I’m not a foodie per se, but I do love food. I have a strong appreciation for Italian food in particular, as relayed in an earlier blog.
And if you’ve lived anywhere near New York City, you understand two things about pizza. First, New York-style is the best pizza on the planet, period, done, enda story. Second, pizzerias are a dime a dozen in the city—although everyone does have a favorite spot.
Wandering around New York recently, I stumbled on John’s pizzeria, which appears to be a fan favorite near Times Square. Note the several signs proclaiming “No slices.” I was struck by that. It sort of rings of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld: “No slice for you.”
What does that mean? How could a pizzeria—with the word “pizza” in its name—not serve up one of those scrumptious, cheesy triangles that you fold in half and try not to burn your mouth on? Have you seen the size of whole pizzas in New York? Now I gotta buy the entire pie? That’s my only option?
But John’s Pizzeria has a strategy, doesn’t it? It sure cuts down on the walk-ins who need a quick carb hit and clog up the cash register or tie up tables for an hour. It sure separates John’s from other pizza places—there are probably six within earshot of that location. And with the multiple signs (“No Slices”), it sure is typical in-your-face New York. No secrets. No surprises. Patrons know the policy up-front.
Think about it: The difference between a whole pizza and a single slice is huge. Indeed, it’s much more about a larger meal versus a smaller meal.
What about you?
- Are you selling only the whole pizza—all your firm has to offer, the entire package? That might require relatively less traffic volume. I know an independent insurance brokerage, for example, that has 200 customers. The average commission/fee revenue per account is more than $180,000. That’s a lot of whole pizza pies. No slices.
- Or do you offer just a single slice of what you have, luring in some peckish customers? In this case, you need more traffic—a higher volume of customers each buying one product or service, for example.
- Either way, here’s the most important point: It’s fine if you understand what you’re doing—but your customers themselves must understand the difference between the whole pizza and just a slice. Is it clear to them what you will do? Do you tell them what you won’t do? “Sorry, you can’t have just a slice. We are seeking customers who are fully committed to the entire pie of services we provide.”
A whole pie or a slice: Which way to go? What’s the right strategy? You can succeed at either. But if you’re in between—and the customers don’t get it—that’s a tougher place to be. Which approach have you taken, and do your customers understand it?
For me, until I know more about the place, I gotta sample it first. No slice? Fuggedaboudit.