The Phone Lady's Blog

Inspire Conversation

sales success

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

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

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: Getting Started as a 28-Year-Old Sales Newbie

By Mary Jane Copps | June 11, 2023
young woman working at computer with coffee cup and headset phone

I’m pleased to introduce you to Tegan Samija. With a series of posts, she’s going to share with us, in real-time, how she navigates learning to sell … everything from picking up the phone, speaking with potential clients and booking meetings. I’m joining her on this journey as … Read more

Opportunity Needs You to Get Gritty

By Mary Jane Copps | April 15, 2023
definition of grit

Throughout my 17 years as The Phone Lady, I’ve preached the value of consistent follow up. We do the work of listening to our clients and creating proposals or quotes in a timely manner. We also need to do the work of learning from their feedback and hearing … 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

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

How Are You Selling?

By Mary Jane Copps | April 23, 2022
woman and man talking

One of the biggest privileges I have as The Phone Lady is listening to my clients’ conversations. It’s amazing to be trusted with such an intimate task. This allows me to fully customize my training and coaching, and supports my ability to produce desired results quickly. It also … Read more

Exposing Every Expectation

By Mary Jane Copps | March 20, 2022
business lunch

Expectations are ever-present. From the moment we begin each day, we bring our own expectations to each experience and task. Even as I write this, I am influenced by my expectation that it will be completed within the hour. Our prospects and clients also have expectations. Influenced by … Read more

Tales About Trust

By Mary Jane Copps | March 13, 2022

Inspiring the trust of others is not a small task. It’s something quite … monumental, that moment when another human being gifts you their trust. Trust is essential to the successful growth and longevity of our businesses and yet most of us don’t give this much thought or … Read more

How to “Own Your Tone”

By Mary Jane Copps | November 28, 2021

Most of us completely ignore the tone of our voice. Of course, we realize when our anger, or sarcasm, or impatience has had an impact on others. But on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis, we remain ignorant about how our tone is impacting our conversations. And the startling truth … Read more

Preparation: Less Equals More

By Mary Jane Copps | October 17, 2021

Preparation is an essential element of storyfinding. It allows us to develop and ask great questions. The challenge is finding the right balance between scant and excessive research. The key to successful preparation lies in understanding how it supports our ability to discover more through conversation. Don’t be … Read more

29 Weeks = Number Crunching Time

By Mary Jane Copps | June 5, 2021
man using calculator at desk

It’s true. As of June 6, when we post this blog, there will be 29 weeks until the end of 2021. That’s hard to believe. This is almost mid-year for many of you. And definitely, an ideal time to look at your sales performance and make any necessary … Read more

Peggy’s Persistence Keeps Paying Off

By Mary Jane Copps | May 9, 2021
man talking on video call

This week I’m re-introducing you to Peggy Issenman, owner of the graphic design firm Peggy & Co., based here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I have known Peggy for about a decade as we have friends in common and have found ourselves enjoying each other’s company at birthday and holiday … Read more

Strengthen Your Sales Process: Effective & Simple Proposals

By Mary Jane Copps | February 28, 2021
woman working onlaptop

In 2006, as I began to build The Phone Lady brand, I encountered a business protocol that really annoyed me. It was the request for a proposal. At the time I believed confirming new business should be possible with a detailed conversation. Once a solution to a prospect’s … 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

7 Ways to Showcase Your Persistence

By Mary Jane Copps | January 18, 2020

To reach your financial goal, build your business and create consistent revenue, you must embrace persistence. In last week’s post, I used a couple of different dictionaries to create a simple comparison between persistence and pestering and shared with you the value of continuing to reach out to your … 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

7 Questions to Maximize Your 77 Days

By Mary Jane Copps | September 1, 2019
planning

Welcome to September! While it does have that “fresh start” feeling, it’s important to recognize that, for most of us (depending on your work week and upcoming vacation days), there are approximately 77 days until year-end. January has that “I have a whole year” feeling; September is “crunch … Read more

What Will You Do With Your 100 Days?

By Mary Jane Copps | July 28, 2019

Are you responsible for meeting a revenue goal this year? Well, depending on your vacation plans for the rest of this summer, and allowing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, you have about 100 days left in 2019 to reach that goal. I’m not saying this to increase your stress … Read more

Please … Remind Me!

By Mary Jane Copps | June 23, 2019

Many of us worry about whether we are “pestering” our prospects and clients. They agree to a follow-up conversation but when should we call? And how often? Two recent events provided me with answers to these questions and they may eliminate these concerns for you forever. Working with … 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

Options vs Opinions

By Mary Jane Copps | January 13, 2019
woman in front of laptop

As business owners, salespeople and customer service reps, our job is to create the clearest communication possible. Yet we often confuse, and sometimes alienate, clients and prospects when we present their options tangled up with our opinions. How do options and opinions get tangled up together? How can … 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

Strategies for Difficult Conversations – Part VI

By Mary Jane Copps | June 16, 2018

While sitting with a small group of committed, engaged and effective salespeople enjoying a lively discussion about how to inspire conversations, someone shared: “But it’s so hard when no matter what question you ask, they give you a one-word answer.” Someone else quickly added, “Yeah, I ask lots of … Read more

“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

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

A Tale of 3 Assumptions

By Mary Jane Copps | July 16, 2017

Assumptions are – and always have been – vital to our survival. Since ancient times we have made assumptions that have kept us alive, while hunting for food, exploring new territories  … and building businesses. But they can also be harmful, especially to our businesses and especially when … 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.