The Truth About NATLFED

Tactics – Telephoning

Telephoning as a tactic does not belong to any one system.  Every system conducts telephoning in some manner or another.

There were several documents written concerning telephone training.  The basics remained the same.  You were expected to average approximately seventeen dials per half hour, with about five reaches and goals as established by the Operations Manager depending on the type of phone calling you were conducting.  Big Ticket phoning statistics were slightly different, as it was expected you would stay on the phone longer in pursuit of large donation items.

There were the basic tools.  You utilized a modular pitch that included:

  • introduction, including brief reminder of how we met the person if calling fresh contacts or explanation if a referral
  • body, explaining the basic organizational strategy and current campaign
  • primary objective (FIIN or VOLS were standards)
  • secondary objectives, which were modules asking for a variety of things as needed or as opportunity arose

You were ready to ask for speaking engagements if the person mentioned they were an active member of their church or school, special needs such as a new used car, clothing, food, etc.

Special modules could be inserted as needed to address specific questions or situations that might come up such as a person asking for additional information regarding a current court case or even the dreaded red baiting issue.

In the old days, I remember running to a phone site with another cadre for phoning and we grabbed system cards.  That practice was replaced with the meticulous recording of contacts to be called on telephone contact runners such that the cards did not leave the office.  Some would say that was another part of the busy work.  Contact runners were good for several phone sessions, the goal being to ultimately reach everyone on the rosters.

Again, in the old days the NATLFED offices were mandated to have public coin operated telephones.  This was to minimize expenses of maintaining private business phone lines.  If someone needed to make a call, he/she would drop the dime.  It also prevented the office personnel from using the office phone to conduct phone training sessions, thus forcing the procurement of outside phone resources.  Very few entities ignored this mandate.

Current times make it impractical to maintain coin operated telephones given such costs that persons must pay to utilize them.  Many coin operated telephones do not allow incoming phone calls.

Cadres were disallowed from conducting phone sessions alone.  There was the open line of necessity to train others, but it was also known that having a second would prevent a cadre from misusing the telephone to try to contact family or friends.

Oldie always envisioned boiler room sessions, with multiple phones in use by several teams of volunteers under the direction of a trained cadre.  At various points of time, the entities were able to pull off such sessions but typically it was just a team of two.

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