Who is The Friedman Group Anyways?2018-11-09T17:13:52-05:00

Company Overview

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?”

A Proven Track Record of Success

Whether you’re looking for online, in-person, sales, or management training solutions, The Friedman Group can deliver. Retail training is our specialty and its all we’ve done for over 35 years. We’ve been helped 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.

0+ Retailers Trained
0+ Companies Represented
0 to 50% Sales Increases
0% Satisfaction

Work With A Winning Team

Karen Barry
Karen BarrySenior Consultant

With over 20 years of retail management training experience and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management, Karen has leveraged her charismatic style and passion for the business to add to the success of retailers in a variety of sizes and industries. Her extensive and diverse client portfolio has included such powerful names as Diane von Furstenberg, Cartier, Specialized Bicycles, Swarovski, Ashley Furniture, Theory, Le Creuset, Alfred Angelo Bridal, La Perla, Hard Rock Hotel, True Value Hardware, Swatch, La Prairie, and many others.

Thomas Post
Thomas PostSenior Consultant

Tom was a customer before he became a Trainer for The Friedman Group. He specializes in the teaching, application and implementation of high-performance retail sales and management methodologies. After graduating with majors in Economics and Business Administration from Morningside College in Sioux City, he met Harry Friedman. Tom joined the company in 1994 and has worked in over 70 different retail specialties.

Wendi Swanson
Wendi SwansonSenior Consultant

Wendi Swanson joined The Friedman Group in 1994, after 10 years of retail sales, management, and training program development experience in the women’s specialty apparel industry. She is known for the facilitation of high energy performance in a learning environment that simulates a deeper level of learning and retention. As an expert facilitator, she focuses on the human performance within retail organizations, earning the reputation of delivering passionate, enthusiastic training that causes her clients to sit on the edge of their seats.

“Our mission is to help you create a world class customer experience and growth that will set your company apart from the competition.”

The Friedman Group’s specialty is retail sales, management and operations. Simply put, we are in the business of helping salespeople sell more. We do so by training salespeople directly or through sales management at the store manager, field supervisor or owner level. 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 you can name.

What We Believe

Selling IS Customer Service

In a sales-oriented organization, every customer contact is an opportunity for revenue now and for future revenue.  One customer interacts with one employee, and the result either adds or subtracts from the customer’s perception of your organization, and in many cases, the amount the customer spends, as well.  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 get them into the store.  It seems like bigger retailers will release a new tactic or feature 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 one 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 once in a while, 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

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.
One Retailer
Harry J. Friedman
Harry J. FriedmanFounder & CEO

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.

Ever Wonder What it Would Be Like to Have Harry in Your Corner?

Hire the Retail Master Himself, Harry Friedman to be Your Private Retail Coach & Mentor

See What Harry Can Do for You & Why He’s the Man to Have Supporting You

Find out more

How He’s Shaped an Industry

The Right Tools. The Right Solution.

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.

Don’t Believe Us? ASK
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

We Thrive On Challenging Projects. They Produce Bigger Rewards In The End.

Just ask these guys

We Are Global And Have Helped Clients Worldwide.

Contact a Consultant

CALL US AT 310.590.1248


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The Best Professional Retail Coaching 

Few individuals can say that they have a resource they can count on to bounce ideas off of, call them out on their B.S., and help them think outside the burdens of the day. If you are looking for professional, unbiased, real feedback on how you are operating, you have found it.

Harry Friedman has a gift, to connect with individuals and coach them to success. He takes seemingly complex issues and is able to break them down into bite-sized executable tasks. He has the ability to see opportunities that may not be so obvious and identify issues that may be equally elusive. Harry is here to coach, train, and guide those who are willing to start playing in a bigger game. Are you ready?