The Phone Lady's Blog

Inspire Conversation


#1 Reason to Choose a Phone Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | May 10, 2015
phone conversation

Great conversations require both active listening and thoughtful response. In public settings, such as networking events, awards dinners, even a crowded pub or restaurant, I often fail at this task. Why? Well, it’s about distraction. The word “distraction” first appeared in the 15th century and … Read more

Saving the Best for Last

By Mary Jane Copps | April 26, 2015

Welcome to the third in a series of posts by Leslie Gallagher, owner of, documenting her discovery of the power of phone communication. I’ve been inspired by the joy, excitement and success she’s generated while developing her new skills – and I hope you are too. Enjoy and … Read more

The Price of Arrogance

By Mary Jane Copps | April 5, 2015

I’m no stranger to arrogance . . . and neither are you. All of us, from time to time, believe we know better, have “the” answer, are smarter or more important. It ‘s human nature for our ego to occasionally take over in this way. … Read more

Networking with Your Voice

By Mary Jane Copps | March 28, 2015

Just over a month ago, I was introduced to Leslie Gallagher with a request to help her pick up the phone. Her ability to own her discomfort and her determination to learn a new skill has been inspiring. She’s agreed to share her experiences with … Read more

The 3 Basics of Effective Phone Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | February 28, 2015

A dear friend of mine used to say “There are three possible answers to every question – yes, no and I don’t know.” I’m reminded of the wisdom of these words often, especially when it comes to the telephone. Effective phone communication is direct and honest. … Read more

Constant Speaks – Loudly!

By Mary Jane Copps | February 8, 2015

In my workshops when I discuss following up with clients and prospects, the reaction is … incredulous. People can’t believe that I’m advocating leaving five or more messages. It makes everyone uncomfortable. All I can do is share my experience. I’ve never been chastised for … Read more

Stop Trying – Especially on the Phone

By Mary Jane Copps | February 1, 2015

This year I’m taking you through my lexicon of phone words  – words that create powerful conversations on the phone as well as those that cause confusion or even miscommunication. One of the biggest culprits of the latter situation is the word “try”. Whether you use it as … Read more

The Evolution of Phone Manners

By Mary Jane Copps | January 25, 2015

From time to time, in a workshop or in conversation, people will challenge me on what I believe to be true about today’s telephone etiquette. “That’s not what I was taught,” they’ll say. Or, “I’ve been doing it the same way for years, and it … Read more

3 Small Words That Inspire Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | January 11, 2015

  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

Random Actions vs Clear Process

By Mary Jane Copps | November 23, 2014

Defining a sales process –  and being disciplined about it –  is a common challenge for both salespeople and entrepreneurs. I want to offer a solution so you can meet – or exceed – your sales goals for 2015.  I’ve designed a new one-day workshop – Create Consistent … Read more

Creating Tomorrow’s Revenue

By Mary Jane Copps | November 16, 2014

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. Robert Louis Stevenson In seven weeks The Phone Lady will enter its ninth year of business – which both astonishes and delights me. All these years of teaching, coaching, networking and … Read more

When You Say “Hmmmm”

By Mary Jane Copps | September 7, 2014

“Failure to communicate adequately” is a common definition of miscommunication. I find it interesting how this definition puts all of the responsibility on the communicator – none on the listener. And why “adequate”? By who’s standards? How do we know when our communication has been … Read more

How to Overcome Phone Fear

By Mary Jane Copps | April 27, 2014
peaking at old phone

Five years before I was born, an accident took place that had a huge impact on my life. A truck carrying metal rods came to a sudden stop in front of the car my dad was driving. One of the rods went through the windshield … Read more

Listen, Respond, Ask for More

By Mary Jane Copps | February 23, 2014

It is vital in any business, whether in a face-to-face meeting or over the phone, that we learn more about our prospects and customers. How can we truly be of value to them, serve them, if we only work with our preconceived notions or assumptions … Read more

Location in Real Estate; Follow Up in Sales

By Mary Jane Copps | January 19, 2014

This week I am pleased to present  a “phone story” submitted by Maureen Farmer, owner and manager of Word Right Career and HR Consulting. Perhaps you have a story you’d like to share? Details at the end of this post.  As a sole practitioner in … Read more

3 “Must-Do’s” for B2B Phone Sales in 2014 (Part II)

By Mary Jane Copps | December 15, 2013

Using email to sell to prospects and clients without any conversation is like working on a jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing. The end result won’t be what you wanted and … it won’t be as much fun! It isn’t that I don’t appreciate email. Know … Read more

Help Wanted: Information for Decision Making

By Mary Jane Copps | June 23, 2013

I first encountered the impact of too many choices several years ago. I was in a greeting card store, standing in front of one of the many racks filled with colour and images and words. I had already walked up and down the aisles twice, … Read more

Am I Being a Pest? And Kudos to Porter

By Mary Jane Copps | April 21, 2013

“What’s the best time to call?” is one of the questions I get asked frequently and earlier this week I posted my answer to The Lunch Pack’s Burst of Learning group on LinkedIn. (It takes less than a minute to read and can be found … Read more

Begin . . .

By Mary Jane Copps | March 10, 2013

In the past 6 weeks two entrepreneurs have approached me about making calls to potential clients on their behalf. And in both cases, they picked up the phone themselves and discovered their own “phone power”. There’s freedom in this – a greater confidence in creating … Read more

Powerful Words: How

By Mary Jane Copps | February 17, 2013

What is the cost in terms of time and lost opportunities when salespeople “chase” unqualified leads? This was the focus of a vibrant discussion I had this week with my colleague Peter Skakum  ( For me, in addition to the cost, the element of disrespect … Read more

Powerful Words: The Language of Effective Telephone Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | January 6, 2013

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed a peaceful holiday season and that 2013 holds not only prosperity but a few dreams come true for each of us. This quote has been following me around the past few weeks: “I like good strong words that … Read more

Practice Makes … It Happen!

By Mary Jane Copps | October 21, 2012

Let’s talk about “practice”. What are the things in your life that you practice consistently? I have to admit that for many years I associated “practice” with childhood, as in “practice the piano” (something I rarely did and, as a result, have an astonishing lack … Read more

Perfect Pairing: LinkedIn and A Telephone

By Mary Jane Copps | September 23, 2012

It has been a great week here at The Phone Lady. In fact,  I’ve been a wee bit giddy as I’ve pushed against some perceived boundaries and learned something many of you may already know – when you push against boundaries, you discover new territory.  … Read more

Ask – And Keep Asking!

By Mary Jane Copps | August 29, 2012

Riding the subway in Toronto recently I was inspired by the slogan of one of the local cellphone companies. Adapting it slightly, I want to introduce it as a foundation or core value for business success: “How do you keep your customers and clients happy; … Read more

The Phone is Part of Your Brand

By Mary Jane Copps | August 8, 2012

How employees behave on the telephone is, or at least should be, a vital component of every company’s branding, of their “personality”.  Why? Because every time we interact with a customer or prospect we are influencing their decision to stay or become our customer. Whether … Read more

Keep Your Martini Glass Full

By Mary Jane Copps | July 5, 2012

First – thanks to all who completed my blog survey. Your information is very valuable and you’ll see the impact in action here in the coming weeks. Second – I’m excited to share that … I’m in the July/August issue of Atlantic Business Magazine! On … 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

The “White Space” of Sales

By Mary Jane Copps | March 5, 2012

White space, which simply defined means the space on a page not covered by print or graphics, has always appealed to me. I learned its value way back in the early 1980s when I was a newspaper journalist (in the days when hot wax and … Read more

Listen – Respond – Build Rapport

By Mary Jane Copps | February 12, 2012

This past week I was on the phone steadily and had several strong reminders of the importance of listening – and responding – to what I hear. This is vital to our ability to create and maintain strong relationships.  Phone fear is grounded in our inability … 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

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.