The Phone Lady's Blog

Inspire Conversation


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 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

More thoughts on “Practice”

By Mary Jane Copps | April 18, 2010

First, my thanks to all of you that are diligently doing your phone work and checking in here. You are not only keeping yourselves inspired but also inspiring others to “Pick it up. Make things happen!” It”s a great thing to be doing. Second, I … Read more


By Mary Jane Copps | April 15, 2010

Thanks for checking in with the blog and sharing what’s happening in your practice. Don’t hesitate to leave a question if you have one. I’m monitoring things closely and will gladly help if I can. And, of course, anyone can join in the discussion, even … Read more

Making Cold Calling a Practice

By Mary Jane Copps | April 13, 2010

Nine motivated, well-spoken, enthusiastic people attended my “Ring Ring” – I Am Cold Calling! workshop today. We had a wonderful day. We talked a lot (or rather I did!) about cold calling being a practice. You enjoy it more and get better at it if … Read more

Two Spots Available and How to Answer Your Phone

By Mary Jane Copps | April 11, 2010

Here I am, on the eve of another week, more excited than usual. Tuesday is my full-day workshop, “Ring Ring – I Am Cold Calling” at The Chocolate Lake Hotel. This is always a fun day for everyone. Unfortunately I received two last minute cancellations … Read more

How Many Messages

By Mary Jane Copps | April 5, 2010

Although I’ve touched on this in previous posts, I get asked it so often, it’s worth repeating … as many as it takes! First, it is your job to let your target market know you exist. If you’ve chosen the phone as one of your … Read more


By Mary Jane Copps | March 30, 2010

Great comments! Everyone has a different level of curiosity and I’m certainly not saying that everyone calls back as a result of this approach but … more people call back as a result of this approach than any other. A simple, clear message such as … Read more

Leaving Messages – The Professional Image

By Mary Jane Copps | March 28, 2010

Okay, it is time to start talking about the “how” of leaving messages, but there is one more point I want to make about the “why” and it relates to Caller ID. For those of you out there contacting prospects and not leaving messages, know … Read more

Leaving Messages – A Powerful Tool

By Mary Jane Copps | March 21, 2010

One thing I notice in every workshop is how reluctant people are to leave messages. Admittedly the return realized on messages has declined over the past 10 years – probably over the last 5 years – but leaving a message for someone you are trying … Read more

What Does Persistence Mean?

By Mary Jane Copps | March 11, 2010

Someone asks me this question at every workshop. They want an exact breakdown. Is persistence one follow up call? Two? Persistence means calling/contacting until your communication with a client or a prospective client reaches a conclusion. That conclusion can be “yes I want to work … Read more

Toni Newman is Amazing!

By Mary Jane Copps | February 14, 2010

Through the Centre for Women in Business, I had the opportunity to spend the day with Toni Newman on Wednesday. What a great day that turned out to be! If you haven’t heard of Toni, keep your ears open for an opportunity to attend one … Read more

Lovely Feedback

By Mary Jane Copps | February 4, 2010

Received this lovely message about my blog and I wanted to share it with everyone. Always lovely to get feedback! “Hi Mary Jane. Today I received an email from you so I did as it suggested and clicked onto your website. I would like you … Read more

Getting It Done

By Mary Jane Copps | January 31, 2010

Enjoyed being both a teacher and a student this past week. On Monday I delivered my Telephone Talent workshop to a group in co-operative education at Dalhousie University. For many of them there was a lightbulb moment when we talked about follow up. They had … Read more

Potential Clients Call You

By Mary Jane Copps | January 17, 2010

January is zipping along! “Ring Ring – I Am Cold Calling” was an extremely dynamic day. The ten woman that attended the workshop were full of energy and commitment. A community was created almost immediately. It made for an amazing day! The Lunch and Learn … Read more

In this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, Mary Jane shares how a good story is crafted, what makes a great storyteller, and even tells one of her favorite stories.
Listen to this podcast discussing why trends in customer service calls, how to make sales calls more effectively and more.
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
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.
The Wall Street Journal.
Banks Curtail Employee Use of Voice Mail: Voice mail is viewed as an expensive vestige of a bygone era. See what The Phone Lady has to say.