The Phone Lady's Blog

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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 or IPhone or … 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 Limited. She is … 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 rings – while … 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, I can’t claim … 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 want to expand … 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 if they didn’t … 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 you do a … 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 on Friday, suddenly … 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 methods of doing … 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 “Hi Joan Brown, … 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 that your company … 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 to reach still … 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 with you” or … 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 of her workshops. … 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 to know that … 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 the questions I … 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 at The Halifax … Read more

In The Beginning

By Mary Jane Copps | January 10, 2010

Happy 2010! The year is certainly starting off with a lot of positive news. The Phone Lady has several new projects to work on that are exciting and challenging. And the “Ring Ring – I Am Cold Calling” workshop at The Chocolate Lake Hotel this Tuesday is fully … Read more


By Mary Jane Copps | December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve – one of my very favorite days of the year! I send wishes to all of you for a lovely holiday season, no matter how you celebrate this time of year – and a blessed beginning to the New Year. I’ll be back here on January … Read more

Building Relationships is the Focus

By Mary Jane Copps | December 13, 2009

First, I want to apologize for some of the typos I’m finding in my posts when I re-read them. Shame on me! I’ll be more diligent in my proofreading. Second, although I’ve used the telephone as my primary sales tool the past 23 years, it doesn’t feel that … Read more

Secret Ingredient #1

By Mary Jane Copps | November 29, 2009

First, a big “thank you” to the folks at IWave in Charlottetown for welcoming me on Friday. What a great group of people! The day was high-energy and lots of fun – a solid reminder of why I love my job! One of the big secrets of phone … Read more

Cold Calling and Putting Benefits Upfront

By Mary Jane Copps | November 22, 2009

I’m realizing that I’m dropping a few threads as I add to this blog from week to week. I’m torn when I sit down to write: Should I build on my last comments? Or should I share with you something I’ve learned or that’s happened in the past … Read more

Carissa Reiniger – Make the time to meet her!

By Mary Jane Copps | November 15, 2009

I attended the Centre for Women and Business conference this past Friday at Mount Saint Vincent University and the most impressive and inspiring part of the day was listening to and meeting Carissa Reiniger. If you haven’t heard of her yet, I encourage you to visit her company’s … Read more

Listen Up Part II

By Mary Jane Copps | November 8, 2009

I was reminded of something this week that relates to our listening skills. Many of you will remember when the internet was a new thing in our business lives. Suddenly (or at least that’s what it felt like) we were encountering a new language and both our listening … Read more

Listen Up!

By Mary Jane Copps | November 1, 2009

I had a phone call this week about my last post. The caller revealed that they most feared misunderstanding information they were given on the phone. “I get so nervous when I have to write down a phone number. A name is even worse. I just know I … Read more

What Makes It Scary?

By Mary Jane Copps | October 25, 2009

There is absolutely no doubt about it – it is scary to pick up the telephone and call someone you don’t know with the aim of having a productive conversation about your business. To deal with this “phone phobia” we have to look at the causes of this … Read more

Stage Fright

By Mary Jane Copps | October 18, 2009

First, a mea culpa. Last weekend was Thanksgiving and I totally lost track of the days – then the week went by in a blur of deadlines. Apologies for letting the last post slip away. And thanks for your comments. I think it is important to share that … Read more

Call Into Fall – The Formula

By Mary Jane Copps | October 4, 2009

How many cold calls do you NEED to be making? There are several ways to figure this out, but here’s the one I use most often: 1. What is the (roughly) average amount of money an average client will spend with you in one year? For example, I … Read more

Customer Service – Please!

By Mary Jane Copps | September 27, 2009

I received this email question on Friday: I was on hold today (waiting for technical support) from Point2 Systems. The system they use does not seem to be well maintained, interrupting it’s own messages and broadcasting dialing signals when it is simply repeating a message it has just … Read more

What’s With Cold Calling Anyway?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 21, 2009

It’s not a surprise that the thought of “cold calls” sends chills through most people. There really should be a better name for them – like information calls or marketing calls or calls of introduction. I’m a BIG believer in these calls – know them to be essential … Read more

Bosses and employees are wrestling over whether voice calls have a place in the hybrid era. The Wall Street Journal recently spoke to Mary Jane. Find out more here.
Overwhelmed by alerts? Avoid calling people? Here's what phone anxiety looks like — and why it happens.
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 >
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.