In today’s digital world, we’ve grown accustomed to emailing, texting, and Messenger. But there is something magical about connecting with people on the phone. If you’re anything like I used to be, you’d probably rather write 3000 words than call a complete stranger. That’s where Mary Jane Copps, otherwise known as The Phone Lady, comes in. In the early days of her career, Mary Jane first began by recording and analyzing her own phone calls so she could later evaluate her performance. In the last 30 years, she has helped countless entrepreneurs inspire conversations on the phone, allowing them to better understand and serve their customers. Plus, she literally wrote The Phone Book. Check out our chat on the Connect & Thrive show to learn how you can grow your business using the phone!
3:30 – The impact of using the phone in a text driven world
6:45 – “The elephant on the phone” & how to be considerate
9:00 – Learn the art of the prospecting call
11:20 – Mary Jane’s number one piece of advice for talking to strangers
13:00 – Making your introduction count
14:30 – How Mary Jane has helped so many entrepreneurs succeed
What We Learned:
Why We Should Be Using the Phone
We’ve all been there, getting a seemingly innocuous text then over analyzing it enough to make our heads spin. By using the phone we hear people’s tone of voice, eliminating that ambiguity.
A recent case saw a Saskatchewan university defrauded of millions of dollars when they received an email from a trusted contractor, that turned out to be a scam. By using the phone we can verify information and who we are working with.
We have the opportunity to learn more about our customers needs and our market. No matter who you speak to, you will learn more about what people need and what they’re looking for, because you’re able to ask more questions and get more context throughout your conversation.
Time vs. Money?
Today, people value their time as much as, if not more than, money. We must keep in mind that everyone is busy and there is never a good time to receive an unexpected phone call from someone we don’t know. Here are Mary Jane’s tips for respecting other’s time.
Make the first twenty seconds about your customer, you will have lots of time to talk about yourself later.
Within the first 30-40 seconds, let them know “I am calling to talk to you about ___”. Never say “I am just calling”, by saying “just” you are indicating your call is without value.
Listen for the elephant on the telephone, if there is something going on in the background, try saying something along the lines of “Is this the best time to call? It sounds like you are in a meeting.”
Ask open-ended questions, it will give you the information you need in a shorter timeframe than an endless stream of yes-or-no questions.
Master the Prospecting Call:
Never ask about your customer’s health unless you want to instantly be labelled a telemarketer. This includes “how are you?” which immediately puts your caller on the defense.
A common misconception is that every call needs a conclusion either to sell something or get a client; what is most important is getting to know your marketplace.
Never assume your first call is a sales call. Few entrepreneurs have a product or service they can sell in just one phone call. The first call is a research call, where you learn about their business and whether you have a product/service which can help them.