The Phone Lady's Blog

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Adventures in Sales: Reaching an Important Milestone

By Tegan Samija | November 26, 2023
woman at desk on video call with man

In my previous update on adventures in sales, I shared that I was having lots of positive first conversations with prospects, but was struggling to book follow-up calls for my team. Today I’m excited to share that I’ve now successfully booked my first follow-up calls! These secondary conversations have … Read more

Adventures in Sales #4: Even When You’re “Weirdly Lucky” There’s More to Learn

By Tegan Samija | October 13, 2023
woman talking on the phone while looking at computer screen

This week I’m just over four months into my new sales role and it’s been quite an exciting journey. Of course, not without some bumps along the way! A quick refresher for anyone new to my adventures in sales – I started making my first calls in July … Read more

10 Words To Change How You Think About Sales

By Mary Jane Copps | September 30, 2023
woman talking on the phone while looking at her tablet

“So well said! That just blew my mind…” This appeared in Chat recently while delivering the final webinar in my seven-part proactive calling series. It definitely caught me off guard. I get a lot of positive reactions to the skills I share but I think this was the … Read more

One Simple Skill To Improve Every Outbound Call

By Mary Jane Copps | September 9, 2023
business man talking on the phone

In the summer before my last year of high school, I landed my first job that involved answering a telephone. It was in the administrative offices of an iron ore mine in Northern Ontario. This was 48 years ago, in 1975. It was a time when there were … Read more

Ignorance Shatters Sales Skills

By Mary Jane Copps | May 13, 2023
woman talking on the phone

In case you’d like to listen to this blog post, you can enjoy my audio version (I start at the 14 second mark.). – listen here. This past week I answered a call from an unfamiliar number in Ontario. There was a cheerful woman at the other end … Read more

Coaching Tips for Call Reluctance

By Mary Jane Copps | February 11, 2023
woman talking on the phone

Over the past 35 years, I’ve spent a lot of time reading resumes and interviewing candidates to fill proactive calling positions. It’s something my clients still ask me to do. And what was true in 1987 is still true today. Finding the right people is challenging because … … Read more

The Importance of Pause

By Mary Jane Copps | December 18, 2022
woman having a phone conversation

It was January 2006 when I officially launched “The Phone Lady” brand. At that time, about 80% of my work was with sales teams, giving them the skills and confidence to pick up the phone and inspire great conversations. This work soon began to include customer service skills, … Read more

Sales Tip #1 – Follow the Calendar

By Mary Jane Copps | July 15, 2022
man talking on the phone while using his laptop

Forty years ago this month I made the decision to launch my own business. As a naïve 20-something there was so much I had to learn. The biggest lesson, and the most life-changing, was that I had to learn how to sell. When I look back on the … Read more

Who’s On What?

By Mary Jane Copps | February 23, 2020
texting

My dad was a great lover of comedy. Born in 1920, he grew up in the era of vaudeville and silent movies (where the piano player sat below the screen at the theatre and played the soundtrack!). I loved it when he shared these memories with me. When … Read more

How Persistence Builds Trust

By Mary Jane Copps | January 11, 2020
sales manager speaking on the phone

Persistence remains a challenging topic for the business owners, entrepreneurs and salespeople who work with me. For some reason, persistence and pestering get intertwined and while the two words may start with the same letter, they are not at all alike. The word persistence comes to us from … 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 solve. I asked … Read more

The #1 Way to Increase Success With Customers & Prospects

By Mary Jane Copps | September 9, 2018
successful phone conversation

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. After three hours … 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 ask lots of … 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 written instructions on … 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 … and 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 rang, I didn’t … 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 indispensible colleague behind … 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 can’t attach the … 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 her perfect contact. … Read more

A Tale of 3 Assumptions

By Mary Jane Copps | July 16, 2017

Assumptions are – and always have been – vital to our survival. Since ancient times we have made assumptions that have kept us alive, while hunting for food, exploring new territories  … and building businesses. But they can also be harmful, especially to our businesses and especially when … Read more

Millennials Are On The Phone … But You Aren’t Answering!

By Mary Jane Copps | June 4, 2017

Last week’s post (Calling All Generations – How to Work with Millennials on the Phone) sparked an immediate reaction from one reader, a millennial himself, who found both my ideas and tone offensive. Why? It turns out I ignored a vital aspect of Millennials’ relationship with the phone. … Read more

6 Steps to Get You On The Phone!

By Mary Jane Copps | April 23, 2017

We all procrastinate about something. Whether it relates to our finances, home repairs, writing projects or exercise, each of us has at least one thing we know we must do … but we don’t. (Housework tops my list!) While procrastination may simply be a natural human characteristic, it’s important to … Read more

Your Clients Are Your Best Prospects

By Mary Jane Copps | April 2, 2017

Declining revenue is one of the reasons entrepreneurs and salespeople contact me for one-to-one coaching. Many have made the common mistake of focusing so much time and attention on current clients, they have few, if any, prospects ready to become paying customers. I call this the revenue gap and, … Read more

Interrupting Myopia: Helping Prospects Embrace Your Value

By Mary Jane Copps | March 19, 2017

“Communication is not saying something; communication is being heard.” – Frances Hesselbein (Click to Tweet This!) A common frustration surfaces when I work with seasoned sales and customer service teams. “Why,” they ask me, “is it so difficult today to get prospects and customers to hear us?” The … 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 learning anything new. … Read more

Focused Calls: As Easy As 1-2-3-4

By Mary Jane Copps | February 26, 2017

Losing control of a phone conversation is a challenge that often comes up in my coaching sessions and workshops. As a conversation expands, one or both parties bounce from topic to topic and the call ends without essential information being shared or the most crucial questions being asked. … Read more

A Telephone Truth

By Mary Jane Copps | February 18, 2017

It is true that every phone call is an interruption. This is not new; it has been the case since Alexander Graham Bell invented the technology. We are always doing something else when our phone rings and this makes the caller responsible for grabbing our attention and inspiring … Read more

The Simplest Way to Increase Sales

By Mary Jane Copps | December 4, 2016

Since attending Dreamforce in October, I’ve received dozens of sales calls and even more prospecting emails … and I’m grateful. Each of these has provided me with valuable insight into why some companies, both large and small, are struggling to meet their sales goals. Here is an analysis … Read more

Reframe the Challenge; Create the Best Question

By Mary Jane Copps | November 13, 2016

There’s a direct relationship between the words we use on the phone and our ability to uncover new opportunities and increase our revenue. When your prospecting calls aren’t having the desired impact, examine the language you’re using. A quick edit can make a big difference. My friend and colleague, Peggy … Read more

Ignorant Sales Calls Alienate Potential Customers

By Mary Jane Copps | November 6, 2016

One of the first salary cheques I ever signed (back in 1988) was for an employee whose job seems a bit ridiculous today. She read magazines and newspapers, listened to specific radio and television programs, and provided me with detailed information on individuals I could cold call. Every … Read more

CBC Radio
Maritime Noon with Bob Murphy - On the phone-in: Mary Jane Copps has advice on making phone calls to people who are phone-averse. Listen in >
Radio New Zealand logo
How to tackle your telephone hang-ups. People with bad cases of telephone anxiety can experience nausea, increased heart rate and shortness of breath at the sound of a ringtone. Listen in...

Phone Phobia Hits the News

Phone phobia, or telephobia, has been getting a lot of attention in the news recently. See what Mary Jane has to say about it...
Margins of Error with Harry Enten
CNN's Harry Enten asks why we’re avoiding phone calls and whether we can be coached through our telephone-related nerves in this Margins of Error podcast featuring Mary Jane.
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.