About the Author

About the Book

About the Author

Stephanie Vance, known as the “Advocacy Guru,” is a 20-year Washington, D.C. veteran, former Congressional aide, recovering lobbyist and grassroots advocacy consultant. She learned everything she knows about — believe it or not– effective and honest persuasion in the influence capital of the world, Washington, D.C.  Ms. Vance has trained thousands of people in hundreds of organizations, including the National Association of Realtors, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the Humane Society of the United States and the American Library Association.  She even teaches lobbyists how to lobby through the Lobbying Certification Program offered by the American League of Lobbyists and Lobbyists.info.  As a member of the National Speakers Association, Stephanie has earned her Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, an honor held by less than 10 percent of speakers in the world.

Reach Stephanie at vance@advocacyguru.com

Where’s the guru gonna be?

Check out Stephanie’s speaking schedule here.  She spends a lot of time spreading the influence gospel from Washington, D.C. to California and everywhere in between (Alaska and Hawaii, she’s ready to come whenever you ask!)

About the Book


Table of Contents

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 fifty 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 all 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 agreed with.

Table of Contents

Here’s what you’ll learn from The Influence Game. Each section has a “specific takeaways” section that shows you how to apply the tactics outside the beltway

The Influence Game: 50 Insider Tactics from the Washington D.C. Lobbying World That Will Get You to Yes

Chapter One: Principles of Influence

What Influence is NOT About
  • Manipulation
  • Bribery
  • Selling Out
  • Logic
  • Lying

What Influence is About

  • Passion
  • Reason
  • Ethics and Honesty
  • Relationships
  • Individuals
  • Crowds
  • Perseverance
  • Relevance
  • Authenticity (or Charm)
  • Action
  • Know the Difference between a “Good Cause” and a “Special Interest”

Chapter Two: Know What You Want

  • Tactic 1: Your Effort is a Cause
  • Tactic 2: Know the Nature of What You’re Selling
  • Tactic 3: Set a SMART Goal
  • Tactic 4: Know Why You Want What You Want (and Why Your Audience Might Want What You Want)
  • Tactic 5: Know What You’re Talking About

Chapter Three: Know the Competition

  • Tactic 6: Identify the Competition
  • Tactic 7: Know What You’re Competing For
  • Tactic 8: Research the Opposition
  • Tactic 9: Research Yourself as if You WERE the Opposition
  • Tactic 10: Divide and Conquer
  • Tactic 11: Circle the Wagons

Chapter Four: Know the Arena

  • Tactic 12: Find Your Decision Maker
  • Tactic 13: Find Your “Plan B” (and Plan C and Plan D) Decision Maker
  • Tactic 14: Ask the “and Next” Question
  • Tactic 15: Know the Rules of the Game

Chapter Five: Know Your Primary Audience, a.k.a. the “Influencees”

  • Tactic 16: Know What Gets Them Up in the Morning – and Keeps Them Up at Night
  • Tactic 17: Know What They Need From You, Not What You Want to Give Them
  • Tactic 18: Categorize Your Primary Audience into Champions, Supporters and the “Rank and File”

Chapter Six: Find Your Surrogates

  • Tactic 19: Know who will be Positively Impacted
  • Tactic 20: Know Who Influences Your Decision maker
  • Tactic 21: Don’t Network — Netplay
  • Tactic 22: Partner with Polar Opposites
  • Tactic 23: Remain Civil, Even With Those You Really Don’t Like

Chapter Seven: The Campaign Plan

  • Tactic 24: Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gunfight (or a Screwdriver to a Nut and Bolt)
  • Tactic 25: Create an Influence Reserve
  • Tactic 26: Don’t be a Nigerian Prince
  • Tactic 27: Numbers Don’t Always Matter
  • Tactic 28: Do NOT Start With Your Compromise Position
  • Tactic 29: Trade for Votes
  • Tactic 30: Know the “Walk Away” Points
  • Tactic 31: Keep Track
  • Tactic 32: Strategize Around the Risks

Chapter Eight: Crafting a Winning Message

  • Tactic 33: Don’t Rest on the Power of Your Position
  • Tactic 34: Connect to the “Issue De Jour”
  • Tactic 35: Do NOT Be Insulting, Not Even Secretly (Or, Where Possible, By Accident)
  • Tactic 36: Find the Common Ground
  • Tactic 37: Remember the Puppies and Children Rule
  • Tactic 38: Use the SPIT Formula

Chapter Nine: Delivering the Message

  • Tactic 39: Pick the Delivery Method That Works for Your Audience, Not You
  • Tactic 40: Have the Proper Materials
  • Tactic 41: Turn Lemons into Lemonade
  • Tactic 42: No Astroturf

Chapter Ten: The End Game

  • Tactic 43: Know the Difference between Persistence and Stalking
  • Tactic 44: Control the Uncontrollable
  • Tactic 45: What to do if you Succeed
  • Tactic 46: Don’t Take Credit Where Credit is Due
  • Tactic 47: Say Thank You
  • Tactic 48: Avoid Failure by Redefining Success
  • Tactic 49; Really Don’t Do These Five Things
  • Tactic 50: Have Fun

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