The Phone Lady's Blog

Inspire Conversation

sales skills

“I’m Absolutely Loving This Conversation …”

By Mary Jane Copps | April 22, 2018

Conversation is how we continually increase our sales, retain our customers and reveal opportunities. It is the key to exceeding expectations and creating consistent business growth, yet many of us have developed the habit of avoiding conversation. We default to text communication where we can edit our words, … 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

7 Ways to Reach Potential Sponsors With A New Idea

By Mary Jane Copps | January 7, 2018

On June 22, for the first time, Halifax will join a world-wide community in celebrating Social Media Day (originally launched in 2010 by Mashable to recognize and honour the impact of social media on global communication) with a full-day conference focused on learning, sharing and growing. Organizers of … Read more

Think BIG for Client Retention

By Mary Jane Copps | August 27, 2017

Recently an entrepreneur I coach was feeling defeated by the loss of a long-time corporate client in Montreal. Persistent phone follow up had resulted in receiving an impersonal email saying the firm’s current focus was working with Quebec-based trainers. But she knew her work was unique and already … 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

Focused Calls: As Easy As 1-2-3-4

By Mary Jane Copps | February 26, 2017

Losing control of a phone conversation is a challenge that often comes up in my coaching sessions and workshops. As a conversation expands, one or both parties bounce from topic to topic and the call ends without essential information being shared or the most crucial questions being asked. … 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

Ignorant Sales Calls Alienate Potential Customers

By Mary Jane Copps | November 6, 2016

One of the first salary cheques I ever signed (back in 1988) was for an employee whose job seems a bit ridiculous today. She read magazines and newspapers, listened to specific radio and television programs, and provided me with detailed information on individuals I could cold call. Every … Read more

Here’s Why Your Sales Calls Aren’t Working

By Mary Jane Copps | October 28, 2016

Attending Dreamforce 2016 in early October continues to provide me with unexpected – and incredibly valuable – business lessons, including new knowledge about today’s sales calls and why so many people think the “cold call is dead”. Whether you are in sales or customer service, creating results-oriented follow-up … Read more

Who’s On Your “Hot List”?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 24, 2016

Whether you are an entrepreneur building your business or a salesperson working towards making (or exceeding) budget, maintaining a “hot list” is essential to success. Simply put, a hot list contains the names of prospects that you believe are going to become customers, and it includes an estimate … Read more

The Language of Grief

By Mary Jane Copps | September 18, 2016

At a conference in mid-August I had the priviledge of attending a presentation by Amy Florian, CEO of Corgenius. A powerful, engaging speaker she provided everyone in the audience with a new and invaluable understanding of the language of death. I’m honoured that she has agreed to provide … Read more

Ready, Set, Crunch … The Numbers You Need for Year-End Success

By Mary Jane Copps | September 4, 2016

Wow … what a crazy August it’s been for The Phone Lady. I’ve had the honour of attending a conference in Iowa, working with very energetic sales and customer service teams in Toronto and travelling to all  four Atlantic provinces in four days to share phone communication skills with startups. … Read more

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 phone call when … 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 slices of stale … Read more

Whose Time Are You Wasting?

By Mary Jane Copps | August 7, 2016

  This summer I’ve had the honour of working with smart, dedicated, enthusiastic sales teams. While each group was unique, they all shared a passion for their work, for learning and  for understanding  the “why” of today’s effective phone communication. This resulted in training sessions so full of ideas … 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 this sounds simple, … 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 to over 100 … 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 because you’ll miss … Read more

Mid-Year Logic for Year-End Success

By Mary Jane Copps | June 26, 2016

The summer I turned 18, I spent as much time as possible at my sister’s cabin, an isolated homestead deep in the woods of Northern Ontario. And I often brought along a friend to enjoy the canoeing, reading, swimming and hiking. One friend came prepared for the possibility … Read more

4 Steps to a Great Vacation Message

By Mary Jane Copps | June 11, 2016

It’s coming! Even though here on the Atlantic coast we’ve seen more fog and cloud than sun, we know that summer is on it’s way, bringing well-deserved vacation time and …voice mail vacation messages. In the excitement of summer vacation – or really any vacation – people become, … 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 it tomorrow, tomorrow, … 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 stage of sharing … Read more

Follow Up as Art – Part Two

By Mary Jane Copps | May 22, 2016

The phrase “follow up” can be defined as an activity carried out in order to further develop earlier work. For me this brings to mind the stages involved in creating a painting, or sculpture, or writing a book. For all works of art, there is a constant returning, a … 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 … but that isn’t … 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 the telephone and … 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 that can – … Read more

The Cold Call – It’s Essential Research

By Mary Jane Copps | April 17, 2016

I recently received a phone call from a woman working for Pitney Bowes. Her call was the  4th or 5th call I’ve received from the company this year. She wanted to sell/lease me a postage meter. (When I mentioned these calls to the young participants in a workshop, they asked … 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 to connect with … 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 call. Someone begins speaking … 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. While Debbie’s essay … 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.