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The Phone Lady's Blog

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selling by phone

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. … Read more

Are You “Polite-ing” Yourself Out of Conversation?

By Mary Jane Copps | May 4, 2018

With some frequency, people ask me, “What is today’s phone etiquette?” I always hesitate to answer. Maybe the word ‘etiquette’ makes me stumble. It comes from the Old French estiquette, meaning label or ticket, and refers to a tradition from the 1700s of small cards with … Read more

A Lesson From The Front Row

By Mary Jane Copps | March 11, 2018

She was one of the last arrivals to the workshop and ended up sitting in the front row. In the crowded space, I could almost reach out and touch her. For 90 minutes I was aware of her furrowed brow and how, when others laughed … Read more

When Does The Meeting Start?

By Mary Jane Copps | February 18, 2018

This past week, one of my coaching clients had an “aha moment” that will forever change her attitude to the phone calls she is required to make. She spoke to me about this revelation with such clarity that I need to share it with you … 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 … Read more

Case Study: Lessons from a Cold Call to The Phone Lady

By Mary Jane Copps | July 23, 2017

One thing I tell everyone: “If you want to get better on the phone, use the phone more often and learn from each conversation.” How did that cold call make you feel? What were your reactions during that customer service experience? There’s something to be learned … 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, … Read more

Your Clients Are Your Best Prospects

By Mary Jane Copps | April 2, 2017

Declining revenue is one of the reasons entrepreneurs and salespeople contact me for one-to-one coaching. Many have made the common mistake of focusing so much time and attention on current clients, they have few, if any, prospects ready to become paying customers. I call this the … 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 … Read more

A Telephone Truth

By Mary Jane Copps | February 18, 2017

It is true that every phone call is an interruption. This is not new; it has been the case since Alexander Graham Bell invented the technology. We are always doing something else when our phone rings and this makes the caller responsible for grabbing our … 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 … Read more

Reframe the Challenge; Create the Best Question

By Mary Jane Copps | November 13, 2016

There’s a direct relationship between the words we use on the phone and our ability to uncover new opportunities and increase our revenue. When your prospecting calls aren’t having the desired impact, examine the language you’re using. A quick edit can make a big difference. My friend … 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, … Read more

Categories of Cold Calls

By Mary Jane Copps | October 16, 2016

Before you get completely overwhelmed by even the thought of making a cold call, one of the things you need to do is take a few moments to determine what type of cold call suits your service or product. The task may be much less … 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 … 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 … Read more

Fewer Conversations = More Sales?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 11, 2016

“Opening is the new closing.”  Anthony Iannarino When this quote appeared on my computer screen last week … well, I wasn’t sure what to do first. I recognized the truth of these five words instantly and can’t deny that I fought back a wee bit … 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 … 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 … 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 … 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 … 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 … Read more

The Automatic “No”

By Mary Jane Copps | July 9, 2016

My husband (David Potter) tells a funny – and embarrassing – story about me and my tendency to say “no”. In our early years together he would often call me at work with an invitation to go somewhere or do something. He’d be all enthused … 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 … 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 … Read more

What’s Your Anthem?

By Mary Jane Copps | June 18, 2016

It is incontestable that music induces in us a sense of the infinite and the contemplation of the invisible. ~Victor de LaPrade The 1931 IBM song “Ever Onward” was one of over 80 musical numbers included in the company songbook. It was performed at company … 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 … 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 … 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 … Read more

The Language of Following Up – Part One

By Mary Jane Copps | May 14, 2016

Early in April I received a sales call that caught my attention. It was from VoiceAmerica; they produce podcasts. In her voicemail message, the woman who called identified herself as a “producer” and used words that sparked my interest, i.e. discovered you, the research we’ve done, … Read more

We can now curate who we talk to in a way that wasn’t thinkable when a bulky landline phone rang with anonymous urgency. Listen in here.
CBCs-The-Current
CRTC has recently taken new steps to fight fraud calls and phone scams. Read (and listen) to what Mary Jane has to say about this problem.
Cold Calls: The Psychology Behind the Human Voice - listen to this podcast featuring The Phone Lady.
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
Episode featuring The Phone Lady - watch Telephone Lessons for Millennials.
The Wall Street Journal.
Some on Wall Street are hanging up on voicemail. See what The Phone Lady has to say.