Are you one of the many advisors who specializes in selling Disney? If so, Beci Mahnken, owner of MEI-Travel, Mouse Fan Travel and Universal Fan Travel, has a message for you: Keep an open mind.
"Open your mind to Universal," Mahnken said. "Open your mind to cruise lines. Open your mind to trips to Europe, because your clients are going to want to discover this world, and that's going to be more business opportunity for you."
Mahnken was speaking on "Selling the Mouse," my new podcast miniseries that focuses on agencies that sell theme parks. In fact, she was my first guest, which will continue to air through January. As I plan to do with all my guests, Mahnken and I talked theme park news, including Disney's new mega ship, her business model and more.
She herself started in travel by selling Disney, but has expanded her business into Universal, cruising, Europe and more. She has around 107 employees and independent.
In addition to keeping an open mind to selling more products, Mahnken offered another piece of advice, one of her "passion pieces:" "Don't rebate your commission. I think that's one of the biggest mistakes that we are making in this industry to attract new business when you're first into it."
It's not an uncommon practice, Mahnken said, especially among newer agents.
"For me, you're worth every single penny that you're earning," she said. "Don't give it back."
Consumers are willing to pay for value, Mahnken said, so instead of considering rebating, share your value as an advisor and how you can serve them.
Mahnken and I talked about a number of other subjects -- some relating to Disney and Universal and many about business practices and the travel agency community. I hope you'll give it a listen and look for the next episode Monday, Dec. 5.
"Selling the Mouse" will be a five-episode miniseries. You can find the podcast in the "Trade Secrets" feed, where episodes will automatically appear. You can find "Trade Secrets" wherever you listen to podcasts.