5 Important Lessons the Soup Nazi Can Teach You about Business

by RJ

in Making Money

What can the fictional Seinfeld character, the Soup Nazi, teach you about making more money?

After catching the episode recently, I saw that it was no accident there was a line out there door. So I took down a few notes and came up with the following core business principles.

# 1 – Be the Best at One Thing

The Soup Nazi made the best soup in New York. If you wanted a sandwich, you selected between dozens of deli’s offering similar products. If you wanted soup, there was only one place to go. What’s a product or service that you can deliver, that can be the best?

# 2 – Word of Mouth is the Best Form of Marketing

Everyone who tasted soup made from the Soup Nazi raved about it.  The soup was a new experience. One that they were not only glad, but happy to tell their friends about. Make your product or service an experience worth sharing. An experience that they are not only proud to share, but don’t minding bragging a little to their friends about.

# 3 – Make Paying You As Easy as Possible

The Soup Nazi had a strict ordering procedure. There was no confusion about how to order and, more importantly, pay. I have seen many sales lost, especially online, from customers who are willing but confused about the paying procedure. Never confuse the customer when they are about to hand you over money.

# 4 – Not everyone is Your Customer

During business hours the Soup Nazi was only interested in his target market, i.e. the people who wanted soup and wanted it fast. If you were going to kiss in line or bang the table, you were asked to leave.

# 5 – Deliver a Clear Message about Who You Are

There’s a furniture store (I think) down the street that has a large sign that says “Open to Public.” If your first impression needs to reinforce that you’re open to public, something is wrong. Instead, the Soup Nazi’s went with the simple sign that says, “Hot Soup.” No confusion there.

P.S. – If you have no clue who I’m talking about, watch this YouTube clip of  The Best of the Soup Nazi.


Photo by: Atomicjeep

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Briana @ GBRNo Gravatar December 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm

What a great post. I especially love the fact that you should be the best at one thing. The more services you try to perfect, you tend to dilute the quality.


RDNo Gravatar December 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm

This hits the nail on the head.
Great article!


Chris HNo Gravatar December 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm

So cool! I would have never thought about the Soup Nazi as a business role model – he certainly didn’t take the “customer is always right approach”! But you make some really good points here. I’ve always believed word of mouth is the best marketing, which in most cases means a happy customer/client is the best marketing (maybe not for the soup nazi – although, i guess his customers were happy with the soup, so I take that back!)

In the last few years I’ve also totally bought into the not everyone is your customer thing. I want only clients who are appreciative and value my service. That usually comes when there’s a certain amount of common ground philosophically….which is why I’m now focusing on the last one – delivering a very clear message about who I am. I’m beginning to see that that makes a big difference in attracting client that I really want to work with.

Great piece, thanks RJ!


Debt GuyNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm

OK, any time I see a Seinfeld reference I got to stop and give kudos. On top of that, your point is well taken. The “Soup Nazi” business model probably wouldn’t cut it in the real world, but if you really do have the best soup…?


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