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The Phone Lady's Blog

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listening skills

Common Causes for Miscommunication in Texts, Emails and DMs

By Miriam Jobin | December 16, 2019
young woman reading text message

I’ve spent a lot of time observing and researching miscommunications lately and something that I can’t seem to satisfy is the thought that we spend SO much time looking at each other’s words on a screen instead of listening to each other through a phone … Read more

The Phone Lady’s Best Advice in 2019

By Mary Jane Copps | December 14, 2019
woman reading blog posts on laptop

As I’ve shared in many posts over the years, I love the business numbers, the statistics, the metrics. Technology allows all of us to look closely at the numbers behind so many of our activities. Take this post for example … I can now see … 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

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 … Read more

How the “Slow Poke” in a Costco Aisle Left Me Thinking

By Miriam Jobin | September 15, 2019
mother and daughter in grocery store

Earlier this week, I was walking down the frozen food aisle in Costco. You know, the one that comes after the huge bags of chips, fresh fruit and then frozen burgers and … full frozen pigs?  Well, after trying to get ahead of a slow–paced … 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

Two Phrases That Kill Your Business

By Mary Jane Copps | March 10, 2019

Living on the East Coast means winter is always a mix of snow, rain and ice. The order in which this precipitation appears, combined with the amount that arrives and whether the temperature stays above or below zero, can create incredible challenges for pedestrians, drivers … Read more

Connecting with Your Compassion – 7 Easy Steps

By Mary Jane Copps | February 3, 2019
woman on phone with broken down car

After reading my post about a recent car accident and compassionate communication, Duncan Ebata of Shift! Food in Wolfville, NS, sent me this question on Instagram: “How do we structure conversations to have more compassion and still get what we need done?” Great question! How can we … 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 #1 Way to Increase Success With Customers & Prospects

By Mary Jane Copps | September 9, 2018

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. … Read more

Strategies for Difficult Conversations – Part IV

By Mary Jane Copps | June 3, 2018

For all of us, no matter where we’ve lived, where we’ve travelled or what languages we speak, a phone call with an unfamiliar accent can be a challenge. What I discovered, when I moved from the Northern Ontario mining town of my childhood to Toronto, … 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

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 … 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 … 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

Taking A Road Trip … On The Phone

By Mary Jane Copps | August 13, 2017

It’s possible for any of us to hang up at the end of a phone call and realize we allowed the conversation to get totally off track and we’ve ended up without the information we need. Reluctantly, we call back … or send a quick … Read more

Case Study: Lessons from a Cold Call to The Phone Lady

By Mary Jane Copps | July 23, 2017

One thing I tell everyone: “If you want to get better on the phone, use the phone more often and learn from each conversation.” How did that cold call make you feel? What were your reactions during that customer service experience? There’s something to be learned … Read more

5 Simple Steps To An Excellent Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | April 9, 2017

Communicating effectively on the phone is a skill and, as with any skill, improvement comes with practice and honest critique. What’s great about the phone is you can be your own best coach by recording a few of your calls, listening carefully, and making changes … Read more

Are We Listening?

By Mary Jane Copps | February 11, 2017

For the second year, my mother-in-law is living with us for the winter months. Her home is in the village of Bear River, Nova Scotia, and the long, dark days are challenging, so she packs up a few things in December and comes to Halifax. … Read more

7 Business Growth Lessons from Dreamforce 2016

By Mary Jane Copps | October 23, 2016

One of the world’s largest conferences takes place every Fall in downtown San Francisco. Salesforce gathers together customers, suppliers, experts and icons for four days of learning, fun and inspiration called Dreamforce. This year, I was one of the 170,000 people who attended the experience, … Read more

Who’s On Your “Hot List”?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 24, 2016

Whether you are an entrepreneur building your business or a salesperson working towards making (or exceeding) budget, maintaining a “hot list” is essential to success. Simply put, a hot list contains the names of prospects that you believe are going to become customers, and it … Read more

The Language of Grief

By Mary Jane Copps | September 18, 2016

At a conference in mid-August I had the priviledge of attending a presentation by Amy Florian, CEO of Corgenius. A powerful, engaging speaker she provided everyone in the audience with a new and invaluable understanding of the language of death. I’m honoured that she has … Read more

Fewer Conversations = More Sales?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 11, 2016

“Opening is the new closing.”  Anthony Iannarino When this quote appeared on my computer screen last week … well, I wasn’t sure what to do first. I recognized the truth of these five words instantly and can’t deny that I fought back a wee bit … Read more

Ready, Set, Crunch … The Numbers You Need for Year-End Success

By Mary Jane Copps | September 4, 2016

Wow … what a crazy August it’s been for The Phone Lady. I’ve had the honour of attending a conference in Iowa, working with very energetic sales and customer service teams in Toronto and travelling to all  four Atlantic provinces in four days to share phone communication … Read more

The Second Call

By Mary Jane Copps | August 21, 2016

  This week I’m honoured to introduce you to Dimitra Chronopoulos. She and I have connected through this blog, Twitter and LinkedIn and she has generously offered to share with us one of her own “phone stories”.   Are you reluctant to make a second … Read more

Show, Don’t Tell

By Mary Jane Copps | August 14, 2016

My mother’s name was Mercy Stone Goodwill. She was only thirty years old when she took sick, a boiling hot day, standing there in her back kitchen, making a Malvern pudding for her husband’s supper. A cookery book lay open on the table: “Take some … Read more

Expectations: Yours or Theirs?

By Mary Jane Copps | July 24, 2016

Customer service often finds its way into conversations I have with family, friends and colleagues.  Whether it’s fabulous, good or deplorable, it ‘s something we all notice and we freely share our experiences with others. Good service means doing what the customer expects, and while … 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.