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The Phone Lady's Blog

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conversation skills

Show Your Heart … or Be Shown the Door!

By Mary Jane Copps | April 4, 2020
Westin Hotel, Halifax

It’s hard to take in that the world … the entire world … is sharing one event. While each country, culture, region is experiencing COVID-19 differently, and each individual is having unique reactions and responses, we are all being impacted by this pandemic at the … Read more

To Listen and Learn … Press Mute

By Mary Jane Copps | October 5, 2019
phone conversation in office

It doesn’t seem to matter how many projects I do as The Phone Lady, I still get incredibly excited when I’m on a discovery call with a new client. As they start sharing their challenges with me, my brain shifts into high gear and I’m … Read more

A Tale of Two Texts

By Mary Jane Copps | August 11, 2019

I’ve been a bit scattered this summer. While disciplined at keeping and working with a detailed to-do list, a few things have slipped away from me. If I had to choose the one that made me the most uncomfortable, I think it’s this … I … Read more

Your Job Search Super Power – Step 1: What Do You Want?

By Miriam Jobin | July 21, 2019
phoning about a job listing

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”― Mark Twain As a child and adolescent, I must have had the same conversation with adults hundreds of times. You know the one: “What are you going … Read more

Mind The Gap!

By Mary Jane Copps | July 14, 2019

Three years ago, sitting in an audience listening to musician, artist and innovator will.i.am at Dreamforce 2016, I was pushed into a new reality. He described what motivates some of his philanthropy. In short, he recognized that children from schools with minimal funding and, therefore, … Read more

Inspiring Conversation with Popular Posts

By Mary Jane Copps | June 30, 2019
using mobile to read

I had two thoughts collide in my head on Thursday morning and the result is this blog post. The first thought, familiar to all bloggers, was, “Oh my gosh, it’s the weekend again already – and not just the weekend but the Canada Day long … Read more

The #1 Reason To Improve Your Listening Skills

By Mary Jane Copps | May 26, 2019
listening

Listening to audiobooks is one of my favourite things to do, especially when I’m on the road to Moncton, Charlottetown, Fredericton or Saint John. I’ve had the library app, OverDrive, on my phone for years and it feels like an exciting new gift every time … 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

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

Incivility Costs Us … Even After the Call!

By Mary Jane Copps | February 10, 2019

Sara Moginot is a customer service aficionado, a regular reader of this blog … and the author of this article. From sarcasm to bullying, incivility in the workplace reduces productivity, lowers morale and increases employee stress levels. Whether we are a victim or a witness, there’s … Read more

A Dog, a Kayak and a Phone Lesson

By Mary Jane Copps | January 27, 2019

Sara Moginot is a customer service aficionado and a regular reader of this blog. She recently had a “light bulb moment” while enjoying an outdoor adventure with her dog … something that’s valuable for all of us to consider when our phone rings. What did … Read more

Accident-al Conversations: How Compassion Can Change Everything

By Mary Jane Copps | January 20, 2019

On Monday afternoon at 1:20 pm, driving back to my office from a workshop in Truro, I was rear-ended at a stop light. (It’s important to say here that I’m fine. The car is undergoing repairs until early February, but I’m perfectly fine.) The next … Read more

What’s With “Talking Over”?

By Mary Jane Copps | January 5, 2019

We’ve all had this happen on the phone – the other person talks over us as we start or finish a thought. Doesn’t it make you crazy? Speaking for myself … it gets under my skin very quickly. Why does talking over happen? What does … 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

Sorry … Wrong Number

By Mary Jane Copps | November 17, 2018

My business phone rang one Saturday afternoon while I was at my desk. I quickly checked the number and, while it was local, it wasn’t one I recognized. I made the choice most of us do these days – I didn’t answer. When I eventually … 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

At The Sound of Your Tone …

By Mary Jane Copps | October 20, 2018
woman with shopping list

While rushing about doing weekend errands last Saturday, I received an important – and tear-filled – lesson on the power of tone of voice … all while choosing between green beans or kale! What was the lesson? And why did it make me cry? I’m … Read more

What I’m Reading: The Checklist Manifesto

By Mary Jane Copps | July 15, 2018

In April of this year, after doing a podcast about cold calling on SalesTuners with Jim Brown, he thanked me with a one-year subscription to ReadItForMe, which delivers book summaries specifically designed for entrepreneurs, executives and business coaches. I was very pleased; book summaries are … Read more

What I’m Using: Refract.ai

By Mary Jane Copps | July 7, 2018

As a tool for improving phone conversations, artificial intelligence was sitting in a distant corner of my priority list, until Krystal Hobbs introduced me to Jim Brown who interviewed me on his podcast Sales Tuners which was heard by Richard Smith of Refract.ai who called … 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 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

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

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

“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

5 Signs You’re Not Listening

By Mary Jane Copps | April 1, 2018

It was Sunday morning and I was enjoying a radio interview – a seasoned political journalist speaking with a high-profile guest. The topic interested me; I wanted to understand the guest’s thoughts and opinions. Unfortunately, the journalist stopped listening, and the conversation tumbled along without … 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

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

Two Words That Don’t Belong Together

By Mary Jane Copps | November 4, 2017

Recently stuck in Halifax traffic, I was able to give my full attention to a radio interview. What I heard was a clear reminder of two words that, when put together, clearly announce our bias and can sound extremely confrontational. What are these two words … 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 Do You Say Goodbye?

By Mary Jane Copps | October 8, 2017

At a recent workshop I was asked for advice on a challenge I’ve never encountered. While I certainly have some thoughts and suggestions, I’ve decided to share this challenge with you. Have you also experienced this challenge? Please share your ideas and feedback in the … 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.