A destined-to-fail retailer once asked “What if I train my staff and they leave?” Harry Friedman’s response: “What if you don’t train them and they stay?”

It’s all about you and your business achieving major success, growth, sales, organization and control.

Retail Sales Training

A Proven Track Record of Success

The Friedman Group’s specialty is retail sales, management and operations. Simply put, we are in the business of helping retail organizations sell more. We do so by training salespeople directly or through sales management at the store manager, field supervisor or owner level. We’ve transformed company cultures, so results are sustainable. Our track record is unparalleled, and we have thousands of success stories from many years of focused effort to bring a higher level of performance and professionalism to retail in just about every industry imaginable

What We Believe

In a sales-oriented organization, every customer contact is an opportunity for immediate revenue and future revenue.  One customer interacts with one employee, and the result either adds or subtracts from the customer’s perception of your organization and the amount the customer spends.  Whether our client has 50,000 employees or 5, the challenge is the same: how to optimize every customer interaction.

But the world is moving faster.  It’s interesting to see the number of software developers and marketers out there bidding for the retailer’s dollar, all with ‘new and innovative’ ways to excite customers and encourage them to buy.  It seems like bigger retailers roll out a new tactic or gizmo every day to entice customers into buying.  One day it’s a virtual dressing room and the next it’s an app for your phone to keep track of what you like in the store.  They’ll spend any amount of money to sell to customers without, or in spite of, salespeople.

Yet, stripped down, retail is still a human-to-human proposition. In the end, it’s all about what one employee says or does on the selling floor. We’ve got the best training for your employees on the planet, but in the end, each employee has to choose on his or her own to do right by your customers. And training doesn’t have much to do with that. How they are managed has everything to do with it. We focus retailers on the bigger game of sales management and cultivating not only the intent within sales associates to make a sale, but also to treat their customers exceedingly well.

We live and breathe this philosophy, but there’s a compromise to be made. Stay current with, or at least aware of the technological improvements to attract customers, but occasionally, take the time to look customers in the eyes and relate to them. Make them believe they’re important. Retailer after retailer is dying a slow or even swift death. The autopsies confirm that they all had “fear of irrelevance” in their systems and had stopped looking customers in the eyes.

Are you moving so fast that you don’t take the time to see if your staff can, and more importantly, wants to execute some of the fundamentals that made you famous – or can make you famous? This is the big game we focus on and we’d love to help you play that game better.

He Put The ‘Friedman’ In Friedman Group

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.

Bill B. (600 stores)

Think you know retail? Think again. You haven’t met Harry Friedman. He continually has the best new ideas on running a retail floor available. Grab your management team and take them his course before everyone finds out about it. It's that powerful!

Howard F. (3 stores)

The Friedman Group's program was responsible for 50% of our total sales increase. More important, it contributed 25% of our total profit in its first-year roll-out. We absolutely recommend it for any retail organization.

Erin C. (450 stores)

retail sales Harry speaking

You don’t meet Harry Friedman, you encounter him! 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. He went on to become an international retail authority, consultant, bestselling author, and the most heavily attended speaker on retail selling and sales management in the world. 

Lucky us, Harry started The Friedman Group. Lucky you, we’re here to let you in on everything.

How Harry Friedman Shaped the Retail Industry

The Right Tools. The Right Solution.

Before us, it either didn’t exist or wasn’t yet considered a best practice.

Here are a few of the techniques and strategies that we pioneered. 

Sales Training

First to look at the sales process through the customers’ eyes and understand 1) that they are naturally resistant to being assisted and 2) why this is the case. The answer resulted in Harry being the first to call out salespeople for asking things like, “Can I help you?” or “Is there anything in particular you’re looking for?” His approach was the first known now as relationship selling.

First to devise a method for the physical approach to customers that, when done properly, actually decreases resistance and may even cause 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 uncovers the real reasons and concerns or lies customers tell 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.

Store Management

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.

District Management

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.

First to tackle the subject of leadership and its role in supervising stores.

First to question how often stores should be visited, which stores to visit and how time is spent during the visit, all resulting in driving sales more than focusing on operations.

First to introduce the idea of partnering with store managers strategically and tactically to improve sales.

First to define the role of district managers in manpower planning and building bench strength.

We Are Global And Have Helped Clients Worldwide.