What I Learned from a Candidate Phone Bank

sales skills strategy Oct 29, 2020

Pro tip: Easy way to practice telephone prospecting: phone bank for a candidate!

Last night I volunteered to take a 90 minute shift making phone calls for a local political candidate. In local races in a presidential election year, candidate name recognition is a big problem. Finding volunteers to make calls is tough - no one enjoys interrupting people, and the chances of being on the receiving end of a hang up are high.

But the telephone works! I kept thinking of Jeb Blount's great 2019 book "Fanatical Prospecting", and why he emphasizes phone prospecting so heavily. Here's what I learned (or really, re-learned) yesterday:

1. Keep dialing. The most important objective is to get in as many calls in 90 minutes as you can.

2. The job is simple: qualify, ask, move on. Is the number the right one? Do they know who the candidate is? Can we ask for your vote? Finding a wrong number improves the database, and that's just as important as getting a "Yes".

3. Have a written script that's designed to do what you need, and don't overthink it. In this case, someone else wrote it and tested it, and I didn't have to put in any effort at all.

4. Put human emotion into your voice - enthusiasm, energy, good cheer. This works, and connects with a surprising number of people.

5. Be polite. You're going to get hung up on. It's not personal, and it doesn't hurt to say "Sorry I bothered you, goodbye!" Most negative reactions come from external factors: excessive robocalls, too much election coverage, pressure to get dinner on the table. It's not hard to sympathize.

6. After your time block is done, you've accomplished something. You updated the database; you connected with some people that will now recognize your candidate's name on the next yard sign or mailer; and maybe you even got one or two votes locked down. Let yourself feel good!

Imagine if you did this every day with your CRM?


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