Lobby School Minneapolis December 8-9, 2022

“Why would that (lawmaker, special interest, staff) (trade/exchange/barter) his or her (vote, endorsement, join our coalition) for what I am advocating?” Answering this question is fundamental to the planning and implementation of a successful advocacy campaign. Without the right answer, you are unlikely to get the vote, endorsement, coalition member, etc. So how do you woo a particular player to buy what you are selling?

Jeffery Gitomer, aka “King of Sales,” says a sale is less about why sellers sell than why buyers buy.[1] Both buyers and sellers are driven by self-interest. A government affairs axiom is, “Self-interest is the engine of government.”[2]

Lobbying is bartering.[3] That is, the exchange of political capital among self-interests to force, even if by political power alone, the incorporation of content into legislative and administrative lawmaking. The probability of successful incorporation is relative to the political power and self-interest of each buyer, seller, and the talents of their salespersons (lobbyists). Assessing political power is so central to planning and implementing a successful lobbying campaign that – in the public interest – it is available at the above link without charge.

Legislative and administrative lawmaking – at least up to publishing the APA-required Notice of Rulemaking – are influenced by bartering among political forces. The same players that lobbied the bill to the governor’s desk want agency rulemaking to keep, revise, or undo what the legislature did.

2022 workshops in Arlington in May and Las Vegas in September were the alpha and beta versions of restructuring the Lobby School to more student-participatory transactional rather than me doing all the talking. Thanks to those participants for their candid and very helpful evaluations.

With the help of many contributors, I have added a six-volume graduated series of novice to expert lobbying manuals (~1,200 pages).The Insiders Talk series provides much more information and guidance than I previously gave orally, even during a grad school semester or a 3-day workshop.

I welcome you, including previous Lobby School students, to Minneapolis December 8-9 (link) to further develop your lobbying skills and careers. Arlington and Las Vegas revised the Lobby School format. Six new best practices lobbying manuals add to the content. I expect you and all participants will get richer educational training – new or refresher -thereby leading to better lobbying outcomes.

[1] Jeff Gitomer, “’Why They Buy’ An answer every salesperson needs.” https://www.gitomer.com/why-they-buy-an-answer-every-salesperson-needs-2/

[2] I don’t remember where I heard this but variants of the saying are abundant on the web. For example, “How “Self-Interest” Works in The Federalist,” Law and Liberty (August 9, 2018) https://lawliberty.org/how-self-interest-works-in-the-federalist/

[3] I prefer the term “selling” but that politically loaded term is to be avoided. However, from How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie, 1936) to Gitomer’s and similar writings today, sales manuals are very helpful to effective lobbying.

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