The Phone Lady's Blog

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follow up

How to Combine Phone Calls with Digital Options – Tip #1

By Mary Jane Copps | March 24, 2024
woman talking on the phone while writing

There’s a quote from a Canadian CEO who participated in my 2024 Report on Phone Communication Trends that I’m continually thinking about: “It can be confusing to understand when to call or text versus email or video calls … . People need help understanding where the phone fits … Read more

8 Tips for Accounts Receivable

By Mary Jane Copps | February 11, 2024
woman talking on the phone

I’m currently spending time with an extremely diligent coaching student. Having never received any formal sales training, she reacts to new information and skills by using them immediately. This is a lot of fun. Each week she arrives with great success stories and questions to ask. And she’s … Read more

2 “Timely” Tips that Increase Revenue

By Mary Jane Copps | January 13, 2024
woman at desk looking at watch

This first week of January found me in a high-energy evening webinar attended by innovators worldwide. Their work includes seeking licensing agreements for their designs and creations. They wanted to learn more about the art and process of following up. Their reactions to my presentation reminded me that … Read more

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

Opportunity Needs You to Get Gritty

By Mary Jane Copps | April 15, 2023
definition of grit

Throughout my 17 years as The Phone Lady, I’ve preached the value of consistent follow up. We do the work of listening to our clients and creating proposals or quotes in a timely manner. We also need to do the work of learning from their feedback and hearing … Read more

The Case of the Disappearing Workshop

By Mary Jane Copps | March 26, 2023

This past week contained a disappointment – for myself and others. What occurred was surprising and frustrating. Like a tightened knot I was convinced I could untie, I kept revisiting the situation, obsessing. This is always a sign that there’s a lesson to be learned. Uncovering it has … Read more

Phone Coach Tip #2 – Sent Versus Received

By Mary Jane Copps | June 4, 2022
woman talking on the phone

Sometimes people are surprised to learn that as “The Phone Lady”, I include skills for both email and text in my webinars. The focus of my work, my passion if you will, is clear communication. This includes the words we write – and send – electronically. Recently, I … Read more

The When and How of Trust

By Mary Jane Copps | March 6, 2022
business women talking

Over a decade ago, one of Canada’s largest healthcare companies approached me to design and deliver a half-day workshop at its annual conference. I created a proposal, participated in several conference calls with senior staff, revised my proposal and, in the end, they decided not to move ahead. … Read more

Peggy’s Persistence Keeps Paying Off

By Mary Jane Copps | May 9, 2021
man talking on video call

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

Strengthen Your Sales Process: The Follow-up

By Mary Jane Copps | March 14, 2021
woman talking on the phone

What if I told you that you can increase your revenue this year by 10%, 25% or more? And what if I told you that accessing this additional revenue is easy? Would you at least give it a try? Or would you allow doubt and negative self-talk to … Read more

Strengthen Your Sales Process: Your Discovery Call

By Mary Jane Copps | February 13, 2021
man talking on the phone

Recently a dear friend and colleague approached me looking for some sales advice. She was concerned about a potential client’s reaction – or lack of reaction – to a proposal she’d sent. She believed it was exactly what the potential client wanted, and needed. So why hadn’t an … Read more

What Are Your Missed Opportunities?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 21, 2020
conversation over coffee

Earlier this week I spent the morning with a group of brand new, energetic business owners. In one of the exercises we did together, they each estimated the average annual worth of their average customer. This is not an easy number to figure out when you’ve only been … Read more

Follow-Up: Talking Yourself Into An Opportunity

By Mary Jane Copps | July 4, 2020

Disciplined follow-up with potential clients is a challenge for most of us. For some reason, our negative self-talk gets a bit louder and more assertive when it comes to this task. Some of the things we tell ourselves include: “If they’re interested, they’ll call me.” “They likely need … Read more

Let’s All Take a Moment!

By Mary Jane Copps | February 29, 2020
man waiting for taxi catching up on email

“Model the behavior you wish more people would display. Lead first.” — Robin S. Sharma Years ago the term “ghosting” came into my world. At that time it was all about the young people in my life – their friends and relationships that involved a lot of text … Read more

Serious About Creating Consistent Revenue? You Need CRM Software, Not a Spreadsheet!

By Mary Jane Copps | January 31, 2020
man talking on the phone while checking his laptop

Almost every small business owner I’ve worked with starts out keeping track of prospects using a spreadsheet. They carefully choose and set up the columns. Then they add to it weekly, sometimes daily, listing all the people they’ve spoken to and a bit of information about what was … Read more

#1 Way to Increase Your Phone Conversations with Prospects and Customers in 2020

By Mary Jane Copps | January 25, 2020
reviewing calendar appointments

“The only constant in life is change.” -Heraclitus (500 BC Greek philosopher) Change is not something I thrive on. In fact, those who know me best might say that I often strive to avoid it. But I think it’s more accurate to say that I’m both cautious and … Read more

7 Ways to Showcase Your Persistence

By Mary Jane Copps | January 18, 2020

To reach your financial goal, build your business and create consistent revenue, you must embrace persistence. In last week’s post, I used a couple of different dictionaries to create a simple comparison between persistence and pestering and shared with you the value of continuing to reach out to your … 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

Celebrating 32 Years of Non-Stop Learning

By Mary Jane Copps | October 19, 2019
talking on the phone

On October 5, I celebrated 32 years as an entrepreneur. Yes, that’s a big accomplishment and what most stands out for me is how much I’ve learned – and continue to learn – every day. Owning and running a business is about constantly acquiring and embracing new skills … 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

Please … Remind Me!

By Mary Jane Copps | June 23, 2019

Many of us worry about whether we are “pestering” our prospects and clients. They agree to a follow-up conversation but when should we call? And how often? Two recent events provided me with answers to these questions and they may eliminate these concerns for you forever. Working with … Read more

What’s Your Post-Sale Process?

By Mary Jane Copps | March 3, 2019
receptionist speaking on the phone

There’s no doubt that it’s great to make a sale. Tons of work and effort go into the moment when a prospect finally becomes a paying customer, so it’s definitely something to celebrate but … what comes next? Do you know? Does it bring value to both you … Read more

What’s With Persistence?

By Mary Jane Copps | December 9, 2018

When I stand in front of a group of entrepreneurs or salespeople and talk about persistence, almost everyone squirms in their seat. The discomfort around following up, making multiple calls and connections, is almost universal. Why? I think it’s about semantics, the words we use and the stories … Read more

“Send” Does Not Mean “Received”

By Mary Jane Copps | August 11, 2018

We have very high expectations of email … and text. We believe that once we hit “send”, our words have been received, read and acted upon. But this is not always true. To create excellent communication – and avoid some uncomfortable situations – we need to consider doubling … Read more

Consistent Revenue = Foundation, Follow Up and Feedback

By Mary Jane Copps | September 24, 2017

Last week I connected with a dear friend and former colleague, Wendell Waldron. Wendell was my all-time best salesperson at my first company, Media Link Inc., and he’s currently a partner with Influence Online Marketing. Our conversation focused on challenges faced by every salesperson and entrepreneur: leads, organization … Read more

As the Expert, You Choose What’s Best

By Mary Jane Copps | February 4, 2017

It does seem logical to communicate with a prospect or client in the same way they’ve communicated with us (i.e. they send us an email, we answer by email, etc.) but experience has taught me, many times, this is often not the best choice. Every medium (email, text, phone, … 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

Here’s Why Your Sales Calls Aren’t Working

By Mary Jane Copps | October 28, 2016

Attending Dreamforce 2016 in early October continues to provide me with unexpected – and incredibly valuable – business lessons, including new knowledge about today’s sales calls and why so many people think the “cold call is dead”. Whether you are in sales or customer service, creating results-oriented follow-up … 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 it tomorrow, tomorrow, … Read more

Bosses and employees are wrestling over whether voice calls have a place in the hybrid era. The Wall Street Journal recently spoke to Mary Jane. Find out more here.
Overwhelmed by alerts? Avoid calling people? Here's what phone anxiety looks like — and why it happens.
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 >
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.