As so many of us have heard, niche, niche, niche. We have heard it at trade conferences for years. I worked at a cruise only agency from 1999-2007 and was under the assumption that that was a niche. I didn’t know niche until I started Ears of Experience! I really worried about it in so many ways. How do you build a strong business from one product? One product that offers lower commission than most; and one product that appears to offer very few discounts or promotions. I was terrified that I would be relegated to selling hotels on International Drive. But I kept hearing, “cast a smaller net and you will catch so many more fish.” So I jumped and never looked back.
I dove in and started learning everything I could about my niche. It’s no easy task when you consider the park tickets, the 27 resorts, the restaurants (overrated ones and the hidden gems), and even the bathrooms to avoid. I don’t sell the hotels on International Drive, I don’t even sell off property hotels with the exception of four which I personally know. So now I am known as the “Disney Lady”, and that is great! I have clients cheerleading for me. They have contacted magazines on my behalf and even wanted the Clark Howard show to hear about me. I feel very blessed to have this kind of client base and it came from being an expert in my area of travel and staying on top of things. If something changes, I am on it and my clients know it. They know I will keep them informed so they don’t have to worry. They also have confidence in knowing I will know if a better promotion or new Disney experience comes out before their vacation. I take this charge very seriously. I am dealing with their family memories and understand they are entrusting an expert with this. Just going from cruise specialist, to specializing in Disney, my numbers are over double what they were way back then.
Be an expert in an area–it helps you with marketing, it helps your clients help you with referrals, it helps you close the sale, and it helps you build better relationships with your suppliers. Most of all, it gives you a peace. Gone are the days of running around researching the heck out of an unfamiliar destination. As the expert, I can rattle off the cost a cab from the port to the park or suggest a great hidden restaurant without blinking an eye. And when you can do this, your clients trust you.
Thoughts? Please leave a comment!
Amy Sinclair is the owner of a fee-free Disney-only agency called Ears of Experience. Ears of Experience builds custom Disney experiences for their clients with an emphasis on personalization. The agency even has Disney kid experts “on staff” to work with the children of clients. To contact Amy by email — firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her site at www.themouseexperts.com.