HOW TO BREAK THROUGH THE CALL CLUTTER IN YOUR CAMPAIGN.
I got my first taste of political campaigns working as a phone bank volunteer in a State House campaign in South Carolina in 1988.
That night so long ago, I experienced an adrenaline-fueled rush of fear and excitement. I felt the fear of the rejection when voters got snarky or hung up the phone on me. I felt the excitement when I connected personally with a voter and was able to win support for my candidate.
I was hooked after the first night!
Tips on Breaking Through the Phone Clutter with Targeted Voters
Here are a few tips to help you break through the phone clutter and connect with targeted voters.
- Just make the darn calls. Don’t allow the fear of rejection or the angry “stop calling during dinner time” comments overshadow the very real need to systematically execute your call program. You have to push on in the face of negativity. Don’t let a few angry callers prevent you from reaching a larger number of voters who do want to engage in a positive way with your campaign. The law of large numbers is on your side. Train your volunteers to smile big, pick up the phone and make the next call.
- Put your friendliest volunteers on the phone. Train your volunteers to be conversational in tone and smile while on the phone. This will help your callers connect with voters so you can gather the information you need for your call program. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your volunteers so you can utilize them effectively.
- Write user-friendly scripts with a conversational tone. Many campaigns use scripts that are long and pushy. When you write your phone scripts, you need to identify THE ONE THING you’re trying to accomplish with the phone call. If the script is longer than one page, it may be too long. Write a script that is succinct and conversational in tone. Read it aloud. If it sounds robotic, spend some time editing so that it flows naturally.The key is to ENGAGE voters through conversational, engaging scripts!
Vendor Call Programs versus Volunteer-Driven Calls
Most smaller campaigns don’t have the luxury of using paid phone vendors to complete their call program. Even if you do have the money to hire professional call firms, I would be careful about outsourcing your call program to call vendors.
Voters have the ability to discern the difference between paid callers who have no stake in the campaign and local volunteers who are more enthusiastic and connected with the local campaign.
If you do hire a professional call vendor, I would recommend using them to do the voter identification portion of the call program. This can be scripted like a professional opinion poll which minimizes the professional tone of the call.
Volunteer call programs give the campaign the ability to recruit “real people” to the campaign. This volunteer effort creates energy for the campaign that is hard to replicate with money. Do the hard work of recruiting and training volunteers for the campaign. It will pay immeasurable dividends.
Six Phone Scripts for your Campaign.
BONUS: Download these six sample scripts and tailor them for your campaign
- Voter Identification (ID) Script – The purpose of this script to identify candidate preferences of targeted voters.
- Voter Persuasion Script – The purpose of this script is to call “undecided” voters and persuade them to vote for our candidate.
- GOTV (Early Voting) Script – The purpose of this script is to educate our identified on early voting options and turn them out to vote early.
- GOTV (Election Day) Script – The purpose of this script is to “turn-out” our identified supporters on Election Day.
- Volunteer Recruitment Script – The purpose of this script is to recruit people who are identified donors and supporters to come and volunteer in the campaign.
- Yard Sign Script – The purpose of this script is to ask identified supporters if they are willing to put a yard sign on their property.
IT’S YOUR TURN
If you’re like me, you probably got your start in politics volunteering in a phone bank. What’s your experience with phone programs? Use the comments section below to give us your advice on improving campaign call programs.