The Phone Lady's Blog

Inspire Conversation

sales

3 Steps to Prepare for Storyfinding

By Mary Jane Copps | October 9, 2021

One specific spring day in 1980 was my biggest teacher in terms of preparation. Along with hundreds of other students, I’m in John P. Robarts Research Library (one of my very favourite places) at the University of Toronto. It’s one of those crunch times – … Read more

Ignite Your Curiosity

By Mary Jane Copps | October 3, 2021

Storyfinding allows us to create communication and service excellence with both prospects and customers. The first element is curiosity, which is a HUGE topic. This video includes more information about curiosity, as well as examples of how it can be used … or not. Enjoy … Read more

Curiosity Did Not “Kill The Cat”!

By Mary Jane Copps | September 26, 2021
woman on video call

“Curiosity is the engine of achievement.” Sir Ken Robinson Allowing curiosity to guide our conversations is the first step of storyfinding. With both prospects and customers, curiosity helps us clarify and deliver on expectations, reveal additional ways to serve and work together, and continually build … Read more

Discover Storyfinding + Examples

By Mary Jane Copps | September 19, 2021

The comparison between storytelling and storyfinding created feedback and excitement here on this blog, and also on social media and directly via email. Thanks! In my 16 years teaching communication skills, I’ve always focused on the importance of asking great questions. And on constantly improving … Read more

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

What’s Popular on LinkedIn?

By Mary Jane Copps | August 29, 2021

LinkedIn is my “go to” social media network. It’s where I stay in touch with colleagues around the world and gather and read articles that support my business growth. And it’s a vital element of my sales process. It’s also where I share my own … Read more

Sales Communication That Inspires Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | August 14, 2021
woman working at desk

When you make sales calls, to prospects, referrals or existing customers, you likely have an outcome in mind. Perhaps you believe it will be an immediate sale. Or maybe you are aiming to strengthen and expand an existing relationship. Or maybe you want to begin … Read more

Being Customer-Centric … Even on Vacation!

By Mary Jane Copps | June 18, 2021
empty office

Picture this … it’s mid-July or late August. You call a company or individual for some necessary information. They are on vacation, which is to be expected – especially this summer! What’s unexpected, frustrating and annoying is the voicemail message you reach. The message you … Read more

29 Weeks = Number Crunching Time

By Mary Jane Copps | June 5, 2021
man using calculator at desk

It’s true. As of June 6, when we post this blog, there will be 29 weeks until the end of 2021. That’s hard to believe. This is almost mid-year for many of you. And definitely, an ideal time to look at your sales performance and … Read more

Top Sales Skill #4 … and How to Practice It

By Mary Jane Copps | May 22, 2021
woman working on laptop

When it comes to things I’ve done to build my business, I’ve certainly spent a lot of time doing the wrong things. Some of them have been things that are perfect for other businesses but not right for me. Building online courses is top of … Read more

Peggy’s Persistence Keeps Paying Off

By Mary Jane Copps | May 9, 2021
man talking on video call

This week I’m re-introducing you to Peggy Issenman, owner of the graphic design firm Peggy & Co., based here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I have known Peggy for about a decade as we have friends in common and have found ourselves enjoying each other’s company at … 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: The Follow-up

By Mary Jane Copps | March 14, 2021
woman talking on the phone

What if I told you that you can increase your revenue this year by 10%, 25% or more? And what if I told you that accessing this additional revenue is easy? Would you at least give it a try? Or would you allow doubt and … Read more

Strengthen Your Sales Process: Effective & Simple Proposals

By Mary Jane Copps | February 28, 2021
woman working onlaptop

In 2006, as I began to build The Phone Lady brand, I encountered a business protocol that really annoyed me. It was the request for a proposal. At the time I believed confirming new business should be possible with a detailed conversation. Once a solution … 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

Email Assumptions Revealed by Persistent Follow-up

By Mary Jane Copps | January 17, 2021
woman using laptop

As 2020 ended and 2021 began I found myself in the midst of an unusual communication challenge. In mid-November, the head of a medical team filled out my website Assessment Form, looking for information on phone skills for front desk staff. Through a series of … Read more

A Formula for Cold Emails

By Mary Jane Copps | January 2, 2021
woman using laptop

Many years ago I participated in a workshop that included a graphic facilitator – an individual that recorded our discussions and ideas by drawing them on the walls of the room. It was an amazing experience and a skill I’ve been fascinated by ever since. … Read more

Communicate Clearly Even When You’re Not Working

By Mary Jane Copps | December 12, 2020
phone on desk

Even though we’ve all been spending more time having video meetings this year, our global pandemic has also created a bit of a renaissance for phone conversations. The challenge has been – and remains – how to reach people on the phone. Have they returned … Read more

Celebrating 500: It’s All About Process

By Mary Jane Copps | December 5, 2020
woman working at table

This post is my 500th blog post! I’m amazed. Blogging sparked my curiosity about 10 years ago. When I began to write the stories and bits of advice, I had no clear vision of where I was going or for how long. In the early … Read more

What Are Your Missed Opportunities?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 21, 2020
conversation over coffee

Earlier this week I spent the morning with a group of brand new, energetic business owners. In one of the exercises we did together, they each estimated the average annual worth of their average customer. This is not an easy number to figure out when … 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

Ring Ring … Opportunity Calling!

By Mary Jane Copps | November 7, 2020
man on phone call in store

Receiving and making phone calls has always been an essential ingredient in the success of any business. Contrary to popular behaviour – websites with no phone number listed, businesses that don’t accept or pick up their voicemail messages – revenue opportunities still arrive by phone. … 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

The Value of “Failing Spectacularly”

By Mary Jane Copps | October 4, 2020
microphone

This past week I had the great privilege of spending six hours with five new business owners determined to increase their sales. At the end of our time together, they were prepared to connect with prospects and explore possibilities by inspiring great conversations. They were … Read more

Are We Excluding By Not Including?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 26, 2020
woman using cell phone

A few years ago I sat with two trusted colleagues and made numerous decisions about my company’s social media and marketing strategy. There were a few things that got added to the activities already in play. One of them, even though I was hesitant, was … 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

Have You Done Your Year-End Math?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 12, 2020
doing sales calculations

There’s no doubt it has been a strange and challenging year. Some of us have had to press “reset” when it comes to our original 2020 financial goals, while others have thrived beyond their expectations. No matter your experience, you want to take full advantage … 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

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.