The Phone Lady's Blog

Inspire Conversation

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Storytelling vs Storyfinding

By Mary Jane Copps | September 12, 2021

Circa 1963: I’m sent to bed early, where I strain my ears to catch every sound, word and movement of my uncles and dad in the living room below. There is the rattle of ice and the splash of rye or rum, the click of … Read more

Top Three Sales Skills and How To Practice Them

By Mary Jane Copps | April 24, 2021
woman talking on the phone

How do we become really good at something? Whether it is baking or golf or Minecraft, we all improve our skills by doing, by practicing. The same is true of sales. And we don’t need a special time or place to practice our sales skills. … Read more

Strengthen Your Sales Process: Your Discovery Call

By Mary Jane Copps | February 13, 2021
man talking on the phone

Recently a dear friend and colleague approached me looking for some sales advice. She was concerned about a potential client’s reaction – or lack of reaction – to a proposal she’d sent. She believed it was exactly what the potential client wanted, and needed. So … Read more

Are You Talking Too Much?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 15, 2020

“Our job isn’t to tell customers everything all at once. It’s to make them curious to learn more.” – Bernadette Jiwa It isn’t easy to admit we talk too much. Sometimes we are unaware this is our challenge. Perhaps we’ve been taught, or assumed, that … Read more

4 Ways to Help Others Hear You

By Mary Jane Copps | October 31, 2020
man listening

“Communication is not saying something; communication is being heard.” – Frances Hesselbein We’ve all had the experience of speaking to someone and, much to our surprise and/or frustration, they don’t hear us at all. Even in a quiet setting, when we’ve chosen our words carefully, … Read more

Practical Advice for 4 Common Communication Challenges

By Mary Jane Copps | October 17, 2020

One of the things I love about my work is its diversity. This past week I delivered webinars to global, North American, national and local audiences. Fun, right? What stood out for me was the similarity in the feedback on all of these presentations. The … Read more

One Word or Two?

By Mary Jane Copps | October 10, 2020
woman buying coffee

In Canada this is Thanksgiving weekend, a  holiday also celebrated by our US neighbours (in just over 6 weeks) as well as in Brazil, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Liberia, Leiden in South Holland, Norfolk Island and Puerto Rico. It stems from a tradition of celebrating and … Read more

What’s In A Name? Everything!

By Mary Jane Copps | September 19, 2020
nametags

It’s happened to all of us. We’ve called somewhere, perhaps a customer service centre, or a government department, or a company we are thinking about hiring. A person answers, or we reach their voicemail, and their name is so muffled, said so quickly, that we … Read more

Powerful Words: The Reason For My Call

By Mary Jane Copps | September 10, 2020
woman making business phone call

One of the most important “tricks” to effective telephone communication lies in acknowledging this simple fact: every phone call is an interruption. While this was true when I began my career on the phone (1987), people still had “space” in their day. They could, and … Read more

What Are Your Great Questions?

By Mary Jane Copps | August 21, 2020
man and woman talking

Interesting and valuable conversations are often easily created with family, friends and colleagues. Can we create this same level of communication with prospects and clients? How do we inspire conversations that build trust and relationships, and deliver value to everyone? The answer is in the … Read more

Lack of Confidence = Miscommunication

By Mary Jane Copps | August 16, 2020
woman talking on the phone

“Communication is not saying something. Communication is being heard.” – Frances Hesselbein – Many of you already know my “just” story.  At the age of 28, building my first business and making outbound calls across the country, I was shocked to discover that turning a … Read more

Identifying Ideal Clients – A Case Study

By Mary Jane Copps | June 27, 2020
woman latking on the phone

One of the biggest challenges for small business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers and independent service providers is … creating consistent revenue. Accomplishing this requires making “business development” a consistent priority. But what does this involve? What are the actions we need to take each day or … Read more

What’s Best When: Phone or Video Conversation?

By Mary Jane Copps | June 20, 2020
WOMAN ON VIDEO CALL

My initial reaction to the notion that phone calls would one day include cameras is very clear in my mind. I remember exactly where I was when someone shared this news item with me. It was sometime in the mid ’90s. I was standing outside … Read more

How Will Allison Inspire Conversation? Case Study Part II

By Mary Jane Copps | June 6, 2020
woman speaking on the phone

Several weeks ago Allison Smith of Dandelion Digital approached me with this question: Do you have resources on how to do this diligent research of ideal prospects? Since I did not have a downloadable resource to share with her (yes, this is now on the “to … Read more

Researching Ideal Prospects: A Case Study

By Mary Jane Copps | May 23, 2020
woman working at desk

Last week Allison Smith read my post very carefully and responded with this question: Do you have resources on how to do this diligent research of ideal prospects? So … she’s become our first case study on how to reach your ideal target market. Allison owns Dandelion … Read more

Own Your Distractions

By Mary Jane Copps | May 9, 2020
dog at desk

Twenty-eight years ago, on May 15, my then business partner gave birth to her first child. We were in our fourth year of growing our company and while we did manage to organize a (sort of) maternity leave for her, once that time was up, … Read more

4 Reasons to Connect with Clients and Ideal Prospects … Now!

By Mary Jane Copps | May 3, 2020
man talking on the phone

In mid-January, while doing errands early on a Saturday morning, I listened to a radio interview with a family living in lockdown in Wuhan, China. While they were well organized and optimistic, the strain was clear in their voices. At the time, I was foolish … Read more

It’s Time to Explore!

By Mary Jane Copps | April 19, 2020

As a child, I loved exploring. It was so much fun. Our backyard merged with the bush and I spent hours, with friends or by myself, looking for treasures – everything from pyrite to ripe blueberries. And in the depths of winter, I would head … Read more

The Compassion Connection

By Mary Jane Copps | April 12, 2020
man talking on the phone

In the past two weeks, I’ve spent time with numerous business teams in a wide range of industries helping them revise their sales and customer service messaging. Why? Because the words they used prior to COVID-19 to speak with customers and inspire conversations with prospects … Read more

#1 Question for Exposing Assumptions

By Mary Jane Copps | November 9, 2019
man sitting at desk thinking

Like everyone, I have a healthy dose of imperfections. Some of them, I’ve learned to live with and found ways to compensate. For example, I’m quite physically awkward, uncoordinated. (If my friend Sean is reading this,  he’ll be laughing. He witnessed the month(?) it took … Read more

To Listen and Learn … Press Mute

By Mary Jane Copps | October 5, 2019
phone conversation in office

It doesn’t seem to matter how many projects I do as The Phone Lady, I still get incredibly excited when I’m on a discovery call with a new client. As they start sharing their challenges with me, my brain shifts into high gear and I’m … Read more

What I’m Reading: The Checklist Manifesto

By Mary Jane Copps | July 15, 2018

In April of this year, after doing a podcast about cold calling on SalesTuners with Jim Brown, he thanked me with a one-year subscription to ReadItForMe, which delivers book summaries specifically designed for entrepreneurs, executives and business coaches. I was very pleased; book summaries are … Read more

7 Ways to Reach Potential Sponsors With A New Idea

By Mary Jane Copps | January 7, 2018

On June 22, for the first time, Halifax will join a world-wide community in celebrating Social Media Day (originally launched in 2010 by Mashable to recognize and honour the impact of social media on global communication) with a full-day conference focused on learning, sharing and … Read more

How Do You Say Goodbye?

By Mary Jane Copps | October 8, 2017

At a recent workshop, I was asked for advice on a challenge I’ve never encountered. While I certainly have some thoughts and suggestions, I’ve decided to share this challenge with you. Have you also experienced this challenge? Please share your ideas and feedback in the … Read more

Fewer Words, More Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | March 5, 2017

The most important outcome of speaking with a prospect – or existing client – is learning more about them. Our ability to serve is directly connected to how much we understand their needs, challenges and goals. Yet many times we end a phone conversation without … Read more

The #1 Reason We Don’t Listen

By Mary Jane Copps | September 20, 2015

“People hearing without listening.” Simon & Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence This is something we all do – every day. We hear the people around us speaking – family members, co-workers, customers, prospects – but we don’t really listen to what they are saying. Why … Read more

3 Small Words That Inspire Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | January 11, 2015
conversation

  One of the most important skills needed for excellent phone communication is the ability to inspire conversation. Whether you are on the phone with a client, prospect or your sister who lives in Australia, you want to create a flow of thoughts, ideas and … Read more

The Question is in the Answer

By Mary Jane Copps | May 27, 2012
woman in phone call at desk

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin A variation of this quote is likely familiar to most of us. And most of us understand that preparation is an important and essential part of success. But … there are times when preparation … Read more

Gulp – I Was Expecting Voicemail!

By Mary Jane Copps | May 8, 2011
woman talking on the phone

Congratulations – you’ve finally set aside the time to make some phone calls and you are ready. You’ve written out the points you want to cover – they are on an index card on your desk. You’ve organized a list of names and phone numbers … Read more

One Small Word

By Mary Jane Copps | August 23, 2009
man speaking on phone

When I started my first company, at the tender and overly self-confident age of 28, one small word got in the way of my increasing revenue consistently. That word was “just”. I used it in my telephone conversations, like most people do, to be polite, … Read more

Mary Jane shares her wisdom on lead generation, lead follow-up, and sales strategy on this podcast.
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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
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.