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The Phone Lady's Blog

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asking questions

#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

How to Save $1.04 Million

By Mary Jane Copps | August 24, 2019
making a phone call

When listening to the news, there are moments I feel discouraged and often wish I had quick and easy solutions to the many situations and challenges that exist in our world. So on August 15, while doing the evening dishes and hearing a familiar scenario … Read more

The #1 Way to Increase Success With Customers & Prospects

By Mary Jane Copps | September 9, 2018

A quote floated past me on Twitter last week and took my breath away for a moment. It captured a bit of wisdom that I believe deeply. I quickly wrote it down and used it as the starting point for a workshop the next day. … Read more

Strategies for Difficult Conversations – Part VI

By Mary Jane Copps | June 16, 2018

While sitting with a small group of committed, engaged and effective salespeople enjoying a lively discussion about how to inspire conversations, someone shared: “But it’s so hard when no matter what question you ask, they give you a one-word answer.” Someone else quickly added, “Yeah, I … Read more

“I’m Absolutely Loving This Conversation …”

By Mary Jane Copps | April 22, 2018

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 … Read more

Have You Lost Your Curiosity?

By Mary Jane Copps | March 25, 2018

One of the items on my wish list has been to talk to high school students about phone skills, and my wish came true this past week. I met with seventeen Grade 10 students at South Colchester Academy. It occurred to me that these young … Read more

The Phone Lady’s Best Advice in 2017

By Mary Jane Copps | December 17, 2017

If all goes according to plan, as this blog post is published I’ll be hanging out with my grandchildren in California. Lucky me! In fact I’ve had very little to do with the creation of this post because, for quite some time, I’ve had an … Read more

You Need To Make This Call!

By Mary Jane Copps | July 29, 2017

To learn more about her target market and to better understand an existing customer, one of my coaching clients took a deep breath, picked up the phone and inspired an amazing conversation by asking, “Why do you continue to work with me?” What response did … Read more

Case Study: Lessons from a Cold Call to The Phone Lady

By Mary Jane Copps | July 23, 2017

One thing I tell everyone: “If you want to get better on the phone, use the phone more often and learn from each conversation.” How did that cold call make you feel? What were your reactions during that customer service experience? There’s something to be learned … Read more

Are You A Reluctant Salesperson? Own Your Value!

By Mary Jane Copps | March 25, 2017

In the winter of 1988 I had to find a solution to a big problem. The previous Fall, I had put a mortgage on our family home to start my first business and the revenue being generated was, optimistically, unreliable. In reality it was … … Read more

The Secret Power of Questions

By Mary Jane Copps | March 12, 2017

What if I told you that by simply asking a question, you can capture the full attention and focus of your audience? And what if I also said that asking questions can predict future behaviour? I’m guessing a few of you would think I’ve exchanged … 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

When You Add A Phone Call …

By Mary Jane Copps | January 29, 2017

LinkedIn is a very valuable tool for me. I interact with it in some way everyday – connecting with clients, researching prospects, reading business news, and learning from people all around the world. These are standard things that most of us do on LinkedIn. I’d … Read more

The Language of Grief

By Mary Jane Copps | September 18, 2016

At a conference in mid-August I had the priviledge of attending a presentation by Amy Florian, CEO of Corgenius. A powerful, engaging speaker she provided everyone in the audience with a new and invaluable understanding of the language of death. I’m honoured that she has … Read more

Fewer Conversations = More Sales?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 11, 2016

“Opening is the new closing.”  Anthony Iannarino When this quote appeared on my computer screen last week … well, I wasn’t sure what to do first. I recognized the truth of these five words instantly and can’t deny that I fought back a wee bit … Read more

Ready, Set, Crunch … The Numbers You Need for Year-End Success

By Mary Jane Copps | September 4, 2016

Wow … what a crazy August it’s been for The Phone Lady. I’ve had the honour of attending a conference in Iowa, working with very energetic sales and customer service teams in Toronto and travelling to all  four Atlantic provinces in four days to share phone communication … Read more

The Second Call

By Mary Jane Copps | August 21, 2016

  This week I’m honoured to introduce you to Dimitra Chronopoulos. She and I have connected through this blog, Twitter and LinkedIn and she has generously offered to share with us one of her own “phone stories”.   Are you reluctant to make a second … Read more

Show, Don’t Tell

By Mary Jane Copps | August 14, 2016

My mother’s name was Mercy Stone Goodwill. She was only thirty years old when she took sick, a boiling hot day, standing there in her back kitchen, making a Malvern pudding for her husband’s supper. A cookery book lay open on the table: “Take some … Read more

Whose Time Are You Wasting?

By Mary Jane Copps | August 7, 2016

  This summer I’ve had the honour of working with smart, dedicated, enthusiastic sales teams. While each group was unique, they all shared a passion for their work, for learning and  for understanding  the “why” of today’s effective phone communication. This resulted in training sessions so … Read more

Expectations: Yours or Theirs?

By Mary Jane Copps | July 24, 2016

Customer service often finds its way into conversations I have with family, friends and colleagues.  Whether it’s fabulous, good or deplorable, it ‘s something we all notice and we freely share our experiences with others. Good service means doing what the customer expects, and while … Read more

The Power and Beauty of the Human Voice

By Mary Jane Copps | July 17, 2016

In 2003 a friend encouraged me to start a business centred on phone communication skills. I was skeptical.  He insisted. At this point, I’d been working with him part-time for 2 years, and he’d listened to me as I’d grown his software business from 11 clients … Read more

The Automatic “No”

By Mary Jane Copps | July 9, 2016

My husband (David Potter) tells a funny – and embarrassing – story about me and my tendency to say “no”. In our early years together he would often call me at work with an invitation to go somewhere or do something. He’d be all enthused … Read more

Summer’s Ease = Opportunity

By Mary Jane Copps | July 2, 2016

It is tempting. I’m struggling with it a bit myself – a desire to slow down, go to the beach, read on the deck  – basically behave like I did in elementary school and September seemed a very distant possibility. But don’t give in to that temptation … Read more

Mid-Year Logic for Year-End Success

By Mary Jane Copps | June 26, 2016

The summer I turned 18, I spent as much time as possible at my sister’s cabin, an isolated homestead deep in the woods of Northern Ontario. And I often brought along a friend to enjoy the canoeing, reading, swimming and hiking. One friend came prepared … Read more

What’s Your Anthem?

By Mary Jane Copps | June 18, 2016

It is incontestable that music induces in us a sense of the infinite and the contemplation of the invisible. ~Victor de LaPrade The 1931 IBM song “Ever Onward” was one of over 80 musical numbers included in the company songbook. It was performed at company … Read more

The Forgotten Follow Up – Part Four

By Mary Jane Copps | June 5, 2016

Whether each of us will admit it or not, we have all “dropped the ball” when it comes to following up. Even when we use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system), it is still possible to click past a reminder, telling ourselves we’ll get back to … Read more

Do You Need to Transform?

By Mary Jane Copps | May 8, 2016

  In the past 10 years I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and salespeople. They have all wanted to  build revenue and create strong relationships with their prospects and customers. I’d like to say that every one of them succeeded at making this happen … … Read more

Cold Calling – The Beginning of Service

By Mary Jane Copps | May 1, 2016

After hearing from clients, friends and colleagues that it was a “must see” for me, I recently took the time to watch The Wolf of Wall Street. While it doesn’t fit my taste in films, it does include some wonderful dialogue on the use of … Read more

What Do Others Hear?

By Mary Jane Copps | April 24, 2016

  In each of my workshops there is at least one person who believes that the sound of their voice prevents them from communicating effectively on the telephone. This is rarely true. But all of us have habits that we’ve woven into our speaking patterns … Read more

The Cold Call – It’s Essential Research

By Mary Jane Copps | April 17, 2016

I recently received a phone call from a woman working for Pitney Bowes. Her call was the  4th or 5th call I’ve received from the company this year. She wanted to sell/lease me a postage meter. (When I mentioned these calls to the young participants in a … Read more

We can now curate who we talk to in a way that wasn’t thinkable when a bulky landline phone rang with anonymous urgency. Listen in here.
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.
Cold Calls: The Psychology Behind the Human Voice - listen to this podcast featuring The Phone Lady.
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.