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The Phone Lady's Blog

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b2b phone communication

Overcoming Call Reluctance (Part I)

By Mary Jane Copps | November 15, 2019
man talking on the phone

There was great feedback during my recent Dial In webinar on call reluctance. The one that stands out for me the most was from a participant who commented that they didn’t realize other people were struggling with the same issues around picking up the phone. … Read more

The #1 Reason I LOVE Phone Calls

By Mary Jane Copps | September 22, 2019

A few months ago an executive approached me about working with her sales team and we arranged to meet. She came to my office and we had a wide-ranging conversation about many aspects of her business and the specifics of the problems she wanted to … Read more

Are Your Conversations on Cruise Control?

By Mary Jane Copps | May 12, 2019
woman listening on the phone

My life as The Phone Lady is incredibly varied because most of my workshops and webinars are customized to clients’ specific needs. Yet all of my clients have a similar goal: they want to create strong, excellent relationships with their clients, customers and prospects. This … Read more

“Best Time” Statistics Support Procrastination

By Mary Jane Copps | April 28, 2019
alarm clock on desk

In 2009, when I decided to experiment with something called “blogging”, all the pundits said I shouldn’t post on a Sunday. Sunday, apparently, was the worst possible day; no one opened and read blogs on Sunday. But, for a variety of reasons, it worked for … Read more

The Four Factors That #InspireConversation

By Mary Jane Copps | February 24, 2019
man having a phone call

A factor is an “influence that contributes to a result or outcome”. With our prospects and customers, we want our conversations to move everyone forward into decision making and deeper relationships. There are four factors we need to work with to make this happen. Understanding … Read more

The Phone Lady’s Best Advice in 2018

By Mary Jane Copps | December 16, 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 … Read more

What Are Your “Details”?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 11, 2018

This oft-asked question came up in a workshop earlier this week when discussing how to leave effective voicemail messages: What should we say when the person’s instruction is to “leave a detailed message”? What is a detailed message today? What details should you leave to … Read more

The Death of Spontaneity

By Mary Jane Copps | October 28, 2018

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 recently in a conversation with Jeff Brookhouser, President & … Read more

Our #1 Responsibility as Entrepreneurs & Salespeople

By Mary Jane Copps | September 22, 2018

Whenever I work with entrepreneurs I ask them: “What is your first and most important responsibility?” The popular answer is “make money”, and of course this is vital. But at the top of the priority list is … letting your target market know you exist. … 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

In The Beginning: 5 Lessons From Recent Phone Calls

By Mary Jane Copps | June 24, 2018

Wednesday was a good day. For the first time in long while, I wasn’t rushing anywhere. I had time to focus on the three “P’s” – projects, paperwork and phone calls. And while the first two went fairly well (apparently there’s additional paperwork needed to … Read more

Strategies for Difficult Conversations – Part III

By Mary Jane Copps | May 27, 2018

Every phone call has the potential to startle us and when this happens the most effective words can be difficult to find. For Heather Clarkson of the Employment Solutions Society this occurs “when people don’t follow through with what they were supposed to do, when they do … Read more

Strategies for Difficult Conversations – Part I

By Mary Jane Copps | May 13, 2018

The past two weeks I’ve received numerous emails from followers and clients with questions about difficult conversations. From accents to constant talkers, and from disrespectful language to unfulfilled promises, some phone calls are definitely challenging. The next few posts will feature my favourite strategies. And … Read more

Are You “Polite-ing” Yourself Out of Conversation?

By Mary Jane Copps | May 4, 2018

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 … Read more

Get Out Your Cape and Communicate!

By Mary Jane Copps | April 8, 2018

The memory is vague. I was visiting someone, somewhere, and the television was on. The talk show discussion, about marriage, drifted around us, a dull background hum. And then, like an unexpected tap on my shoulder, I heard this: “When you are not communicating, it … Read more

A Lesson From The Front Row

By Mary Jane Copps | March 11, 2018

She was one of the last arrivals to the workshop and ended up sitting in the front row. In the crowded space, I could almost reach out and touch her. For 90 minutes I was aware of her furrowed brow and how, when others laughed … Read more

Your Receptionist Needs You

By Mary Jane Copps | March 3, 2018

On Tuesday of this week a local program coordinator returned to work and listened to seven voicemail messages from me. That’s uncomfortable! I can visualize her moving through each one and rolling her eyes muttering, “Not Mary Jane again.” Why did this happen and how … Read more

5 Steps to Answering Your Business Phone

By Mary Jane Copps | February 25, 2018

Recently The Casper Agency of Saint John, NB sent me a question via Twitter. Much to my surprise it turned out to be a subject I haven’t featured in this blog. So, without further delay, here’s my best advice for how to answer your business phone. … Read more

When Does The Meeting Start?

By Mary Jane Copps | February 18, 2018

This past week, one of my coaching clients had an “aha moment” that will forever change her attitude to the phone calls she is required to make. She spoke to me about this revelation with such clarity that I need to share it with you … Read more

It’s 2018 – Stop Selling Like It’s 1989!

By Mary Jane Copps | January 28, 2018

Miserable winter weather recently had me juggling my schedule, allowing me to spend the day in my office. It turned into one of those awesome days of zipping through email, checking items off a to-do list, and generally feeling fabulously efficient. So when my phone … Read more

Are You a Work “Protectionist”?

By Mary Jane Copps | January 14, 2018

Admittedly I’m being very liberal in my use of the word “protectionist”, which means “someone who upholds the economic policy of restraining trade between states”. But for the past few years, a similar philosophy has surfaced in our daily business lives. In an effort to … 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

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

What Choice Will You Make?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 19, 2017

Last month I agreed to help a colleague book meetings with SaaS (software as a service) companies, primarily in California. This is work I enjoy and I’m able (usually) to deliver excellent results.  Also “working the phone” allows me to identify new communications trends and behaviours. While I … Read more

Silence on the Phone Doesn’t Have To Be Awkward

By Mary Jane Copps | October 14, 2017

“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between them.”  Debussy In a workshop this past week Melissa of House of Auto Details wanted to know more about dealing with silence on the phone. It can be a challenge for many of us, yet it … Read more

How to Respond to a Dreadful Sales Call

By Mary Jane Copps | September 2, 2017

My friend and colleague Anita Kirkbride of Twirp Communications sent me a midday email last week with this subject line: I just received the worst cold call ever.  I shudder when I hear this because shoddy salespeople allow long-held negative stereotypes to persist. Sales is … Read more

Taking A Road Trip … On The Phone

By Mary Jane Copps | August 13, 2017

It’s possible for any of us to hang up at the end of a phone call and realize we allowed the conversation to get totally off track and we’ve ended up without the information we need. Reluctantly, we call back … or send a quick … Read more

How to Find Your “Who”

By Mary Jane Copps | August 6, 2017

A coaching client recently expressed her dismay at not being provided the right contact name within a large organization. She was allowing this to impact her prospecting goals. Within minutes I had her back on track with the names of several individuals that could be … 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

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.