An Amusing Anecdote


For many years, HotSpring has provided sales training to its staff across the world. And thirty-five years in the hot tub business does give us a wealth of experience to draw from. With expert sales professionals on hand to consult with in showrooms, by email and over the phone, we aim to provide a level of advice and assistance that is unparalleled in our industry.

Greg Welsh is President and Founder of the Welsh Sales Group. From 1992-2001, Greg was the National Sales Trainer for Watkins Manufacturing in California. At the request of Rick Shlottmann, Vice President of International Sales, Greg proved a pioneer in introducing sales training concepts to European and British sales professionals during the 1990s, and he continues to do so to this day.

Greg has some fascinating anecdotes about his sales training, and was good enough to share with us this amusing tale:

“I remember that formal sales training ‘over the pond’ had some humble beginnings. I think it was 1994 or so, and Rick Schlottman asked that I hold a class for our European dealers. We went to Belgium for our first Watkins/HotSpring sales training.  I did not know what to expect… but Rick assured me we would work through the ‘English’ thing … since he believed most attendees would understand my English.”

– Not the case.

“Once we arrived, we quickly realized translation was required … so, ‘seat of the pants’ company that we were back then, Rick simply ‘appointed’ two surprised attendees to also act as ‘translators’ for every phrase that I said, one translated into French, one into German or Flemish (or maybe both … it was a blur.)  So for every phrase I spoke in English, one ‘attendee’ translated into  French – and then the other translated into German/Flemish.

“I remember we really got hung up on the phrase ‘Regular Price’.  (Some things just don’t translate!)

“It was a long, gruelling four days.  Made tougher, as I recall, because they served wine every day at lunch!  Afternoon sessions were torture!

“One final thing I remember, at our end of session ‘banquet’ … Rick talked about great things to come in Europe, and encouraged the team to achieve ‘Europe 500’  (500 spas total!). Looking back now and seeing the professionalism and growth ‘over the pond’ … I think about that ‘goal’ quite often!

Congratulations to Rick, Watkins and all our European and International partners for all that you have accomplished! We have all come a long way from those humble beginnings …”

We have indeed come a long way – far exceeding the 500 spa goal – maybe because we no longer serve wine at lunchtime! We hope you enjoyed this fun tale. And when you get in touch with a HotSpring sales professional, rest assured they follow the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct. We have Greg to thank for significantly contributing to that professionalism.

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