The Phone Lady's Blog

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phone sales

How Do You Audit Your Sales Process?

By Mary Jane Copps | June 15, 2024

In the past year, I’ve been a prospect—and ultimately a purchaser—fairly often. I’ve been making some major home repairs, replacing important technology, and interviewing suppliers for things I plan to do in the near future. Throughout each meeting and conversation, my curiosity is fully engaged. My awareness is … Read more

Creating a Cold Call that Works

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

Late on Wednesday afternoon, my business phone rang. Being “The Phone Lady”, I answered it. The person at the other end gave me their name, their company (one of Canada’s large telecoms), and verified my identity. My reply was immediate: “I’ll let you know right away that I’m … Read more

5 Revelations about Phone Conversations in Today’s Workplace

By Mary Jane Copps | March 10, 2024
woman looking at phone with a shocked look on her face

Over the past 40 days, I’ve been hard at work completing a research project that’s very appropriate for The Phone Lady. It was inspired by a quick conversation last summer with a trusted colleague. We met on our neighbourhood trail in the early morning. Initially, he whizzed by … Read more

What Do We Undervalue?

By Mary Jane Copps | February 25, 2024

Following through on an idea, especially one that involves using unfamiliar skills or putting ourselves in the spotlight, is a tremendous challenge. The possibilities of failure, appearing foolish or wasting one’s time all conspire to create doubt and, perhaps, a bit of procrastination. I’m well acquainted with this … Read more

Is This My #1 Conversation Skill?

By Mary Jane Copps | December 9, 2023

In less than six weeks “The Phone Lady” will be 18 years old. For this, I am both amazed and constantly grateful. In the beginning, the work was all about sales, working with teams and individuals to enhance their phone skills and confidence. Over the years, this expanded … Read more

10 Words To Change How You Think About Sales

By Mary Jane Copps | September 30, 2023
woman talking on the phone while looking at her tablet

“So well said! That just blew my mind…” This appeared in Chat recently while delivering the final webinar in my seven-part proactive calling series. It definitely caught me off guard. I get a lot of positive reactions to the skills I share but I think this was the … Read more

One Simple Skill To Improve Every Outbound Call

By Mary Jane Copps | September 9, 2023
business man talking on the phone

In the summer before my last year of high school, I landed my first job that involved answering a telephone. It was in the administrative offices of an iron ore mine in Northern Ontario. This was 48 years ago, in 1975. It was a time when there were … Read more

Is This “Just” Another Blog Post?

By Mary Jane Copps | August 13, 2023
man talking on the phone while looking at laptop screen

Long-standing clients are the best gift I receive from being The Phone Lady. Earlier this month I had the privilege of delivering a workshop with an organization that’s trusted me for more than a decade. So fun! As I was wrapping up the customer-service-focused afternoon, the supervising staff … Read more

Adventures in Sales #2: Losing and Regaining Confidence

By Tegan Samija | July 22, 2023
female sales person on phone call

“You’re trying to sell to Fortune 500 companies?? And you’re doing this all by yourself, with NO experience? WOW, I couldn’t imagine being thrown more into the deep end than that!” I was on a call with a sales professional I had connected with after reading his book, … Read more

Creating a Great Impression, Miscommunication & Getting Answers

By Mary Jane Copps | July 9, 2023
young man talking on the phone

Whether it’s part of your work in sales or customer service, or phone conversations are part of your job search strategy, you want to continually practice the skills for creating a great impression. You also want to know ways to deal with a wide variety of communication hazards, … Read more

Summer School is Now in Session!

By Mary Jane Copps | June 23, 2023
woman using cell phone

Summer officially started this past Wednesday. There are very few places in the world as delightful as Atlantic Canada in the summer and I’m aiming to take full advantage. As I was thinking about the time I will spend with family and friends over the next two months, … Read more

Ignorance Shatters Sales Skills

By Mary Jane Copps | May 13, 2023
woman talking on the phone

In case you’d like to listen to this blog post, you can enjoy my audio version (I start at the 14 second mark.). – listen here. This past week I answered a call from an unfamiliar number in Ontario. There was a cheerful woman at the other end … Read more

Coaching Tips for Call Reluctance

By Mary Jane Copps | February 11, 2023
woman talking on the phone

Over the past 35 years, I’ve spent a lot of time reading resumes and interviewing candidates to fill proactive calling positions. It’s something my clients still ask me to do. And what was true in 1987 is still true today. Finding the right people is challenging because … … Read more

Coaching Tips for Phone Anxiety

By Mary Jane Copps | January 29, 2023

Both making and taking phone calls require skills. Whether you are managing a team responsible for these tasks, or you’re coaching yourself, you need to be able to distinguish between phone phobia/fear and phone anxiety. According to Harvard Health Publishing, a phobia is a persistent, excessive, unrealistic fear … Read more

Coaching Tips for Phone Phobia

By Mary Jane Copps | January 14, 2023
young woman working at desk looking at phone

Picking up the phone to contact and speak with customers or prospects is not “old-fashioned”. There are teams dedicated to this activity in industries that range from pharmaceuticals to finance, and from janitorial to consulting. Managing these teams, and producing the desired results (or exceeding them), can be … Read more

The Importance of Pause

By Mary Jane Copps | December 18, 2022
woman having a phone conversation

It was January 2006 when I officially launched “The Phone Lady” brand. At that time, about 80% of my work was with sales teams, giving them the skills and confidence to pick up the phone and inspire great conversations. This work soon began to include customer service skills, … Read more

Are You Distinguished?

By Mary Jane Copps | December 2, 2022
man talking on the phone

Between messages relating to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, my inbox has been very crowded. What have I done with all these emails? Likely the same thing as most of you. I put checkmarks in the little left-hand boxes and hit delete. Most of the companies that put … Read more

Is This Missing From Your Conversations?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 25, 2022
man talking on the phone

Recently, while working with a team of experienced salespeople on a new outbound campaign to CEOs, I realized something was missing. But I struggled to find the right words to describe this “something”. By listening to the calls, I knew that everyone was including all the pertinent details. … Read more

Sales Tip #1 – Follow the Calendar

By Mary Jane Copps | July 15, 2022
man talking on the phone while using his laptop

Forty years ago this month I made the decision to launch my own business. As a naïve 20-something there was so much I had to learn. The biggest lesson, and the most life-changing, was that I had to learn how to sell. When I look back on the … Read more

Phone Coach Tip #1 – Use Your Voice

By Mary Jane Copps | May 7, 2022

This spring has been busy. Steady demand for business communication skills has found me clicking from webinar to webinar, delivering 30-minute, one-hour and sometimes half-day sessions on both sales and customer service. In addition, I’ve enjoyed enlightening, inspiring and productive hours as a coach to both loyal teams … Read more

Top Three Sales Skills and How To Practice Them

By Mary Jane Copps | April 24, 2021
woman talking on the phone

How do we become really good at something? Whether it is baking or golf or Minecraft, we all improve our skills by doing, by practicing. The same is true of sales. And we don’t need a special time or place to practice our sales skills. We can do … 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

Who’s On What?

By Mary Jane Copps | February 23, 2020
texting

My dad was a great lover of comedy. Born in 1920, he grew up in the era of vaudeville and silent movies (where the piano player sat below the screen at the theatre and played the soundtrack!). I loved it when he shared these memories with me. When … 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

A Hockey Legend’s Inspiration

By Mary Jane Copps | December 7, 2019
making a sales call

In our house, CBC Radio is on most of the time. Sometimes I listen intently, sometimes bits of information enter my consciousness while I’m focused on other things. This is what happened on November 28. The Current was on and a panel was discussing the latest revelations about … 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 quickly bursting with … 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

Coaching Yourself Through Setbacks

By Mary Jane Copps | February 17, 2019

In a recent workshop, a participant asked, “How can I stay focused and positive during difficult times, when no one is answering their phones or conversations aren’t resulting in booked appointments?” While I’m by no means an expert on creating optimism and enthusiasm, a recent setback taught me some important lessons. … Read more

What’s With “Talking Over”?

By Mary Jane Copps | January 5, 2019
talking on the phone

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 it mean and … Read more

The Death of Spontaneity

By Mary Jane Copps | October 28, 2018

If you’re not reaching clients or prospects on the phone, don’t take it personally. It’s part of a larger societal shift that is phasing out our relationship with spontaneous phone calls. This was clarified for me recently in a conversation with Jeff Brookhouser, President & Chief Operating Officer … 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.