CNN's Harry Enten asks why we’re avoiding phone calls and whether we can be coached through our telephone-related nerves in this new Margins of Error podcast featuring Mary Jane. LISTEN HERE.

The Phone Lady's Blog

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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 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 … 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

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

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 … … 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 … 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 … 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 … 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. … 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 … 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 … 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 … 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 … Read more

How May I Help You?

By Mary Jane Copps | January 17, 2016

  One thing I’ve learned since I started driving a car three years ago is … I was a terrible pedestrian. My lack of knowledge about what a driver experiences at crosswalks, on bright sunny days, at dusk on windy Fall nights or on blustery winter … 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 … 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 … Read more

Top 3 Challenges to Effective Phone Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | November 22, 2015

  When we pick up the phone to speak with our customers or prospects today, we encounter three main challenges that often prevent us from communicating effectively. Challenge #1:  Everyone is overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter who we are calling, or whether we are calling them at work or at home, or … 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 … 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 … Read more

You Aren’t Making Enough Calls To Hit Your Quota …

By Mary Jane Copps | August 16, 2015

Welcome to a guest post by Greg Poirier. Greg’s a bit of a rock star in Canada’s startup community and a tireless advocate of picking up the phone and making things happen. In addition … he’s got a wicked sense of humour. Enjoy and share!  … and you don’t … 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 … Read more

The Illusion of the Detailed Message

By Mary Jane Copps | July 12, 2015

Why do some voicemail messages result in a return call and other’s don’t? While there are a wide variety of reasons, one of the biggest contributors to the unreturned call is the detailed message. The role of the detailed message is : 1) to provide information to … Read more

The Beginning of the End of Voice Mail?

By Mary Jane Copps | June 7, 2015

This past week I was delighted to hear from Daniel Huang, a Wall Street Journal reporter covering the banking sector, and honoured to be included in his report on the elimination of voice mail by several major U.S. banks.  Coca Cola made the same move … Read more

4 Steps = Great Vacation Message

By Mary Jane Copps | May 18, 2015

This Canadian long weekend seems like the perfect time to revisit how to create your vacation voice mail message. After all, summer vacation is coming our way! In the excitement of summer vacation – or really any vacation – people become, well, thought-less. This can … Read more

Respect Your Phone Time

By Mary Jane Copps | November 9, 2014

With thanks to Halifax visual artist Jacqueline Steudler for this instructive phone story. Recently Jacqueline read about a workshop that interested her, but had some questions she needed answered before registering. She phoned the facilitator. After the initial introductions, Jacqueline sensed the facilitator’s unease and asked … Read more

3 “Must-Do’s” for B2B Phone Sales in 2014 (Part I)

By Mary Jane Copps | December 1, 2013

If you or your team are responsible for reaching business decision makers by phone, you need to acknowledge the subtle shifts that have taken place in the past two years. And then you have to adapt … or see both revenue and morale falter. The … Read more

Listen in as Liz Solar interviews Mary Jane: Connect Better Through Voice on Voice Action
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.
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.
The Wall Street Journal.
Some on Wall Street are hanging up on voicemail. See what The Phone Lady has to say.