Company Overview

A destined-to-fail retailer once asked, “What if I train my staff and they leave?” What a terrible question. The real question is, “What if you don’t train them and they stay?”

For more than 30 years, we’ve been solving this issue by helping countless numbers of retailers implement processes for goal setting, metrics analysis, coaching, hiring, training, progressive discipline and everything in between. We’ve transformed company cultures so results are sustainable. In other words, we work.

Who's this Harry J. Friedman guy?

"You don't meet Harry J. Friedman you encounter him. He's outrageous, revolutionary, inventive and invigorating. His unique style shakes you up and forces you to rethink the way you sell or manage on a retail floor."

That’s what one retailer said anyway, and we couldn’t agree more. In 1980, sales trainers were a dime a dozen, but Harry was the first to question all the typical approaches to selling. Now, he’s an international retail authority, consultant, bestselling author, and the most heavily attended speaker on retail selling and sales management in the world. Lucky us, he started The Friedman Group. Lucky you, we’re here to let you in on everything.

"Never, in my 25 years in this business, have I found anyone able to identify and SOLVE the problems of selling in a retail store like Harry Friedman has.
"

National Shoe Retailers Association

Bill Boettge, Former President

"The Friedman program is the most accomplished, effective concept for retail management in the industry. Their direction works! In less than two years, Tandem Tire has achieved a sales increase of over one million dollars, or an 8.5 percent increase over our previous year's sales. This happened in conjunctions with a reduction in labor expense of $420,000. The Friedman program is the best kept secret in retailing today."

Tandem Tire & Auto

Mark B. Griffin

"The Friedman Group took our business to a level we never imagined we could reach by helping us raise our standards and improve compliance."

Modell’s Sporting Goods

Mitchell Modell

How We’ve Shaped the Industry

Here are a few of the techniques and strategies that we pioneered. Before
us, it either didn't exist or wasn't yet considered a best practice.

  • First to devise the 180-degree pass-by, which, when done properly, actually causes customers to end up approaching you.
  • First to make it a non-negotiable standard for salespeople to always make an additional suggestion to every customer purchasing at least one item. We’re the reason why so many salespeople bring out four pairs of shoes when you ask to try on one. And then it spread to every other industry.
  • First to revolutionize the trial close. Our trial close is a simple question that attempts to close on the main item by actually suggesting an additional one. Simple but brilliant. 
  • First to design a smoke-out method that gets the real reasons and concerns out of a customer instead of just getting stalls, or lies a customer tells about why they’re not buying in order to get out of the store.
  • First to discover that an objection to price could be based on budget or a lack of perceived value. Laid out a process to uncover which was the case so each could be handled more effectively.
  • First to address the issue of handling objections in an empathetic way. Prior to us, the usual aggressive tactic of ignoring the objection and pushing for the sale was the norm.
  • First to establish a fair goal-setting process and develop a very visual dashboard for tracking achievement that tells a store’s story in a single glance. Before us, the few stores that tracked individual sales kept asking top sellers to sell more, while allowing those who weren’t pulling their fair share to stay, sometimes indefinitely.
  • First to identify key metrics in each industry, some of which had never been paid any attention. Before us, many stores didn’t have individual statistics—now referred to as metrics or KPIs.
  • First to make individual accountability a main management tool. Before us, managers were judged by a store’s performance. But we looked at the percentage of individuals who hit sales goals, thereby putting pressure on managers to work on improving every subpar individual. Without this, one great salesperson could carry a store and the manager could take credit.
  • First to formalize the path for coaching and progressive discipline. That way a manager had a roadmap to follow when improving both individual and store performance.
  • First to formalize training checklists. These increased the efficiency and effectiveness of onboarding new hires and made it so they were more productive and on the floor faster.
  • First to transform product knowledge training from merely training on products to training on how to sell them.
  • First to develop a self-study sales training program that guarantees comprehension through a series of tests and practical application checkouts.
  • First to define the district manager position in retail. Before us, the best store managers were promoted to district manager but often failed because they had no idea of how to get their district to succeed without making sales themselves. The job often became that of an inventory manager with district managers picking up merchandise from one store and taking it to another. We clearly defined the position and how to do it well.
  • First to teach district managers how to not only accurately assess each store’s strengths and weaknesses, but also make a strategic plan for each and easily track the progress.

Some of Our Clients

We’ve worked with the best and made them better.