The Phone Lady's Blog

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Please … Don’t Forget Your “Receptionist”

By Mary Jane Copps | July 25, 2020
receptionist speaking on phone behind desk

For many, many years receptionists were an exclusive perk of the upper echelon of the business world. As an employee moved up the “corporate ladder”, they reached a point where someone else started answering their phone. You can witness this in television series and movies … 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 … Read more

How Does Summer Impact Business Phone Calls?

By Mary Jane Copps | June 9, 2019

With temperatures rising, children finishing school, cottages beckoning, and family visits being organized, there’s no doubt that some of our attention is turning toward summer vacation. As entrepreneurs and independent professionals, we need to give some extra attention to our phone communication. How are we … Read more

Are You Ignoring Your Receptionist?

By Mary Jane Copps | March 30, 2019
receptionist

Sometimes, on the most hectic of days, we find the time to do that something extra that needs to get done, right? I had one of those days a few weeks ago and as I was rushing about to make sure I had everything I … Read more

What Are Your “Details”?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 11, 2018

This oft-asked question came up in a workshop earlier this week when discussing how to leave effective voicemail messages: What should we say when the person’s instruction is to “leave a detailed message”? What is a detailed message today? What details should you leave to … Read more

“Send” Does Not Mean “Received”

By Mary Jane Copps | August 11, 2018

We have very high expectations of email … and text. We believe that once we hit “send”, our words have been received, read and acted upon. But this is not always true. To create excellent communication – and avoid some uncomfortable situations – we need … Read more

The #1 Way to Increase Phone Conversations with Prospects and Customers

By Mary Jane Copps | July 28, 2018

Last week I received an email request from a not-for-profit in Toronto. They had found my website and were looking for information on how I might help them with fundraising calls. I happened to be at my desk when the request came in and I … Read more

What’s Your Customer’s Choice?

By Mary Jane Copps | April 15, 2018

Connecting with customers and prospects today, and delivering superior service, is an ongoing challenge. There are so many ways to communicate – social, email, text, phone, and so on. It’s important that we use all the tools available to reach our target markets … not … Read more

Your Receptionist Needs You

By Mary Jane Copps | March 3, 2018

On Tuesday of this week a local program coordinator returned to work and listened to seven voicemail messages from me. That’s uncomfortable! I can visualize her moving through each one and rolling her eyes muttering, “Not Mary Jane again.” Why did this happen and how … Read more

Are You a Work “Protectionist”?

By Mary Jane Copps | January 14, 2018

Admittedly I’m being very liberal in my use of the word “protectionist”, which means “someone who upholds the economic policy of restraining trade between states”. But for the past few years, a similar philosophy has surfaced in our daily business lives. In an effort to … Read more

What Choice Will You Make?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 19, 2017

Last month I agreed to help a colleague book meetings with SaaS (software as a service) companies, primarily in California. This is work I enjoy and I’m able (usually) to deliver excellent results.  Also “working the phone” allows me to identify new communications trends and behaviours. While I … Read more

Opportunity Awaits Even Though It’s Summer

By Mary Jane Copps | July 9, 2017
businessman outside on phone call

When you’re going on vacation: All of us hate reaching lousy voicemail messages. All of us are capable of creating great ones. There are a few basic tactics that will serve your clients and prospects well … while you embrace every second of your well-deserved … Read more

3 Ways You Can Impact Phone Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | June 10, 2017

Whether you want your sales team to be on the phone more often, or your clients to speak with you on the phone regularly, or your children to talk with their friends from time to time instead of texting, it all starts with you. Avoiding … Read more

Millennials Are On The Phone … But You Aren’t Answering!

By Mary Jane Copps | June 4, 2017

Last week’s post (Calling All Generations – How to Work with Millennials on the Phone) sparked an immediate reaction from one reader, a millennial himself, who found both my ideas and tone offensive. Why? It turns out I ignored a vital aspect of Millennials’ relationship … Read more

Calling All Generations – How to Work with Millennials on the Phone

By Mary Jane Copps | May 27, 2017

Generational nicknames annoy me. Creating one label for a vast range of people sets all of us up to make incorrect assumptions and communicate ineffectively. Recently though, a client specifically requested I include more information in a workshop on how Millennials use the phone. How do … Read more

Fog, Phones and Superheroes

By Mary Jane Copps | May 14, 2017

This past weekend my flight to Toronto was cancelled. Not delayed. Cancelled. Staff at the Departure gate announced that we could pick up our luggage and make our way to the customer service desk in Arrivals. As I watched the crowd of passengers from the fully … 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

Three Phone Skills That Improve Your Social Media

By Mary Jane Copps | January 15, 2017

This past week I enjoyed two experiences which exemplify the power of social media. The first was in a workshop I delivered on Monday. Several people in attendance had discovered the workshop through my blog and were already part of my LinkedIn universe. (And this … 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 … 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 … 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

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

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.