The Phone Lady's Blog

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small business

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

Are You Tone Deaf?

By Mary Jane Copps | March 13, 2016

One of my most closely held beliefs is that we can accomplish anything, work with anyone, see our lives, businesses and even this world of our’s evolve in anyway we wish, if we communicate effectively with each other. I’m not alone in this belief. Most of you share … Read more

What We Accept Becomes Our Reality

By Mary Jane Copps | February 28, 2016

In the 1970s, Bell Canada introduced WATS lines (Wide Area Telephone Service), providing companies access to toll-free numbers and  long distance at fixed rates. Available throughout the US in 1967, indications are that AT&T was generating a billion dollars in annual revenue though WATS lines by 1976. This is … Read more

Sound Advice: Creating Your Best Voice

By Mary Jane Copps | February 21, 2016

  In almost every workshop, someone asks me about improving the sound of their voice. While I can share the things that I do (sip water throughout the day, sing, hum), I am not an expert. I rely on the advice of Natasha Marchewka. Over the past 10 … Read more

Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Phone Skills

By Mary Jane Copps | February 14, 2016

There’s no doubt that the value of phone conversations is steadily gaining recognition by CEOs, managers and entrepreneurs. Companies large and small are realizing that talking to customers and prospects on the phone builds stronger relationships, reveals opportunities and  directly supports increased revenue. So, if email has been your … Read more

Thoughtful or Nostalgic?

By Mary Jane Copps | February 7, 2016

Bad human communication leaves us less room to grow. – Rowan Williams In planning a trip to Toronto last month, I took on the challenge of setting up meetings with senior decision makers at a large multi-national organization. I’ve done a fair bit of work for the company locally and regionally, … Read more

Combining Persistence and Gratitude

By Mary Jane Copps | January 31, 2016

I’m honoured to share with you a post from my colleague and friend, Steve Foran. His story on prospecting actually inspired a few tears on my part – in a good way. Read on:  Last weekend I experienced a collision between my philosophies of gratitude and effective phone communication. Both philosophies … Read more

The Gifts of Selling

By Mary Jane Copps | January 10, 2016

I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about sales – how difficult it is to find good salespeople, why this is the case and why so many entrepreneurs struggle with the sales part of building their businesses. My own evolution as a salesperson was far from easy, … Read more

The One Word Resolution

By Mary Jane Copps | January 2, 2016

Doors will be opened for those who dare to knock.  I haven’t kept any statistics, but I’d say I have about a 98% fail rate at keeping New Year’s Resolutions.  I can only think of two that I’ve kept diligently for several years – read more books (which … Read more

The Challenge of Living My Brand

By Mary Jane Copps | December 13, 2015

One of the disciplines I ask all my clients to embrace is persistence. Why? Because it’s always served me well. Since the beginning of my career in business-to-business phone sales (way back in 1987) up to today, persistence has garnered me more trust, more revenue and more recognition than any other skill, system … Read more

Learning is Uncomfortable

By Mary Jane Copps | November 15, 2015

“To be outstanding, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”  Alrick Koundenburg I’m reminded of these wise words every time I face a room of young students, some of them with pens poised, others with fingers hovering over keyboards. They are hoping I will say the one thing that will … Read more

What’s This About?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 8, 2015

It was a typical weekday morning – I was rushing to get out the door. I’m  not sure why, but no matter how much I plan ahead, I always find myself rushing in the morning.  Then our home phone – a landline – rang at 8:14 am. That’s … Read more

Conversation Leads to Possibility

By Mary Jane Copps | November 1, 2015

After a particularly hectic week, I chose to  lie low on Friday  night and listen to the radio while reviewing both email and hurriedly scratched notes that needed further attention. It was a very fortunate decision on my part because CBC’s show Ideas is celebrating its 50th Anniversay, … Read more

Creating Fewer Decisions

By Mary Jane Copps | October 25, 2015

Decision fatigue is one of the biggest challenges impacting communication today, so it’s worth revisiting this information I first published in 2015. It is estimated that adults make 35,000 decisions each day – which does sound ridiculous, but when we consider that each email we receive involves a … Read more

5 Lessons in Creating Conversation

By Mary Jane Copps | October 18, 2015

The relationship is the conversation. Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations Oh, how I wish I’d written that sentence! In five words, Susan Scott has summarized my deepest belief about the value of the telephone – it allows us to participate in conversation with anyone, anywhere at anytime. And … Read more

What Is Your Intention?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 27, 2015

  Many of my clients are people who never – ever – wanted to “sell” anything. They are: Owners of startups, passionate and knowledgeable about the product they’ve created but now need to produce revenue; Franchisees with tons of relevant knowledge about their product or service, but absolutely … Read more

The #1 Way To Build Relationships

By Mary Jane Copps | September 13, 2015

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something. Plato My summer months were filled with delightful social situations, but The Phone Lady part of my brain doesn’t always understand the word “vacation”. It still observes and analyzes, feeding my seemingly endless curiosity … Read more

What’s So Great About Fall?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 7, 2015

Yup – that’s a red maple leaf that crossed my path during my Labour Day travels. It’s a colourful reminder that … it’s September. And whether or not you live where leaves become yellow, orange and red, it’s still the final four months of 2015. Now is the time to “crunch” … Read more

When Does Voicemail Matter?

By Mary Jane Copps | August 22, 2015

It started in December 2014, when Coca Cola announced that it was eliminating voicemail at head office. Then in June, Daniel Huang of The Wall Street Journal, contacted me to comment on major US banks shutting down voicemail for some internal departments. This reality – that business might some day … Read more

Response: When & How to Leave the Details

By Mary Jane Copps | July 19, 2015

Welcome to a guest post by Linda Daley, owner of Daley Progress. She had an immediate reaction to my last post and agreed to share her thoughts with us. Linda helps busy business owners build relationships and their reputation through their newsletters. Read her articles on the Work Better, Not Harder … Read more

How To Cold Call Even When You Are Afraid

By Mary Jane Copps | July 5, 2015

Welcome to the second guest post by Scott Davis, owner of Davis Writing Solutions, documenting his discovery of the power of phone communication. His dedication to his craft – and to embracing phone communication – is inspirational. Enjoy and share!  Does the thought of making cold calls scare you? I’ve … Read more

Saving the Best for Last

By Mary Jane Copps | April 26, 2015

Welcome to the third in a series of posts by Leslie Gallagher, owner of Worklocal.jobs, documenting her discovery of the power of phone communication. I’ve been inspired by the joy, excitement and success she’s generated while developing her new skills – and I hope you are too. Enjoy and share!  When I … Read more

The Truth About Phone Skills

By Mary Jane Copps | April 12, 2015

Welcome to the second in a series of posts by Leslie Gallagher, owner of Worklocal.jobs, documenting her discovery of the power of phone communication. I’ve been inspired by the joy, excitement and success she’s generated while developing her new skills – and I hope you are too. Enjoy and share!  I never … Read more

The Price of Arrogance

By Mary Jane Copps | April 5, 2015

I’m no stranger to arrogance . . . and neither are you. All of us, from time to time, believe we know better, have “the” answer, are smarter or more important. It ‘s human nature for our ego to occasionally take over in this way. Hopefully we catch … Read more

Networking with Your Voice

By Mary Jane Copps | March 28, 2015

Just over a month ago, I was introduced to Leslie Gallagher with a request to help her pick up the phone. Her ability to own her discomfort and her determination to learn a new skill has been inspiring. She’s agreed to share her experiences with us in a … Read more

The 3 Basics of Effective Phone Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | February 28, 2015

A dear friend of mine used to say “There are three possible answers to every question – yes, no and I don’t know.” I’m reminded of the wisdom of these words often, especially when it comes to the telephone. Effective phone communication is direct and honest. Without the benefit … Read more

The Evolution of Phone Manners

By Mary Jane Copps | January 25, 2015

From time to time, in a workshop or in conversation, people will challenge me on what I believe to be true about today’s telephone etiquette. “That’s not what I was taught,” they’ll say. Or, “I’ve been doing it the same way for years, and it works for me.” … Read more

Random Actions vs Clear Process

By Mary Jane Copps | November 23, 2014

Defining a sales process –  and being disciplined about it –  is a common challenge for both salespeople and entrepreneurs. I want to offer a solution so you can meet – or exceed – your sales goals for 2015.  I’ve designed a new one-day workshop – Create Consistent Revenue – that I’m … Read more

Creating Tomorrow’s Revenue

By Mary Jane Copps | November 16, 2014

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. Robert Louis Stevenson In seven weeks The Phone Lady will enter its ninth year of business – which both astonishes and delights me. All these years of teaching, coaching, networking and consulting allow me to … Read more

Making Things Happen

By Mary Jane Copps | September 1, 2014

Part of being The Phone Lady is accepting some criticism – and cynicism – about the work I do. Reactions range from “Cold calling is dead” to “You do what? Who could possibly need information on how to talk on the phone!” This doesn’t deter me. I know … 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.