The Phone Lady's Blog

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The Truth About Phone Skills

By Mary Jane Copps | April 12, 2015

Welcome to the second in a series of posts by Leslie Gallagher, owner of, documenting her discovery of the power of phone communication. I’ve been inspired by the joy, excitement and success she’s generated while developing her new skills – and I hope you are too. Enjoy and share!  I never … Read more

Networking with Your Voice

By Mary Jane Copps | March 28, 2015

Just over a month ago, I was introduced to Leslie Gallagher with a request to help her pick up the phone. Her ability to own her discomfort and her determination to learn a new skill has been inspiring. She’s agreed to share her experiences with us in a … Read more

Fun … and Productive!

By Mary Jane Copps | March 14, 2015

I want to share with you one of the highlights of my week. Actually, let me revise that – one of the highlights of my career as The Phone Lady. The past few years have revealed that many young people (I’ll say those under 30) do not talk … Read more

Expose Your Assumptions

By Mary Jane Copps | March 8, 2015

My husband is my most valuable teacher. While the lessons can sometimes be contentious and uncomfortable, they always provide me with new insight and important knowledge about myself and human nature in general. Such is the case with assumptions. For many years, any time we were in one of the … Read more

The 3 Basics of Effective Phone Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | February 28, 2015

A dear friend of mine used to say “There are three possible answers to every question – yes, no and I don’t know.” I’m reminded of the wisdom of these words often, especially when it comes to the telephone. Effective phone communication is direct and honest. Without the benefit … Read more

Give Yourself What You Need

By Mary Jane Copps | October 5, 2014

“When you’re prepared, you’re more confident. When you have a strategy, you’re more comfortable.” Fred Couples Speaking on the phone has a lot in common with public speaking. And according to a wide variety of studies and surveys, public speaking is the #1 fear of North Americans. So it’s … Read more

One Step, One Dial

By Mary Jane Copps | June 8, 2014

I have a very clear memory of the first time I met Crane Stookey. It was on a blustery winter’s evening and I was giving a two-hour presentation on phone skills. I may be mistaken, but I believe he was in the launch stages of his business, figuring … Read more

How to Overcome Phone Fear

By Mary Jane Copps | April 27, 2014
peaking at old phone

Five years before I was born, an accident took place that had a huge impact on my life. A truck carrying metal rods came to a sudden stop in front of the car my dad was driving. One of the rods went through the windshield on the passenger … Read more

Beware The Enthusiast!

By Mary Jane Copps | January 26, 2014

We’ve all experienced it – a conversation with someone about an idea or product or service and they practically gush with enthusiasm. They ask great questions, add valuable information, want to participate. They lift our spirits and increase our optimism. But there’s a dark side. I encountered it … Read more

The Phone Loves a Tight Deadline!

By Mary Jane Copps | December 9, 2013

For this, my 174th blog post, I am delighted to introduce my first guest writer, Maureen Farmer of Word Right Career & HR Consulting This is the story of Hanipe. Originally from Africa, Hanipe came to Canada after completing her combined business and IT degrees in the U.S. … Read more

3 “Must-Do’s” for B2B Phone Sales in 2014 (Part I)

By Mary Jane Copps | December 1, 2013

If you or your team are responsible for reaching business decision makers by phone, you need to acknowledge the subtle shifts that have taken place in the past two years. And then you have to adapt … or see both revenue and morale falter. The first and most … Read more

Quickly Creating a Negative Impression

By Mary Jane Copps | November 17, 2013

This past Thursday, while doing some phonework, I encountered a phone option that, while I knew of its existence, I’d never experienced in a business setting. And I hope I never do again! Here’s the story: I had about 90 minutes to spend on a client project and … Read more

Not Only Words, But Nuance

By Mary Jane Copps | November 3, 2013

The most powerful gift of phone communication is – nuance. Coming from the French “nuer”, meaning to shade, nuance is about subtle differences in tone, in colour, in meaning – the differences that, when we hear them, allow us to truly serve our customers and potential customers. While … Read more

The Five “Why’s” of Leaving Messages

By Mary Jane Copps | September 29, 2013

“Ninety percent of all those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit.” Paul J. Meyer So pleased this quote landed in my inbox. While it certainly supports my thoughts on persistence last week, it also applies to this week’s topic – leaving messages. Over the past … Read more

Precision and Silence

By Mary Jane Copps | March 24, 2013

This is an inspired blog … inspired by Brookes Diamond to be exact. I had the pleasure of running into him on Barrington Street on Tuesday – looking very dapper I  might add. (Brookes and Fiona Diamond are amazing entrepreneurs, currently creating heritage entertainment for Canada and the … Read more

Creativity, Logic and Noise

By Mary Jane Copps | March 17, 2013

Phonework contains a unique combination of creativity and logic that has captivated me for 26 years. The writer in me embraces the language challenges – finding the right words and presenting them in the right way to clearly communicate ideas and inspire conversation. Effective phonework is closely related … Read more

Powerful Words: What

By Mary Jane Copps | February 4, 2013

When we pick up the phone to call a customer or a potential customer, our objective should be to inspire conversation. With our customers, we want to learn more about them, find out how we can provide more or better service. After all, they are the ones that … 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: Or

By Mary Jane Copps | January 20, 2013

No matter why we pick up a phone – to close a sale, book a meeting, connect with a customer or resolve a service issue  – being able to inspire a conversation holds tremendous value. It is through conversation that we can: *hear opinions, thoughts and feelings; *encourage … 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

Powerful Words: The Language of Effective Telephone Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | January 6, 2013

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed a peaceful holiday season and that 2013 holds not only prosperity but a few dreams come true for each of us. This quote has been following me around the past few weeks: “I like good strong words that mean something.” Louisa … Read more

It’s All In The Name …

By Mary Jane Copps | November 11, 2012

How you answer your business telephone – be it a land line or a cellphone – tells your customers a lot about you and the service you provide. If you want to deliver “awesome” follow the simple guidelines below: 1)     Express your desire to be of service. Don’t … 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.