News & Politics

How to Get Access to Powerful People

Photograph via iStock.

Our expert: Ed Rogers, chairman of the lobbying firm BGR Group and former deputy assistant to President George H.W. Bush.

Be purposeful. “Nobody should run around town and just ask for schmooze time. That’s not what Washing-ton is about. Have some-thing to say that’s relevant to both parties.”

Be honest. “When you want a courtesy meeting, ask for a courtesy meeting. People respect that more than trying to contrive some less-than-sincere reason for wanting to meet.”

Be proactive. “Never be the person waiting for the call back. Leave the precise action with you—‘I will call you in two days.’ ”

Be optimistic. “People are closer than you think. If you’re credible and have a plausible case to make and you want to see somebody, they’ll probably see you.”

Read more advice, tips, and tricks from Washington natives in our Secrets of the City package.

This article appears in our January 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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