The Phone Lady's Blog

Inspire Conversation

prospecting

Adventures in Sales: Reaching an Important Milestone

By Tegan Samija | November 26, 2023
woman at desk on video call with man

In my previous update on adventures in sales, I shared that I was having lots of positive first conversations with prospects, but was struggling to book follow-up calls for my team. Today I’m excited to share that I’ve now successfully booked my first follow-up calls! These secondary conversations have … Read more

Adventures in Sales #3: Gaining Momentum and Staying Curious

By Tegan Samija | August 26, 2023
female sales rep exlpaining to male client

As the long summer days of August come to an end, my new role as a sales development representative with a learning and development company is in full swing. In my previous update, I was excited to have just completed my very first sales call and had a … 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

Getting Curious About Curiosity

By Mary Jane Copps | April 28, 2023

Did you know that curiosity can help us overcome a fear or anxiety? That it can show us a way to navigate stressful situations? Neither did I … until recently. While scrolling through available audiobooks on business topics at my local library, a particular title caught my attention. … 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

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

The Logic of Employing Empathy

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

The details we can uncover about an individual or an organization through a website, a Google search or reviewing an internal file are all extremely valuable and they do support our ability to be a storyfinder. But often, they are only the tip of the iceberg. The deeper … Read more

How Will Allison Inspire Conversation? Case Study Part II

By Mary Jane Copps | June 6, 2020
woman speaking on the phone

Several weeks ago Allison Smith of Dandelion Digital approached me with this question: Do you have resources on how to do this diligent research of ideal prospects? Since I did not have a downloadable resource to share with her (yes, this is now on the “to do” list), I … Read more

7 Steps to Rejuvenate Your Sales Plan

By Mary Jane Copps | May 16, 2020
using calculator

For many businesses and individuals, the plan they created earlier this year to reach their financial goals is now obsolete. And with so many unknowns still in play, likely for some time to come, it can be difficult to create a new plan that delivers results quickly. There’s … 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

Serious About Creating Consistent Revenue? You Need CRM Software, Not a Spreadsheet!

By Mary Jane Copps | January 31, 2020
man talking on the phone while checking his laptop

Almost every small business owner I’ve worked with starts out keeping track of prospects using a spreadsheet. They carefully choose and set up the columns. Then they add to it weekly, sometimes daily, listing all the people they’ve spoken to and a bit of information about what was … 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

Your Job Search Super Power – Step 2: Making Your Company List

By Miriam Jobin | August 4, 2019
logging into LinkedIn

It was October 13 – my birthday. I was seated at a candle-lit table at the rotating restaurant in the Calgary Tower with my beautiful mom and a view of the entire city. The next day she would be dropping me off at a huge trade centre, where … Read more

What’s With Persistence?

By Mary Jane Copps | December 9, 2018

When I stand in front of a group of entrepreneurs or salespeople and talk about persistence, almost everyone squirms in their seat. The discomfort around following up, making multiple calls and connections, is almost universal. Why? I think it’s about semantics, the words we use and the stories … Read more

Our #1 Responsibility as Entrepreneurs & Salespeople

By Mary Jane Copps | September 22, 2018

Whenever I work with entrepreneurs I ask them: “What is your first and most important responsibility?” The popular answer is “make money”, and of course this is vital. But at the top of the priority list is … letting your target market know you exist. The emphasis is … Read more

What I’m Using: Refract.ai

By Mary Jane Copps | July 7, 2018

As a tool for improving phone conversations, artificial intelligence was sitting in a distant corner of my priority list, until Krystal Hobbs introduced me to Jim Brown who interviewed me on his podcast Sales Tuners which was heard by Richard Smith of Refract.ai who called me and booked … 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 rang, I didn’t … Read more

What Prospects Think When You Don’t Follow Up

By Mary Jane Copps | October 1, 2017
businessman waiting for meeting

My phone rang last Wednesday at 4:08 pm,  just as I was settling in to do some prospecting calls. It was my colleague and friend Steve Foran, CEO of Gratitude at Work. It’s always great to talk with Steve; he’s incredibly energetic, knowledgeable and generous. But this call related … Read more

How to Find Your “Who”

By Mary Jane Copps | August 6, 2017

A coaching client recently expressed her dismay at not being provided the right contact name within a large organization. She was allowing this to impact her prospecting goals. Within minutes I had her back on track with the names of several individuals that could be her perfect contact. … Read more

What Do Cakes and Phone Calls Have in Common?

By Mary Jane Copps | May 6, 2017

Last week I baked a cake to celebrate a friend’s 90th birthday. While I was decorating it, I realized that my ability to create a CHOCOLATE PECAN TORTE recipe and my phone skills have something in common, something simple that anyone can do to give themselves both confidence and … Read more

6 Steps to Get You On The Phone!

By Mary Jane Copps | April 23, 2017

We all procrastinate about something. Whether it relates to our finances, home repairs, writing projects or exercise, each of us has at least one thing we know we must do … but we don’t. (Housework tops my list!) While procrastination may simply be a natural human characteristic, it’s important to … 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 based on what … Read more

Are You A Reluctant Salesperson? Own Your Value!

By Mary Jane Copps | March 25, 2017

In the winter of 1988 I had to find a solution to a big problem. The previous Fall, I had put a mortgage on our family home to start my first business and the revenue being generated was, optimistically, unreliable. In reality it was … non-existent. My husband … Read more

The Secret Power of Questions

By Mary Jane Copps | March 12, 2017

What if I told you that by simply asking a question, you can capture the full attention and focus of your audience? And what if I also said that asking questions can predict future behaviour? I’m guessing a few of you would think I’ve exchanged common sense for … Read more

Fewer Words, More Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | March 5, 2017

The most important outcome of speaking with a prospect – or existing client – is learning more about them. Our ability to serve is directly connected to how much we understand their needs, challenges and goals. Yet many times we end a phone conversation without learning anything new. … Read more

As the Expert, You Choose What’s Best

By Mary Jane Copps | February 4, 2017

It does seem logical to communicate with a prospect or client in the same way they’ve communicated with us (i.e. they send us an email, we answer by email, etc.) but experience has taught me, many times, this is often not the best choice. Every medium (email, text, phone, … Read more

When You Add A Phone Call …

By Mary Jane Copps | January 29, 2017

LinkedIn is a very valuable tool for me. I interact with it in some way everyday – connecting with clients, researching prospects, reading business news, and learning from people all around the world. These are standard things that most of us do on LinkedIn. I’d never considered being … Read more

One Simple Step to Increase Follow-Up Success

By Mary Jane Copps | January 8, 2017

Do you recognize this situation? You meet with a potential new client and have a great discussion. They are honest and open about their challenges; you present thoughtful and well-received ideas for possible solutions. They request a proposal and follow up. You deliver the proposal on time and … Read more

The Simplest Way to Increase Sales

By Mary Jane Copps | December 4, 2016

Since attending Dreamforce in October, I’ve received dozens of sales calls and even more prospecting emails … and I’m grateful. Each of these has provided me with valuable insight into why some companies, both large and small, are struggling to meet their sales goals. Here is an analysis … Read more

Crowded Marketplace? Share Your Truth!

By Mary Jane Copps | November 20, 2016

Massive competition is something many entrepreneurs and salespeople face every day. Those in real estate or insurance are good examples, but it also applies to those in software, selling customer relationship management or accounting systems. When you know you are one of many, how do you get your prospect’s … 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.