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The Phone Lady's Blog

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cold calling

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

4 Steps to a Great Vacation Message

By Mary Jane Copps | June 11, 2016

It’s coming! Even though here on the Atlantic coast we’ve seen more fog and cloud than sun, we know that summer is on it’s way, bringing well-deserved vacation time and …voice mail vacation messages. In the excitement of summer vacation – or really any vacation … 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

Follow Up Builds Trust – Part Three

By Mary Jane Copps | May 27, 2016

In a recent workshop, a participant shared this challenge: Ten days earlier she had spoken to a prospect she has wanted to work with for years. It was a great conversation and the prospect did agree to take the next step  – move into the discovery … Read more

Follow Up as Art – Part Two

By Mary Jane Copps | May 22, 2016

The phrase “follow up” can be defined as an activity carried out in order to further develop earlier work. For me this brings to mind the stages involved in creating a painting, or sculpture, or writing a book. For all works of art, there is a … Read more

The Language of Following Up – Part One

By Mary Jane Copps | May 14, 2016

Early in April I received a sales call that caught my attention. It was from VoiceAmerica; they produce podcasts. In her voicemail message, the woman who called identified herself as a “producer” and used words that sparked my interest, i.e. discovered you, the research we’ve done, … 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

The #1 Way to Build Relationships

By Mary Jane Copps | April 10, 2016

  “The conversation is the relationship.” Susan Scott, CEO & Founder, Fierce Inc. I recently received a note from an entrepreneur who participated in one of my October workshops. He shared that the techniques we worked on continue to have a positive impact on his company’s ability … Read more

Cold Calling? Know the Answers to These Two Questions

By Mary Jane Copps | April 3, 2016

Imagine for a  moment that you are at your desk working on a project, proposal or responding to email. Your phone rings. You look at call display but do not recognize the phone number. Curiosity trumps the irritation of being interrupted and you answer the … Read more

Your Presence is Requested

By Mary Jane Copps | March 27, 2016

  Presence is a noun, not a verb; it is a state of being, not doing. Debbie Hall Earlier this week I listened again to Debbie Hall’s brief essay “The Power of Presence”, part of the This I Believe collection which I return to often for inspiration and perspective. … Read more

Are You Tone Deaf?

By Mary Jane Copps | March 13, 2016

One of my most closely held beliefs is that we can accomplish anything, work with anyone, see our lives, businesses and even this world of our’s evolve in anyway we wish, if we communicate effectively with each other. I’m not alone in this belief. Most … Read more

8 Steps to Being Assertive

By Mary Jane Copps | March 6, 2016

This week my colleague, Catherine Doucette, BPR, MEd, CTDP, offers insight into the value of  being assertive in difficult conversations. Catherine is a Training and Performance Consultant who makes a measurable impact on organizations by delivering customized business communications, leadership, and training for the trainer (facilitation, … Read more

What We Accept Becomes Our Reality

By Mary Jane Copps | February 28, 2016

In the 1970s, Bell Canada introduced WATS lines (Wide Area Telephone Service), providing companies access to toll-free numbers and  long distance at fixed rates. Available throughout the US in 1967, indications are that AT&T was generating a billion dollars in annual revenue though WATS lines by … Read more

Sound Advice: Creating Your Best Voice

By Mary Jane Copps | February 21, 2016

  In almost every workshop, someone asks me about improving the sound of their voice. While I can share the things that I do (sip water throughout the day, sing, hum), I am not an expert. I rely on the advice of Natasha Marchewka. Over … Read more

Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Phone Skills

By Mary Jane Copps | February 14, 2016

There’s no doubt that the value of phone conversations is steadily gaining recognition by CEOs, managers and entrepreneurs. Companies large and small are realizing that talking to customers and prospects on the phone builds stronger relationships, reveals opportunities and  directly supports increased revenue. So, if email … Read more

Thoughtful or Nostalgic?

By Mary Jane Copps | February 7, 2016

Bad human communication leaves us less room to grow. – Rowan Williams In planning a trip to Toronto last month, I took on the challenge of setting up meetings with senior decision makers at a large multi-national organization. I’ve done a fair bit of work for the company … Read more

Combining Persistence and Gratitude

By Mary Jane Copps | January 31, 2016

I’m honoured to share with you a post from my colleague and friend, Steve Foran. His story on prospecting actually inspired a few tears on my part – in a good way. Read on:  Last weekend I experienced a collision between my philosophies of gratitude and effective … Read more

How May I Help You?

By Mary Jane Copps | January 17, 2016

  One thing I’ve learned since I started driving a car three years ago is … I was a terrible pedestrian. My lack of knowledge about what a driver experiences at crosswalks, on bright sunny days, at dusk on windy Fall nights or on blustery winter … Read more

The Gifts of Selling

By Mary Jane Copps | January 10, 2016

I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about sales – how difficult it is to find good salespeople, why this is the case and why so many entrepreneurs struggle with the sales part of building their businesses. My own evolution as a salesperson was … Read more

The One Word Resolution

By Mary Jane Copps | January 2, 2016

Doors will be opened for those who dare to knock.  I haven’t kept any statistics, but I’d say I have about a 98% fail rate at keeping New Year’s Resolutions.  I can only think of two that I’ve kept diligently for several years – read … Read more

The Challenge of Living My Brand

By Mary Jane Copps | December 13, 2015

One of the disciplines I ask all my clients to embrace is persistence. Why? Because it’s always served me well. Since the beginning of my career in business-to-business phone sales (way back in 1987) up to today, persistence has garnered me more trust, more revenue and more recognition … Read more

Top 3 Challenges to Effective Phone Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | November 22, 2015

  When we pick up the phone to speak with our customers or prospects today, we encounter three main challenges that often prevent us from communicating effectively. Challenge #1:  Everyone is overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter who we are calling, or whether we are calling them at work or at home, or … Read more

Learning is Uncomfortable

By Mary Jane Copps | November 15, 2015

“To be outstanding, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”  Alrick Koundenburg I’m reminded of these wise words every time I face a room of young students, some of them with pens poised, others with fingers hovering over keyboards. They are hoping I will say the one … Read more

What’s This About?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 8, 2015

It was a typical weekday morning – I was rushing to get out the door. I’m  not sure why, but no matter how much I plan ahead, I always find myself rushing in the morning.  Then our home phone – a landline – rang at … Read more

Conversation Leads to Possibility

By Mary Jane Copps | November 1, 2015

After a particularly hectic week, I chose to  lie low on Friday  night and listen to the radio while reviewing both email and hurriedly scratched notes that needed further attention. It was a very fortunate decision on my part because CBC’s show Ideas is celebrating … Read more

Creating Fewer Decisions

By Mary Jane Copps | October 25, 2015

Decision fatigue is one of the biggest challenges impacting communication today, so it’s worth revisiting this information I first published in 2015. It is estimated that adults make 35,000 decisions each day – which does sound ridiculous, but when we consider that each email we … Read more

5 Lessons in Creating Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | October 18, 2015

The relationship is the conversation. Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations Oh, how I wish I’d written that sentence! In five words, Susan Scott has summarized my deepest belief about the value of the telephone – it allows us to participate in conversation with anyone, anywhere … 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.