The Phone Lady's Blog

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Are You Distinguished?

By Mary Jane Copps | December 2, 2022
man talking on the phone

Between messages relating to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, my inbox has been very crowded. What have I done with all these emails? Likely the same thing as most of you. I put checkmarks in the little left-hand boxes and hit delete. Most of the … Read more

The Creation of the Cranky Customer

By Mary Jane Copps | November 19, 2022
woman upset on the phone

One of the things that has increased steadily over my 16 years as The Phone Lady is requests for skills on communicating with an upset client/customer. There are numerous reasons why these skills are more in demand. One is, as a society, we are still … Read more

How to Banish Blame

By Mary Jane Copps | November 5, 2022
man talking on the phone

Whether I’m working with a team on customer service or sales skills, our conversation inevitably includes a discussion about how and why everyone seems to be more irritated these days. There are lots of reasons – the economy, world politics, the environment – to name … Read more

Wish I’d Said That!

By Mary Jane Copps | October 22, 2022
woman listening on phone call

From time to time, my inbox has been like my kitchen junk drawer. You know what I mean – a destination for things I’m sure I’ll need at some point. Yet, also like that drawer, I rarely take the time to investigate the items I’ve … Read more

What Alzheimer’s Has Taught Me About Listening

By Mary Jane Copps | October 8, 2022
dinner party

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. – Bryant Mcgill About eight years ago my husband, David, began to show signs of early onset Alzheimer’s. In 2017 we received the formal diagnosis. Throughout this time … Read more

Is This Missing From Your Conversations?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 25, 2022
man talking on the phone

Recently, while working with a team of experienced salespeople on a new outbound campaign to CEOs, I realized something was missing. But I struggled to find the right words to describe this “something”. By listening to the calls, I knew that everyone was including all … Read more

The Sound of Judgment

By Mary Jane Copps | September 10, 2022
woman talking on the phone at desk

My husband, David, has an old sailing buddy who is very diligent about staying in touch. He usually calls every weekend to hear how we are doing and share a few stories from his own world. He’s in his 80s now, has some complicated health … Read more

Solutions for Common Phone Communication Challenges

By Mary Jane Copps | August 26, 2022

The first time I encountered the phrase “phone phobia” was back in 2005, when I was preparing to launch The Phone Lady. At that time I was surprised to learn that making and receiving calls was an actual documented fear. Fast forward 16 years and the … Read more

Sales Tip #2 – Fire Up Your Follow Up

By Mary Jane Copps | August 12, 2022
woman talking on the phone

There’s a sales statistic that haunts me. Sounds a bit melodramatic, right? I wish that were the case. The statistic I’m about to share with you points to a deep failure to understand what prospects and clients need. In fact, it’s a failure to honor … Read more

Customer Service Tip #3 – The Power of Pleasant

By Mary Jane Copps | July 30, 2022
female sales clerk at cash register

The skills and actions involved in creating excellent customer service are many and varied. Achieving all of them, even half of them, with every staff member, especially in a large corporation, demands constant vigilance and commitment. Fortunately, the foundation of customer service is easy and … Read more

Sales Tip #1 – Follow the Calendar

By Mary Jane Copps | July 15, 2022
man talking on the phone while using his laptop

Forty years ago this month I made the decision to launch my own business. As a naïve 20-something there was so much I had to learn. The biggest lesson, and the most life-changing, was that I had to learn how to sell. When I look … Read more

Customer Service Tip #2 – Stay Current and Audit Regularly

By Mary Jane Copps | July 2, 2022
woman on live chat

Omnichannel is a word that irritates me. I hear it as industry speak, jargon, a made-up word. And all of this is true. However, it doesn’t take away from the importance and value of understanding and acting on omnichannel communication to create customer service excellence. … Read more

Communication Tip #1 – Honoring Vacations

By Mary Jane Copps | June 18, 2022
woman on vacation

In 1990, as the founding partner of a then-struggling communications company, getting up in the morning was tough going. In April of that year, with what seemed like no warning, several economic forces came together and sparked a two-year-long recession. Both provincial and federal debts … Read more

Phone Coach Tip #2 – Sent Versus Received

By Mary Jane Copps | June 4, 2022
woman talking on the phone

Sometimes people are surprised to learn that as “The Phone Lady”, I include skills for both email and text in my webinars. The focus of my work, my passion if you will, is clear communication. This includes the words we write – and send – … Read more

Customer Service Tip #1 – Get Over Yourself and Use This Phrase!

By Mary Jane Copps | May 22, 2022
upset man on the phone

The combination of the pandemic and our current economic climate has definitely increased stress levels. For many businesses, this means an increase in emotional conversations with customers. My webinars on the skills for managing and de-escalating big emotions on the phone, by email and in … Read more

Phone Coach Tip #1 – Use Your Voice

By Mary Jane Copps | May 7, 2022

This spring has been busy. Steady demand for business communication skills has found me clicking from webinar to webinar, delivering 30-minute, one-hour and sometimes half-day sessions on both sales and customer service. In addition, I’ve enjoyed enlightening, inspiring and productive hours as a coach to … Read more

How Are You Selling?

By Mary Jane Copps | April 23, 2022
woman and man talking

One of the biggest privileges I have as The Phone Lady is listening to my clients’ conversations. It’s amazing to be trusted with such an intimate task. This allows me to fully customize my training and coaching, and supports my ability to produce desired results … Read more

Humility: The Foundation of Storyfinding

By Mary Jane Copps | April 9, 2022

When I sat down in September 2021 and planned out how I would write about and share the skills of storyfinding, humility wasn’t even on the list. I added it about six weeks ago and, much to my disappointment, I can’t remember what inspired this … Read more

The Value of Humility

By Mary Jane Copps | April 2, 2022
business introductions

Years ago at a holiday gathering, an existing client introduced me to the CEO of a fast-growing national company. The beginning of the introduction was the standard, “I’d like you to meet Mary Jane who, etc. etc.” But then he ended the introduction with a … Read more

Exploring Expectations

By Mary Jane Copps | March 25, 2022

Creating excellence demands that we explore expectations – our own and those of our prospects, clients and customers. We come to every conversation and meeting with some level of expectation. Recognizing this – and setting these aside – is a life-long, necessary practice. Without this … Read more

Exposing Every Expectation

By Mary Jane Copps | March 20, 2022
business lunch

Expectations are ever-present. From the moment we begin each day, we bring our own expectations to each experience and task. Even as I write this, I am influenced by my expectation that it will be completed within the hour. Our prospects and clients also have … Read more

Tales About Trust

By Mary Jane Copps | March 13, 2022

Inspiring the trust of others is not a small task. It’s something quite … monumental, that moment when another human being gifts you their trust. Trust is essential to the successful growth and longevity of our businesses and yet most of us don’t give this … Read more

The When and How of Trust

By Mary Jane Copps | March 6, 2022
business women talking

Over a decade ago, one of Canada’s largest healthcare companies approached me to design and deliver a half-day workshop at its annual conference. I created a proposal, participated in several conference calls with senior staff, revised my proposal and, in the end, they decided not … Read more

My Favorite Listening Practice

By Mary Jane Copps | February 26, 2022
podcasting

Listening is a skill that demands life-long attention. We never reach perfection … but we can continually improve and expand our abilities. How do I work on my listening skills? I give my full attention to radio and podcast hosts and I learn from: The … Read more

8 Ways to Practice Profound Listening

By Mary Jane Copps | February 19, 2022
man listening on video

“Years ago, I worked for an amazing HR Director who always seemed to hear what I wasn’t saying. She truly taught me about the power of listening.” – Leighann Joseph This message was sent to me late last year by Leighann Joseph of Living Loud … Read more

Honor Your Intuition + A Well-Kept Secret

By Mary Jane Copps | February 13, 2022

All of us have access to intuition – flashes of insight or wisdom we often ignore because they seem to contradict what we most rely on – our intellectual, emotional and creative skills. Acknowledging, listening and acting on our intuition is uncomfortable. It can even … Read more

Tap Into Your Intuition

By Mary Jane Copps | February 5, 2022
woman waiting for elevator

In the early ’80s, when Toronto’s Spadina Avenue was still home to some of the very best Jewish delicatessens in the country, I entered the lobby of a heritage building. I was there to pick up the final prints from a friend’s recent photo shoot. … Read more

Park Your Intent and Find the Story

By Mary Jane Copps | January 30, 2022

Recognizing and working with the dual nature of intent is vital for us to become great storyfinders – and inspire amazing conversations. Yes, we do need to prepare and have an intention, goal, purpose for our business conversations. When speaking with both customers/clients and prospects, … Read more

The Paradox of “Intent”

By Mary Jane Copps | January 22, 2022
woman driving

In our quest to excel at storyfinding – uncovering what our prospects and clients truly want and need through conversation – we need to know that sabotage lurks in our intent. While it is essential to prepare for our conversations, and to know the outcome … Read more

Assumptions: My Most Embarrassing Story

By Mary Jane Copps | January 16, 2022

Many years ago, while visiting a dear friend in Toronto, we decided to walk past a house in Kensington Market we had once owned and lived in together. A mom was working in the front garden with her young son nearby and we had a … 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.
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
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.