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One Call at a Time: A How-To for First Time Phonebankers


We make a lot of phone calls from California to important battleground states. And while the sheer number of calls is important, we prioritize the quality of our interactions by conveying meaningful information to undecided voters.

At a recent GOTV phone bank in Culver City, a call from volunteer Rob P. to a Colorado voter resulted in a lengthy discussion and a perfect example of the value of neighbors talking to neighbors -- or in this case, to neighboring states.

From his call sheet, Rob dialed a young man in Colorado, who answered and told Rob that he remained undecided. After identifying himself as a California volunteer and setting a tone of collegiality and genuine interest, Rob engaged the voter in an earnest discussion.

I just talked to him as a peer, as someone I could just level with. I made clear I was a California volunteer giving my time this afternoon because I think this important for the country.

Rob asked about the voter’s most important issues and the areas where he was hesitating on his choice. By focusing on President Obama’s accomplishments in the past four years, Rob was able to provide relevant information to help the voter understand that the President’s positions and policies are supported by the facts.

Over the course of the call, he went from being a peer to seeing me as an informational resource who could answer his questions. It was a two-way conversation. I wasn't lecturing him or ‘going in for the close.’ I was exploring where he wanted clarification or had questions.

The discussion continued, touching on important topics like taxes, support for small business, and immigration. Being a Latino voter, the President’s immigration policies were particularly important. He specifically mentioned the deferred action on “Dreamers” as affecting his opinion and contributing to his choice.

After further discussion, the young voter said he was definitely going to vote on Election Day, and after the call with Rob, was strongly leaning toward voting for President Obama.

Rob took away some important lessons from a successful call.

Listening is important, and you want to focus on the issues that resonate the most. Don't interrupt; be a sounding board -- and your message can be better than any campaign ad.

With only a few days remaining, President Obama needs all hands on deck to reach out to voters in battleground states. Follow Rob’s lead and sign up to attend a GOTV phonebank.

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