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The Influence Game: 50 Insider Tactics from the Washington D.C. Lobbying World that Will Get You to Yes Hardcover – June 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118271599
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118271599
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Influence Game will show you how to advocate for any need, whether it is legislation, a financial appropriation, or just a raise for yourself. I found The Influence Game to be immediately applicable to my work as a fundraiser.”—Katherine Wertheim, CFRE, Werth-It

“You don’t have to be a Washington insider to use the author’s 50 tactics to get something done. Weaving stories from her own Capitol Hill experience, Stephanie  makes keen observations about the way the world works resulting in a thorough and thoughtful treatment of an important topic.”—Frank H. Mackaman, Staff Member, The Dirksen Congressional Center and former Director, Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum.

"The Influence Game is both entertaining and informative, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get other people to say ‘yes’!”—Avish Parashar, Professional Speaker and author of Say 'Yes And!' and Improvise to Success! 

“This book is all about using your power of influence. My Uncle Roy is all about being under the influence. Don't be like Uncle Roy - read this book.”—Dale Irvin, The Professional Summarizer

“As a longtime Washington, D.C.-insider, Stephanie Vance knows the influence game inside and out.  This book is a must-read for any business, political or community leader who wants to get to “yes” with the tried and true persuasion tactics used by those in the influence capital of the world.”—Michael Markarian, chief program and policy officer for The Humane Society of the United States, and president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund

From the Inside Flap

Get what you want, every time!

Imagine a world where you are offered every job you seek; every business venture you undertake is successful; and every potential customer you approach buys your product. Now imagine that all of this can be achieved—ethically and honestly. All you need is the help of one battle-tested guide, The Influence Game.

Former Washington, D.C., lobbyist Stephanie Vance dispenses everything she's learned about effective (and, believe it or not, honest) persuasion. Learn how to apply this power to any situation by using D.C.-insider influence along with a step-by-step, easy-to-understand process for success. The selling of ideas requires a subtle and psychological approach in order to convince others that you have the best solution to a perceived problem. Learn how to employ the principles of influence to get what you want, for yourself or your clients.

The Influence Game shares 50 forthright tactics that have successfully moved America's notoriously inert Congress to action. This book will help you better understand proven strategies that will get you to "yes," including how to:

  • Develop and articulate effective goals

  • Structure both long- and short-term persuasion efforts

  • Cultivate the right people to help make your case

  • Find the information and expertise you'll need

  • Craft those important personal stories and winning messages

  • Use tenacity and persistence to persuade, not annoy

Stephanie Vance has seen the influence game from every angle. Follow her lead to get past being heard to the real goal of being told "yes."

Customer Reviews

I was expecting much more from this book.
Alex Patton
If Stephanie Vance can get Capitol Hill to listen, I have no doubt that this book can help me to get 32 students to listen!!
D. Covert
Her book is clear, concise, illustrated with stories from her own and other' experience, and very readable.
reuven t

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can recommend this book in the highest terms. I can also say that anyone who follows her techniques and puts in the work to prepare his/her case and arguments according to her recommendations stands a very great chance of success.

Those of us activists enmeshed in the policy minutiae of our particular areas but not so adept at the "selling" and "public-relations" aspects of persuading a decision-maker can learn a lot from this book. Stephanie Vance brings a wealth of lobbying experience to this, her most recent book. She works as a lobbyist, and she has also worked for legislators, dealing with lobbyists. Her book is clear, concise, illustrated with stories from her own and other' experience, and very readable.

She never minimizes the importance of having detailed knowledge of your subject matter, your legislator, or your opponent(s). Nor does she give a list of winning "tips" that, if used, will automatically be successful. Rather, she explains the basic elements of salesmanship, explains how they apply to public policy advocacy, and then gives a sort of running checklist of basic standard strategy and tactics that can be applied to almost any advocacy situation. Interspersed, she also gives a checklist on strategies to deal with particular or especially challenging situations, as well as complex or longer-lasting advocacy challlenges.

An absolutely outstanding book, worth far more than the purchase price.

Advocacy is neither an easy nor a rote type of job. But in this book, Vance tells you EVERYTHING and more you need to know to succeed. Anyone putting in the time to read the book, to prepare his/her case according to her guidelines, and to think through his/her argumants will have an excellent chance of success.
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Format: Hardcover
Right from the beginning, we are given specific steps to take before approaching a decision-maker. These include figuring out who can make the difference for you (that is, to whom do you make your pitch?), clarifying your "ask" and then making sure to do all your homework to collect the data that will mean the most to the person to whom you're presenting your case.
From there, specific steps outline the ways you can create the environment that will best support your cause/case. This includes direction on how to encourage supporters to join you and how to make a clear statement about what you want. What the other reviewer seems to dislike are the very clever mnemonics to help you remember what you need to know as you design your campaign. They seem simple by themselves, but they definitely help neophytes to the "influence game" break down their ideas into specific tasks that then guides them to that first meeting.
Thank goodness that The Influence Game is easy to read. Advocacy is complicated because the rules are different for every venue and learning how to navigate the ins and outs is not intuitive. By providing a clear and concise road map for building a coherent campaign for change, readers with varied experience can glean many worthwhile ideas that will work across venues from pitching to your boss, your community Board, or your legislator. Readers will also appreciate the step-by-step approach that explains how decision-makers of all kinds react to their constituents. We can avoid many of the pitfalls that plague well meaning, but inexperienced advocates to a cause by following these strategies. This book is recommended for anyone who wants to make change actually happen.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I downloaded The Influence Game (kindle & audible) after hearing Ms. Vance at the National Bike Summit, and it is a book I've shared with friends.

A lot of the advice is founded on treating everyone with respect, regardless of how important you think they are, and especially if their views are counter to your own. The book was practical for me because it helps me better understand how Congressional staff will react to various forms of communications. The book has tactics and take-aways, but I wouldn't really call it a "how-to" book. It's definitely a valuable check list to assess my communications approach. And it is useful in combination with Jack Weatherford's book Tribes on the Hill: The United States Congress--Rituals and Realities. You do get an insider's perspective.

I like the memorable examples, such as: "Tactic 26: Don't be a Nigerian Prince" when referring to spam-like communications. And I like the idea of a 5:00 am running meeting with Congressman Blumenauer.

If you are apolitical, and the title sounds boring, then I wouldn't suggest this book. But if you care about government and are willing to participate in a tiny bit of democracy, I think it's a good book. I think the book is written more towards people who want to advocate for something they are passionate about than it is someone steeped in politics and government.
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Format: Hardcover
The First Amendment to our U. S. Constitution guarantees that Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people "to petition the government for a redress of grievances". In other words, we're born with the right to lobby -- but that doesn't mean we know how to do it! That's why Stephanie Vance's "The Influence Game: 50 Insider Tactics from the Washington D.C. Lobbying World that Will Get You to Yes" is not only important, but helpful! Modern technology has made communication with our lawmakers in Washington a breeze, but that's not the same as making your case in a winning way. Vance provides the unique perspective of someone who has been there on the inside -- she knows what it takes for an argument to be persuasive to the elected officials and staff who together make the key decisions on appropriations, authorizations and other legislation. "The Influence Game" is a handy all-in-one graduate degree in how to get results in Washington -- but its lessons are likely applicable elsewhere, as well! Even those who believe themselves seasoned in the ins-and-outs of Washington could benefit from a couple of hours with "The Influence Game". If you do so (as I did) you are certain to be grateful for this sharply written -- and surprisingly entertaining -- owner's manual for a critical part of our democracy.
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More About the Author

Hi! I'm Stephanie Vance, the Advocacy Guru at Advocacy Associates. I have over 20-years of experience in Washington, D.C., which I know is VERY hard to believe when I look so young (as you can see in the very nicely airbrushed photo of me). I'm the author of five books on advocacy and influence. Yes, I know it's shocking to learn that you can write five books on the subject but you can. In fact, I can't stop myself.

My latest book, The Influence Game, shares 50 D.C. insider secrets that will get you to yes in any situation -- landing that new customer, convincing your management you know what you're doing, or even getting your kids to clean up their room. OK, that last one may not be possible, but the strategies I outline have moved America's notoriously inert Congress to action -- so who knows? They might work with kids. I learned all these secrets through my experiences in D.C. having worked in a prominent DC law firm, lobbied for National Public Radio and worked in various Congressional offices, holding positions as Legislative Director and Staff Director.

Hmmm, what else can I say about myself? Well, I'm a pretty sought after public speaker with around 50 gigs a year for organizations large and small -- from the Humane Society of the United State and the American Medical Association to the Synthetic Turf Council. Yes, there really is an association for everything. I show up on radio and television news shows around the country, so keep an ear out for me. You can learn more about my speaking and, if you feel so inclined, hire me at www.advocacyguru.com. People tell me I'm pretty good. In fact, I'm the only advocacy trainer to hold the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association.

I have a Masters Degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University and a Master's Degree in Liberal Studies (not the study of how to be a liberal) at Georgetown University. I live in Washington, D.C. and have the cutest Australian Cattle Dog imaginable (yes, I pulled out the cute puppy card).

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