The perfect phone calling script is critical to successful phone banking campaign. Most of your volunteers will be first timers, without any experience talking to a stranger on the phone, let alone convincing voters answer their questions. Anxiety is guaranteed which is why a script is so necessary. Some volunteers would have a tendency to get into arguments over opinions. Trying to convince a voter to switch sides almost never works and only wastes time. Asking volunteers to stick to the script will keep the number of stray conversations to a minimum.
Phone banking etiquette
Well, you are calling a stranger, without their permission too. Etiquette is so important. It helps set the tone and the improves your chances of being heard. Here are some basic rules to follow when creating your calling script.
Are you you?
Phone numbers aren’t always right and when you are calling a landline, the chance of reaching a specific voter in the household is not very high. So start your script with asking if you are speaking to the right person. If you are not, ask your volunteer to note that down or if your phone banking service lets you, switch to the appropriate household member.
If you are using a predictive dialer to make calls remember that there is typically a delay connecting a voter to caller. When you’re first connected, you can safely assume that the voter has already said, ‘hello’, so feel free to ask for the person whose information has displayed.
The first thing a caller should do is introduce themselves. Frame the script to let the callers introduce them self by first name, last name and the campaign they are calling for along with the cause. For eg:
“Hi, my name is [Your Name], I’m a volunteer with [Campaign Name]. How are you today?”
Pause and wait
Explicitly include a pause into the script. This will make the conversation seem more fluid and not rushed. The volunteer should wait for a response from the voter and only then continue.
Keep it simple stupid
While phone banking you end up talking to a lot of different people. People of different backgrounds, age groups, ethnicities etc. They each have a slightly different way of talking and processing information. That is why your script needs to be as short and as simple as possible. Keep your sentences very short and ask only 1 question at a time. This is the best way to get a clear and distinct answer to your question. Short, to the point, gets a pretty good response rate.
“I’m not going to take much of your time, I just have a quick question about the upcoming elections.”[pause here] “When you vote on [date], will you be supporting [candidate]?”
For every response you get, thank them for it. Everyone appreciates it and it doesn’t take a lot of time! If the voter responds saying that they are an ardent supporter of your cause or candidate please do thank them with a lot more gusto. You want to keep supporters engaged and active and showing your gratitude will make them feel more involved.
Do NOT curb your enthusiasm
Making tons of calls in an hour can be exhausting. Volunteers tend to wax and wane in their enthusiasm levels. This will show in their speech. Try and include markers in the script that ask volunteers to smile and sound excited. This is a good reminder to them to keep their spirits up for each and every call. Remind them to be very friendly. Don’t let voters negative attitude affect you.
[Don’t forget to breathe] … [ Smile 🙂 ]