Phone Banking Tips

General tips for any kind of phone banking: 

  1. Stay upbeat. Your tone of voice is often the most important factor determining whether someone will talk to you
  2. Have a conversation. The more formal and stilted you sound, the less likely someone will pick up the phone. Introduce yourself by your first name (not your full name), ask them questions about their life (e.g. if they say they’re in the middle of cooking dinner, ask them what they’re making).
    1. Volunteer a bit of information about yourself to emphasize similarities between the two of you while making sure the focus is on them. Do everything you can to make a genuine connection with the person you’re calling. Someone’s much more likely to take the time to have a brief, friendly conversation with a pseudoneighbor than take a de-facto robocall survey.
    2. Don’t give people easy out’s. Don’t say, for example, “Can I ask you a few questions?” the person who’s just picked up the phone can easily say no and hang up. Instead, just launch into your question.
    3. The script is a baseline. Feel free to use it; it’s an effective guide and a good way to go about canvassing a voter, but the most important thing is to figure out which way someone’s considering voting and if they’ll caucus for Bernie. Don’t hesitate to let your voice and personality shine through and deviate from the specific words of the script as long as you’re being friendly and getting the necessary information.
  3. Don’t badmouth other candidates. Bernie’s never run a negative ad in his life. This isn’t a negative campaign; this is a campaign about the ideas Bernie’s putting forward.
  4. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. If someone asks you a question about where Bernie stands on a particular issue, feel free to answer them if you’re sure, but it’s far better to say that you’re not sure than to give someone incorrect or misleading information. In a pinch, just direct someone to Bernie’s website,, which has lots of information about the candidate, or to
  5. There are always other voters. If one call goes poorly, take a few moments to think about what went wrong and how you can do better next time, but don’t stress too much about any one particular call.


Share the Bern


  • I really think it is not helpful to suggest asking someone what they are making for dinner or not get permission to continue a call. Many people’s lives are way busy and we are one of too many unsolicited calls so I think it’s better to be mindful and respectful of that. People are so used to calls trying to sell them something. I would acknowledge my interruption and try to get my point out as succinctly and quick as possible. Then go from there if they are interested in more. Right now people just need to hear about Bernie and if they are interested in him being the Democractic nominee that they need to be registered Democrat by their local deadline. Thanks

    • Thanks for the feedback. The examples may not work for everyone or in every case. I agree if someone is pressed for time we should be respectful of that and get to the point. We’ll review the tips!

  • I’m in Illinois. Are we given information on the area in New York we would we calling? My approach would mention campaign and ask what issue is most important and give 3 choices.
    I have a lengthy history with personal contact. I would check the issues in the area so I know what to deal with.
    If resistance to signing as Democratic is it appropriate to mention they can change later?
    Finally is there another way to Register? I find that not offering to help them with it but instead give the impression of ok I talked you into this now go here. My opinion is they won’t make the effort. Living out of state I want to make sure I would be beneficial. I know you will say yes. Working with people as long as I have they will say yes and be complacent. Difficult or not I also believe it best for same person to follow up.
    I am willing to help but have work to do here; too. Thoughts ?

    • Hi Kathleen,
      The voters we call are all over New York state but the call tool doesn’t tell you where exactly in the state they are. I agree many people will say they will register and often don’t. There’s not much more we can do. All the ways to register are listed here: The one proactive thing you could do is take their mailing address and call 1-800-FOR-VOTE to request them a form.. but as we get closer to the deadline this may not be feasible (they take about 3 days to arrive). If you can think of a better way we’d be open to any ideas! It will be great to have someone with your experience on board!

    • I live in New York and have gotten numerous people to register as a Democrat for this election. I tell them they can switch right back (they can) and I give them 2 registration forms. It is true that phone soliciting will be harder. The onus is on them to get their own registration form. I plan on using my sense of urgency and gravitas to get them going.

      • That is a good idea to give them two :-) Hopefully you’ll find your persuasiveness works on the phone too! Let us know how it goes!

  • It is important to get straight to the point which is the registration deadline. This is focus number one.
    You will encounter people that are for Bernie or not, it is that simple. If they are for Bernie they will deem anytime they have necessary for the call and at that point there is little need for being cordial. The topic of getting Bernie Sanders elected will bind you with the call recipient and you will have pretty much free discretion on how to direct the call. The listener will feel bound by cause to participate and they will feel compelled to spend the time to make it happen.

    Asking what the call recipient is up to is unnecessary. Asking them how they are doing is a formality and a must.

    When you have a receptive listener on the phone you will know; because, they will talk common issues and beliefs with you. They will have suggestion and be ready to apply any suggestion you come up with.

    These are the beautiful listeners we wish everyone could be.

    Now, when you have a receptive listener on the phone it is imperative that you not only get them to understand and commit to registering Democrat by the deadline; but, you must ask a few simple questions and make note of their replies.

    Tell them you are the one pressed for time and tell them you would like to call them back when further action becomes necessary and you want to know what is the best time to call. This time to call is so important to US as it streamlines our time spent by not waiting on missed calls. It also indicates to US that this is a person willing to become active.

    Also, ask them to become an active volunteer and tell them where the is. As well as
    ask them to post to facebook or whatever social media they use the link to direct others to the page.

    Realise that is just one page of many related to supporting Bernie Sanders and other pages for Bernie will become more appropriate in the near future. I want you to note the ny at the end of this internet address.

    The other kind of phone recipient is on the fence and spending all the time in the world to convince them to register Democrat is a waste of time and not productive at all. All that is necessary for these type individuals is to inform them of the registration deadline then move on as quickly as you can. Getting the word out is the most important thing we can do at this moment. These on the fence types will come to their own conclusion at some time in their mid day and decide on their own what they are really thinking about.

    However, do ask these fence sitters if you can call them back and get the time that is best for them.

    Then there is the other side which you do not want to talk to. They are the enemy. They will waste your time and try to twist your mind and sabotage Bernie Sanders. When you talk to a hard core conservative or establishment Democrat you will not be able to get past the wall of denial and you will quickly realise this. Stop talking to these people immediately, stop wasting time and make note that that number is not to called back again.


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