Phone Banking Tips
General tips for any kind of phone banking:
- Stay upbeat. Your tone of voice is often the most important factor determining whether someone will talk to you
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, berniesanders.com, which has lots of information about the candidate, or to FeelTheBern.org.
- 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.
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