Why Middleby Doesn't Chase Customers

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

In the video interview below, Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner speaks with Middleby CEO Selim Bassoul. Since becoming CEO in 2000, Bassoul has led a remarkable transformation at Middleby, turning the cooking equipment maker's stock into a nearly 50-bagger over that time. In the video below, Bassoul discusses how the company can continue its rapid growth.

Middleby is one of Tom Gardner's favorite stocks, but you can never have too many great companies in your portfolio. If you're looking for more ideas, our chief investment officer has selected a different stock as his favorite for this year. Find out which stock it is in the free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company. 

Tom Gardner: I want to talk about your philosophy of serving your customers, and I want to talk about it in the context of the pursuit of new customers and the service of existing customers, because we just talked about this beforehand and I found it pretty fascinating, how you view what your goals are with regard to your customer base.

Selim Bassoul: Our goal is 100% customer retention. We chase very little new customers. We are not interested in chasing new customers. We believe that you should retain the same customers, pamper them, surround them and protect them, and the way we do that is simple. So feature and benefit, a value proposition, but the biggest thing that has been a big success for me is that I spend most of my time not visiting my own customers. I visit customers of my competitors, because those customers tell me what the competitors are doing right and wrong, and take it back and apply to my own...

Gardner: Now most people would think that that was your attempt to steal those customers from your competitors.

Bassoul: No, no, I have no attempt. When I go in and meet with those customers, they say, Selim, we don't choose Middleby. I said, "Great. All I want to know is why you use my competitors." And the reason is my customers love us. Our customers love us. They can't tell me what's wrong with my equipment. I take an example of Papa John's, who uses exclusively our ovens. They don't know our competitors. They have never used the competitor's oven. It's my obligation duty to go back and tell them, this is a competing chain that chooses my competitors, and let me tell you what they get and what they don't get. The good stuff I take it back to my company and apply it to my customers.

The article Why Middleby Doesn't Chase Customers originally appeared on Fool.com.

Tom Gardner owns shares of Middleby. The Motley Fool recommends Middleby. The Motley Fool owns shares of Middleby and Papa John's International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

People are Reading