Meeting Martin Butler, A Much Admired Retail Genius

I grew up in a time of Retailers who stood tall; family businesses with passionate, knowledgeable, roll-the-sleeves-up-and-join-the-troops managers, leaders and owners. As a Grace Bros Management Cadet, I worked with so many talented Managers and retailers.

Over the past 20 years, retail has lost its way and the passionate skilled leaders are few and far between, independents have been replaced by chain stores and retail know-how has been replaced by balance sheet bottom line.

I rarely read a retail book with insight and knowledge, lots of fact and reporting but not much insight and investigation the fundamentals of retail on a global scale.

That was until I read Martin Butler‘s “The Art of Being Chosen, Secrets of Success from the Giants of Retail“. It was like hearing my favourite store manager Andrew Meagher, share the stories, his insight, a learning to boot! Martin asks the questions I would ask these giants of modern retail… it was a wonderful companion while I was reading it, I was travelling around the world and watching the interviews with him.  Was a little sad when I finished it!

That was 2 years ago and I revisited it last year and connected with Martin online – and he accepted the connection!! I have met famous people so I am not a person who is easily wowed by people but I was chuffed that someone I admired accepted my connection.  I missed his Australian appearance at the Westfield Breakfast Series earlier this year and was happy to hear that he was back in Oz for a flying visit.

We talked retail and Martin pointed 2 things out I wanted to share with you:

1. It is NOT Customer Service but CUSTOMER CARE.

If you think of the interaction with the customer as taking care of them – then you act and treat them differently, it is more authentic.

2. It is not training but EDUCATION – you train an animal and educate a human.

It is not just rote learning but education which informs and empowers.

Think about it – it makes total sense! Change the words and the meaning changes and is far more correct!!

So that is my little treat for you, the insights and tips from a generous clever lover of retail.  It’s my Christmas Gift to you! Ignore at your own peril 🙂


About Martin Butler:

Born into retailing, Martin is a true hybrid. Part retailer, part marketer, he uses this unique combination to inform his clients and audiences, sharing his views in articles and editorials. Martin now enjoys travelling the world researching and writing on Retail and customer service excellence. Lecturing on leadership and modern customers,  highlighting the importance of innovation and the role of emotion in commerce. Running interactive workshops on his books and speaking at international conferences and business schools.

Visit Martin Butler’s Site here.

art_of_being_chosen_cover    Nancy Georges and Martin Butler



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