addition to the words we use, there are other elements that impact our ability to communicate effectively on the telephone. It’s important that we acknowledge them, “put it out there” so to speak. First, as I was reminded during a workshop I did for … Read more

Chaos Control and a bit of Telephone Nostalgia

By Mary Jane Copps | September 6, 2010

This past week brought me another new adventure in “phonework”, this time from a lawyer I was trying to reach in Newfoundland. He did return my call but unfortunately reached my voice mail. He did leave a message – with specific instructions. He said he … Read more

The Shortest Distance Between Two Points …

By Mary Jane Copps | August 29, 2010

I had a first this week – for the first time when I contacted someone I didn’t know and had never spoken to before, they responded to my voice mail message with an email message. I was caught off guard for about 30 seconds, my … Read more

A Little More Kindness

By Mary Jane Copps | August 22, 2010

I’ve been writing this blog in my head since Thursday, when my encounters with people on the phone reinforced both my passion about The Phone Lady and my empathy for those of you that hesitate to “Pick it up. Make things happen!” As many of … Read more

What’s This Call About?

By Mary Jane Copps | August 15, 2010

What’s This Call About? Years (and years) ago, in a world of typewriters and carbon paper, I taught an evening course for real estate secretaries. It will come as no surprise that, in addition to talking about listing forms and purchase agreements, I emphasized the … Read more

What’s Your Attitude

By Mary Jane Copps | August 9, 2010

I flew home from The Big Apple late yesterday and thought about this blog along the way. Actually, I started writing it in my head on Saturday as I hiked around the city, enjoying all the sounds and smells and wonders that are New York. … Read more

More Thoughts on Rudeness

By Mary Jane Copps | August 2, 2010

Due to the wide variety of ways we can communicate with each other on phone equipment – texting, email, voicemail and real-time conversation – there is a wide-range of behaviours that are acceptable to some people, and not to others. How do we determine the … Read more

Rudeness Ratings and Easy Living!

By Mary Jane Copps | July 8, 2010

First, thanks to so many of you that sent me congratulations on the Pam Langille Memorial Award. I really appreciated each and every message. Second, I’m often asked what the rudest “business” behaviour is in terms of telephone communication. For many people it is that … Read more

Valuable Advice and a Great Honour

By Mary Jane Copps | July 4, 2010

I received an email 10 days ago from Fran Cumming here in Halifax that I have to share with you. Fran is the Sales and Marketing Manager for ReCover Journals www.recoverjournals.ca and she has participated in my full day workshop “Ring Ring – I Am … Read more

Thanks to PEI and the “Why” of Picking up the Phone

By Mary Jane Copps | June 27, 2010

I have to start this week’s blog with thank you’s. First to the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE). It was their invitation to present at their national conference that inspired my week in PEI. I received a lovely welcome and lots of assistance in … Read more

Update on Citi and Rogers

By Mary Jane Copps | June 13, 2010

I can attest to the fact that most entrepreneurs, at least the one’s I meet and spend time with, are always conscious of customer service. It’s fresh in their minds how hard they worked to win each customer’s trust, and they remain fully aware that … Read more

Conversation as Art

By Mary Jane Copps | June 6, 2010

As I walk through each week, a part of my mind is thinking about this blog, about the fact that at some point on Sunday evening I’m going to need to sit down and write something worthwhile and interesting. Those of you already writing blogs … Read more

A Gentle Reminder – Because It’s Easy to Forget!

By Mary Jane Copps | May 24, 2010

In my last two posts I took the time to talk about companies that aren’t making the best use of their “phone time” with customers and potential customers. I do think we all have to speak up more when it comes to blatant examples of … Read more

Customer Contact vs Customer Service

By Mary Jane Copps | May 16, 2010

It is exciting to own a business that is growing, to face the challenges and decisions that come with that growth. Two weeks ago I realized that The Phone Lady’s growth meant I couldn’t avoid it any longer … I had to get a Blackberry … Read more

Squandered Opportunities: Kissing Money Goodbye!

By Mary Jane Copps | May 10, 2010

This is not a business fable, but it would be great if you treated it that way, taking the lesson from the reading instead of learning from experience. In late April I enjoyed spending about three hours with the dynamic Carissa Reiniger, of Silver Lining … Read more

A Pet Peeve and the Phone is Part of Every Sales Process

By Mary Jane Copps | May 2, 2010

Sorry, but this week I’m starting with a rant about one of my pet peeves – how people answer the phone. It drives me to distraction! You are out there, working hard, keeping your existing customers happy, shaking hands with prospective customers. Then your phone … Read more

What’s the Priority

By Mary Jane Copps | April 25, 2010

Hmmm … one of the posts that came in this past week vanished somehow and that’s a disappointment because it is the inspiration for this week’s topic. The person who wrote in was having trouble getting their calls done because of some organizational issues. Well, … Read more

We can now curate who we talk to in a way that wasn’t thinkable when a bulky landline phone rang with anonymous urgency. Listen in here.
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.
Cold Calls: The Psychology Behind the Human Voice - listen to this podcast featuring The Phone Lady.
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.