Phone Banking 101
What Is Phone Banking?
Phone banking is the act of volunteering with a candidate, campaign, or organization to contact voters over the phone.
Phone banking can have many goals:
- Voter Registration: Calling potentially unregistered voters to encourage them to register.
- Volunteer Recruitment: Calling potential volunteers to encourage them to participate in activities such as canvassing or phone banking for a candidate or cause.
- Supporter IDs: Calling voters to identify who is supporting a candidate or cause, to be able to better target in future GOTV/vote plan campaigns.
- Vote-By-Mail Chasing: Calling voters who have vote-by-mail ballots, encouraging them to turn them in.
- GOTV: “Get out the Vote” phone banking — calling likely supporters and encouraging them to make their plan to vote.
Why Phone Bank?
Phone banking is one of the most effective ways to connect with voters. Unlike other forms of communication, such as text and postcarding, it offers the ability to have live interactions.
Each type of communication uses a different combination of these. When calling a voter, we are able to connect with them using both our voices and words. When we are able to communicate our emotion with vocal inflection, we are more likely to build rapport with a voter than when just using words.
Phone banking is less effective at rapid or mass communication than tools such as texting, which is why the former is more often used for conversations around persuasion and GOTV.
How To Phone Bank With the Call Crew
When phone banking with the Call Crew, we use a predictive dialer system called Scale to Win. This tool allows us to reach more voters, and allows you to protect your personal information while making calls. While on the dialer, you will be directly connected to voters who have picked up the phone.
To get started learning to phone bank, you can head to https://democrats.org/call to review a training and log into the dialer. There, you will also find our other opportunities to phone bank, including joining a Phone Bank Hub, a Zoom phone bank, or our Slack Calling Community.
Phone Banking Best Practices
- Smile While You Dial! When talking to voters, they can hear in your voice when you are smiling. Be friendly and inviting to conversation by smiling while you dial.
- Follow the Script, but Make It Natural. When in the dialer, you will be provided with a script to move through some important questions. We do not want to sound like robots, so feel free to make the script a bit more natural. Make sure you are still following the general flow and hitting all the important points!
- Use Their Name! We will provide you with the voter’s name. Make it more personal by using it whenever possible/natural! If you don’t know how to pronounce it, simply ask.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Say “I Don’t Know.” We never want to provide voters with false information. If you do not know the answer to something, let them know that you are not sure — there’s nothing wrong with that!
- Be Kind: Always treat voters with compassion and kindness. This looks like: thanking them for their time, never pushing them too far, and knowing when to end a conversation.
- Don’t Engage With Trolls. You will come across people you don’t agree with while phone banking. Know when the conversation is a lost cause, and be okay with stepping away from the conversation when it’s off track! We would rather spend our time getting supporters out to vote than participating in unproductive conversations.