Some volunteers may 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. A script lets volunteers structure the conversation around the right talking points without deviating into long-winded debates.
Another reason for a script is that most of your volunteers will be first-timers without any experience talking to a stranger on the phone, let alone convincing voters to answer their questions. Anxiety is guaranteed, and a script can help lift some of that pressure.
Volunteers should be able to use the phone banking script to collect all the necessary data points for your campaign while coming across as polite and helpful.
Phone banking script etiquette
Well, you are calling a stranger, without their permission too. Etiquette is important. It helps set the tone and improves your chances of being heard. Here are some basic rules to follow when creating your calling script:
Make sure you’re talking to the right person
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 by 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 the 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.
Introduce yourself to build rapport
The first thing a caller should do is introduce themselves. Frame the script to let the callers introduce themselves by their first name, last name, and the campaign they are calling for along with the cause. For e.g.:
“Hi, my name is [Your Name], I’m a volunteer with [Campaign Name]. How are you today?”
Pause and wait for a reply
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 your script simple
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 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 and 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]?”
Be thankful—and show it
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.
Don’t forget to smile—It helps
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 a voter’s negative attitude affect volunteers.
Phone banking script categories based on goals
Depending on your goals, there are four types of scripts that your political campaign would want to use:
- Voter Identification Scripts
The goal of a voter ID script is to identify the level of support for your candidate, issues the voter cares about, and potential volunteers or yard sign hosts.
- Volunteer Recruitment Scripts
You want volunteer recruitment scripts to identify and convince potential volunteers to join your campaign.
- Persuasion Scripts
A good voter persuasion script should be able to engage an undecided voter in a meaningful discussion and help them consider voting for your candidate.
- GOTV Scripts
The only goal of a GOTV script is to get supporters to the polls.
Voter ID/Volunteer Recruitment Scripts
You will need a voter ID script to find your supporters at the start of your campaign so you can carry out targeted GOTV efforts.
It is often more efficient to club your voter ID and volunteer recruitment phone banking campaigns. Once your volunteer phone bankers have identified supporters of your campaign, they can then ask them to volunteer in the same conversation.
You can identify potential voters by posing direct questions that could reveal their voting preferences.
Sample Voter ID script
The questions on your Voter ID+Volunteer Recruitment script should look something like this:
Commonly used when re-contacting undecided voters that you ID’d during your voter identification campaign, persuasion scripts serve to convince them to vote for your candidate.
Sample persuasion script:
Here’s a sample persuasion script you can adapt for your campaign:
1. Hi, is ______________ available?
2. Hi ______________, This is ______________ calling from Mayor Steve’s re-election campaign. Are you planning to vote for Steve in the coming election?
3(a). That’s great! Do you need information about where your polling place is and what hours it’s open? [If yes to
3(b). Do you have any concerns that are holding you back from voting for Steve? He has done a great job as Mayor <list main accomplishments>
If you still don’t want to vote for him, that’s completely ok.
4. Thank you so much for your time. We really do hope you reconsider voting for Steve.
GOTV scripts are more effective the closer you get to election day. Create your GOTV scripts with the aim of cashing in the supporters who you know support your campaign, by getting them out to vote.
To do that effectively, your script needs to motivate them, convey urgency, and give them the information necessary to get them to the polls. One way to do that is by having volunteers help the voter make a plan for election day.
Sample GOTV script:
Here’s an example of a GOTV script you can adapt for your campaign:
1. Hello, may I speak with ______________.
2. This is _____________ calling on behalf of Vote Carolina 2018.
3. We aren’t concerned if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. What we want to do is make sure that every registered voter goes to the polls and votes. A lot of people think that this election is one of the most significant in years. Issues such as National Security, Taxes, and Healthcare will all be affected by this election, and we want every voter in North Carolina to stand up and be counted.
4. Do you plan to go to the polls and vote on Tuesday, November 2nd?
5(a). That’s Great! Do you need information about where your polling place is and what hours it’s open? [If yes to
5(b). Well, we want to remind you that this is a very important election – there’s a lot at stake – and you can voice your opinion by going to the polls and voting. In case you decide to vote, would you like information about where your polling place is? [If yes to
6. Thanks for your time and think about how great you’ll feel casting your vote, making your voice heard, and being part of this historic election.
Want to set up and run a phone bank, quick and easy? With CallHub, you have the option of displaying your phone banking script and letting volunteers make calls, all from one interface.
That means you can run distributed phone banking campaigns with volunteers from around the country.
Setting up a phone bank in CallHub is easy
Choose the Call Center campaign from the CallHub Dashboard.
On the next screen, you can enter your script, enable call dispositions (learn how to create custom dispositions) and create survey questions for your volunteers. Once you finish setting up the campaign, volunteers can join and start making calls.
Here’s how the interface looks for your phone banking volunteers:
Your volunteers will be able to refer to the script, fill in survey questions, and make notes during calls. All the data flows right back to your CRM.