Bob Gregoire had been a salesman for 17 years when a Sandler Sales Institute franchisee came to conduct training at his company. "He was phenomenal," he says. "He helped me with process and selling skills that I had never been exposed to."
The presentation got Gregoire thinking about more than just selling. "When I heard him, I thought, 'If he can help me after selling and doing this for so long, and make money at it, maybe I could do as good a job or better,'" he says.
In 1999, Gregoire founded Gregoire & Associates LLC, his Lowell, Massachusetts-based Sandler franchise. For him, the move from salesman to facilitator was a completely natural one: "This is the kind of business where I'm up in front of people, and I'm an entertainer, an actor, a little bit of a comedian-plus I've got the experience of selling and managing, so it was an unbelievably perfect fit for my background and skill set."
Gregoire's time is divided between conducting sales and sales management seminars on site for large groups of employees and at his training center for small groups and individuals. Though he has an office to house his training center and employees, the business can be homebased if all sessions are held at clients' locations.
Though he enjoys his business, "nothing is permanent for this guy," says Gregoire. "I like it, I'm having fun, I'm making money, I can take it in several different directions...but I also love change."