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The Phone Lady's Blog


cold calling

Welcoming Opportunity

By Mary Jane Copps | September 21, 2014

Overwhelmed is a word I use in most of my workshops and keynotes. I use it to describe why it can be difficult to reach people on the phone today and why it’s vital for all of us to know our customers’ needs and be precise … Read more

Making Things Happen

By Mary Jane Copps | September 1, 2014

Part of being The Phone Lady is accepting some criticism – and cynicism – about the work I do. Reactions range from “Cold calling is dead” to “You do what? Who could possibly need information on how to talk on the phone!” This doesn’t deter … Read more

Listening to Directions

By Mary Jane Copps | August 23, 2014

Some of my summer has been occupied by phone projects for a diverse group of entrepreneurs. I  love doing these projects. For me there is something delightful about sitting at my desk with research tools on my computer screen, pen and paper close by (along … Read more

The “Tell” of Telephone

By Mary Jane Copps | July 6, 2014

Open-ended questions are the key to successful phone conversations with both customers and prospects – but we don’t always think of them quickly. Here’s my favourite. – I rely on it constantly and hear it used regularly by journalists:  “Tell me more.” As in: “Tell me … Read more

Don’t Chat with Strangers

By Mary Jane Copps | June 22, 2014

This week I’m introducing you to Peggy Issenman, owner of the graphic design firm Peggy & Co., based here in Halifax. I have known Peggy for several years as we have friends in common and have found ourselves enjoying each other’s company at birthday and … Read more

Five Ways to Make a Good First Impression

By Mary Jane Copps | June 1, 2014

The month of June has arrived … and with it my deadline to complete the manuscript for my upcoming book, appropriately called The Phone Book.  And I need your help! While I’m struggling to put words in the right order for my publisher Boularderie Island Press,  I … Read more

Legislation May Impact How You Sell

By Mary Jane Copps | May 4, 2014

A thank you to Linda Daley, President of the eNewsletter Boutique Daley Progress  for inspiring this post. She’s done a lot of research on Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation (CASL) and alerted me to possibilities I’d been ignoring. The basic guideline is this – as of July 1st, unless … Read more

Beware The Enthusiast!

By Mary Jane Copps | January 26, 2014

We’ve all experienced it – a conversation with someone about an idea or product or service and they practically gush with enthusiasm. They ask great questions, add valuable information, want to participate. They lift our spirits and increase our optimism. But there’s a dark side. … Read more

The Phone Loves a Tight Deadline!

By Mary Jane Copps | December 9, 2013

For this, my 174th blog post, I am delighted to introduce my first guest writer, Maureen Farmer of Word Right Career & HR Consulting This is the story of Hanipe. Originally from Africa, Hanipe came to Canada after completing her combined business and IT degrees … Read more

My Cellphone Dilemna

By Mary Jane Copps | October 6, 2013

I’ve been contemplating some criticism I received back in August about how I handle incoming calls. The Wall Street Journal article had just been published and there were people from all over the world reaching out to me. And for many of them their expectation … Read more

The Five “Why’s” of Leaving Messages

By Mary Jane Copps | September 29, 2013

“Ninety percent of all those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit.” Paul J. Meyer So pleased this quote landed in my inbox. While it certainly supports my thoughts on persistence last week, it also applies to this week’s topic – leaving messages. … Read more

Are you Digging the Well?

By Mary Jane Copps | April 28, 2013

Dig the well before you are thirsty. Chinese Proverb This quote came across my desk on Thursday. I had just returned to my office from prospecting practice  at The Hub (see below, News and Events, May 30), so it was very appropriate. On the large … Read more

Am I Being a Pest? And Kudos to Porter

By Mary Jane Copps | April 21, 2013

“What’s the best time to call?” is one of the questions I get asked frequently and earlier this week I posted my answer to The Lunch Pack’s Burst of Learning group on LinkedIn. (It takes less than a minute to read and can be found … Read more

Reasons Not To Call

By Mary Jane Copps | April 14, 2013

During a brainstorming session this week I found myself saying “Phone calls are not the right approach for this project.” What! There was certainly a lot of laughter over The Phone Lady saying this. Yes, I do strongly advocate for everyone to recognize and use … Read more

Precision and Silence

By Mary Jane Copps | March 24, 2013

This is an inspired blog … inspired by Brookes Diamond to be exact. I had the pleasure of running into him on Barrington Street on Tuesday – looking very dapper I  might add. (Brookes and Fiona Diamond are amazing entrepreneurs, currently creating heritage entertainment for … Read more

Creativity, Logic and Noise

By Mary Jane Copps | March 17, 2013

Phonework contains a unique combination of creativity and logic that has captivated me for 26 years. The writer in me embraces the language challenges – finding the right words and presenting them in the right way to clearly communicate ideas and inspire conversation. Effective phonework … Read more

Begin . . .

By Mary Jane Copps | March 10, 2013

In the past 6 weeks two entrepreneurs have approached me about making calls to potential clients on their behalf. And in both cases, they picked up the phone themselves and discovered their own “phone power”. There’s freedom in this – a greater confidence in creating … Read more

Powerful Words: What

By Mary Jane Copps | February 4, 2013

When we pick up the phone to call a customer or a potential customer, our objective should be to inspire conversation. With our customers, we want to learn more about them, find out how we can provide more or better service. After all, they are … Read more

Powerful Words: Names

By Mary Jane Copps | January 27, 2013

This past week I immersed myself in phonework for three solid days – a rare occurrence that I welcomed with excitement. (I know, I know, many of you think that is completely bonkers!) But dialing the phone to accomplish a specific goal is the foundation … Read more

Practice Makes … It Happen!

By Mary Jane Copps | October 21, 2012

Let’s talk about “practice”. What are the things in your life that you practice consistently? I have to admit that for many years I associated “practice” with childhood, as in “practice the piano” (something I rarely did and, as a result, have an astonishing lack … Read more

Ask – And Keep Asking!

By Mary Jane Copps | August 29, 2012

Riding the subway in Toronto recently I was inspired by the slogan of one of the local cellphone companies. Adapting it slightly, I want to introduce it as a foundation or core value for business success: “How do you keep your customers and clients happy; … Read more

Keep Your Martini Glass Full

By Mary Jane Copps | July 5, 2012

First – thanks to all who completed my blog survey. Your information is very valuable and you’ll see the impact in action here in the coming weeks. Second – I’m excited to share that … I’m in the July/August issue of Atlantic Business Magazine! On … Read more

Time For A New Attitude?

By Mary Jane Copps | June 3, 2012

 If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it – and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. Marcus Aurelius  Winston Churchill said this a different way: “Attitude is … Read more

The More You Know …

By Mary Jane Copps | April 1, 2012

One thing I know for sure – it is human nature to think and speak in close-ended questions.  Another thing I know for sure – close-ended questions don’t help us get to know our customers, or serve them better.  So this week’s post is dedicated … Read more

Pundits and Pestering

By Mary Jane Copps | March 25, 2012

There are a lot of business pundits out there that believe salespeople and entrepreneurs should abandon cold calling as a method of finding customers.  I’m not one of them!  I believe in the power of the cold call. It has been a reliable and prosperous … Read more

Listen – Respond – Build Rapport

By Mary Jane Copps | February 12, 2012

This past week I was on the phone steadily and had several strong reminders of the importance of listening – and responding – to what I hear. This is vital to our ability to create and maintain strong relationships.  Phone fear is grounded in our inability … 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.
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.