The Phone Lady's Blog

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phone etiquette

21 Words of Wisdom

By Mary Jane Copps | August 25, 2013

This quote, by Henry David Thoreau, came across my desk this week: The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. There’s a lot of wisdom in these 21 words. Asking our customers and potential customers … Read more

What Are Others Hearing?

By Mary Jane Copps | July 22, 2013

It’s not what you say; it’s what people hear. Dr. Frank Luntz I certainly have word envy about that statement – so succinct, so true and the raison d’etre of The Phone Lady. The words we choose have a huge – and sometimes everlasting – impact on our … Read more

There’s An Echo Out There

By Mary Jane Copps | June 9, 2013

On Wednesday May 29 I returned to my office from an afternoon workshop and immediately had to dash towards the ringing phone. “Mary Jane, speaking,” I said. “How can I help you?” The person at the other end spoke over me, so I didn’t get any of their … Read more

Don’t Ask If You Can’t Listen

By Mary Jane Copps | June 2, 2013

Earlier this week I received a phone call from a friend and colleague. We are always both very busy and we usually acknowledge this with quick, graceful phone calls that respect each other’s hectic schedules. But this call arrived moments after I finished a difficult project, when I … Read more

Which One Are You?

By Mary Jane Copps | May 12, 2013

I’ve spent much of this past week prospecting for both myself and others and I’ve noted common characteristics among voicemail messages. Does your message match any of these … and what does this mean to your prospects and customers? The Flight Attendant This message has the same intonation … Read more

The First Impression

By Mary Jane Copps | May 5, 2013

All of us need to give more thought to our outbound voicemail message. Why? Because for our clients, customers, donors and prospects our voicemail is our receptionist. It is vital that this “receptionist” welcome our callers and contain our desire to be of service. In a workshop this … 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 here: While writing … 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 the telephone to … 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 of The Phone … Read more

Powerful Words: Comfortable

By Mary Jane Copps | January 13, 2013

One of the best ways to improve communication with others (on the phone, in writing and in person) is to focus on them. In other words, as I’ve shared in previous posts … It’s Not About You! Using the word “comfortable” on the phone helps you make it … Read more

When There’s Value in Being Last

By Mary Jane Copps | December 2, 2012

I’ll admit that this particular bit of advice sounds quite silly. For some of us, it evokes memories of delicious teenage telephone conversations that we couldn’t bear to have come to an end, so we fell into a game of “you hang up first – no, you hang … Read more

Who’s At The End of The Line?

By Mary Jane Copps | October 8, 2012

This past week I called the CEO’s office of a local corporation. I placed the call with great excitement because of an opportunity that’s brewing I believe is a perfect fit for them (more on this in a future post). I was also very relaxed making the call … Read more

Telephone Champions!

By Mary Jane Copps | September 17, 2012

All week a story has been forming in my mind – another disappointing customer service story inspired by none other than musician John Fogerty. But I’ve decided to save that one for another day. Perhaps it will surface during a mid-winter’s chill and warm us with its humour. … Read more

Vacation messages – It’s ugly out there!

By Mary Jane Copps | July 30, 2012

Is it the excitement of summer vacation – or any vacation – that causes people to suddenly become, well, thought-less? That’s my guess. I do empathize. There’s nothing like that last day of work before a holiday, the focus we have as we “tie up loose ends” and … Read more

A Pioneer of Social Media

By Mary Jane Copps | March 11, 2012

Saturday March 10 2012 – Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone call was made 136 years ago today. And while our interactions with this amazing invention have changed substantially, it’s probably safe to say that very few of us get through a whole day without using a telephone. Admittedly … Read more

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 >
Radio New Zealand logo
How to tackle your telephone hang-ups. People with bad cases of telephone anxiety can experience nausea, increased heart rate and shortness of breath at the sound of a ringtone. Listen in...

Phone Phobia Hits the News

Phone phobia, or telephobia, has been getting a lot of attention in the news recently. See what Mary Jane has to say about it...
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.