The Phone Lady's Blog

Inspire Conversation

listening skills

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

The Power and Beauty of the Human Voice

By Mary Jane Copps | July 17, 2016

In 2003 a friend encouraged me to start a business centred on phone communication skills. I was skeptical.  He insisted. At this point, I’d been working with him part-time for 2 years, and he’d listened to me as I’d grown his software business from 11 clients … Read more

Summer’s Ease = Opportunity

By Mary Jane Copps | July 2, 2016

It is tempting. I’m struggling with it a bit myself – a desire to slow down, go to the beach, read on the deck  – basically behave like I did in elementary school and September seemed a very distant possibility. But don’t give in to that temptation … Read more

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

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

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 #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

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 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

Your Brand is Your Promise

By Mary Jane Copps | December 6, 2015

  Picking up on last week’s post about why branding matters, I welcome back  Jay Hiltz, Partner & Creative Director,  Kohoot Media. Jay is the creator of The Phone Lady logo. Its vibrant colours and friendly, phone-focused attitude has contributed immeasurably to the growth of this … 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

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

The #1 Reason We Don’t Listen

By Mary Jane Copps | September 20, 2015

“People hearing without listening.” Simon & Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence This is something we all do – every day. We hear the people around us speaking – family members, co-workers, customers, prospects – but we don’t really listen to what they are saying. Why … Read more

The #1 Way To Build Relationships

By Mary Jane Copps | September 13, 2015

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something. Plato My summer months were filled with delightful social situations, but The Phone Lady part of my brain doesn’t always understand the word “vacation”. It still observes and analyzes, feeding my … Read more

When We Communicate …

By Mary Jane Copps | August 30, 2015

“Some opportunities knock softly. Pay attention” Mark Hobbs, Partner, Fundmetric One thing I know to be true after 28 years as an entrepreneur: “You just never know”. Something seemingly insignificant can turn out to be an amazing opportunity and …vice versa. Our ability to notice … Read more

Mary Jane shares her wisdom on lead generation, lead follow-up, and sales strategy on this podcast with Krystal Hobbs.
Recently Mary Jane was interviewed for an article in Our Children Magazine about reconnecting kids with the art of communication. Read 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.
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.