How To Win Customers

In 1996 the world experienced the 100th Summer Olympics. The venue for the 1996 Summer Olympics should have easily gone to Athens.


Because Athens was home to the inaugural edition of the modern Olympics. It would have made sense for the Olympics to happen there.

Yet, the 1996 Summer Olympics happened far from Athens. These Olympic Games happened in Atlanta, Georgia.

Young men laughing together

Photo by Jed Villejo on Unsplash

How did this happen? Atlanta, The International Olympic Committee chose Georgia to be home for the 1996 Olympic Games because of a plan of action by Billy Payne.

His plan worked then. You can use it to win your customers.

How To Win Customers

While tragedy struck the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta due to the bombing, Richard Jewell accusations, and more, the process for getting the Olympics to Atlanta was solid.

In the book, The Suspect, Kent Alexander lays out what happened.

Payne had a grand vision of Atlanta receiving the winning bid for the Olympics. It would be hard as Greece was the frontrunner due to the huge anniversary of the games.

Yet, Payne used one of the oldest processes in the book to win the Olympics.

Payne looked at what it would take. He realized to win the games, he and his team would have to win over the IOC bidding committee. The team went to town.

They began to interact with the IOC. He formed what he called the Atlanta Nine. The Atlanta Nine then began to reach out to the members of the International Olympic Committee and made friends with the people who would cast the votes.

Payne’s theory was that people would vote for their friends. So, make friends.

It worked. Atlanta won the games!

Now, how can you use this to your advantage? How can making friends help you win customers?

It’s as simple as Payne’s theory. People want to work with people they like. Who do they like the most? Their friends.

The more friends you make in business, the likelihood of them working with you as a customer grows.

So, how do you win customers? Be their friend.

Have normal conversations with them. Learn their wife’s name. Learn their children’s names. And learn their pet’s names.

Find out what they like to do. Do they like to go to the local baseball team’s games? Take them out. Is there a restaurant they’ve been dying to try? Send them and their spouse to the restaurant.

When we make friends, we make connections. These connections then seep out to our businesses. Finally, they make customers.

Don’t overlook the power of making friends in business. The more friends you make, the more customers you can gain.


Don’t use this as a way to manipulate people. You can easily manipulate others with this tactic if you’re not careful. What you want to do is to create true friendships. Work on building real relationships. Grow your interest in them. Friendship isn’t a one-way street where you take, take, take. Be a giving friend and it will come back to you.

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