The Phone Lady’s Best Advice in 2018

Best Advice 2018

In the 13 years I’ve had the pleasure of being The Phone Lady, 2018 definitely delivered the most change in communication. Each shift, from encountering more silence within phone calls, to treating every phone call as a scheduled meeting, requires that we adapt and embrace new ways to inspire conversation and build stronger relationships with our prospects and clients. This post shares with you the stories and bits of advice readers referred to the most this year. Enjoy!


#1. My business phone rang one Saturday afternoon while I was at my desk. I quickly checked the number and, while it was local, it wasn’t one I recognized. I made the choice most of us do these days – I didn’t answer. When I eventually listened to the voicemail message left by the caller, I was startled, delighted and overcome. What message did the unknown caller leave? Find out why it was a perfect reminder of the power of phone conversations in Sorry … Wrong Number.

#2. If you’re not reaching clients or prospects on the phone, don’t take it personally. It’s part of a larger societal shift that is phasing out our relationship with spontaneous phone calls. This was clarified for me in a conversation with Jeff Brookhouser, President & Chief Operating Officer at Premiere Suites. What was Jeff’s comment about today’s phone communication? Read about The Death of Spontaneity.

#3. With some frequency, people ask me, “What is today’s phone etiquette?” I always hesitate to answer. Maybe the word ‘etiquette’ makes me stumble. It comes from the Old French estiquette, meaning label or ticket, and refers to a tradition from the 1700s of small cards with written instructions on how to behave properly at court, how to follow important ceremonial observances. Phone calls lost their sense of ceremony decades ago and today being too polite can quickly destroy any opportunity for conversation. So, what’s the alternative? How can you adapt? Find out in Are You “Polite-ing” Yourself Out of Conversation?

#4. Conversation is how we continually increase our sales, retain our customers and reveal opportunities. It is the key to exceeding expectations and creating consistent business growth, yet many of us have developed the habit of avoiding conversation. We default to text communication where we can edit our words, respond at any time, feel more efficient. And, as with any skill we abandon, we’ve become more awkward, intimidated and uncomfortable when it’s time to talk. How can we strengthen our conversation skills? What are the elements of great conversation? Read “I’m Absolutely Loving This Conversation …” to find out.


Leave a comment

What's The Phone Lady doing?


  • Remote learning experiences + one-on-one coaching for women entrepreneurs (More info about this three-year program here.)
  • Team and individual coaching with a national moving company to refine their sales process
  • Remote half-day training for provincial tourism representatives
  • Remote seven-part sales training program for US-based SaaS
  • Remote webinar on accounts receivable communication for industrial-services company
  • Remote webinar on validation to college students in entrepreneur program
  • In-person workshop on job search skills for women in the trades
  • Remote half-day webinar on written correspondence to customers

Do you or your team want to improve your communication skills? Do you have a communication question or challenge you'd like to discuss? This quick-to-fill-out form is easy to use and you'll hear from Mary Jane very soon.