The 'Monday Minute' is a weekly feature at PAX dedicated to highlighting the movers, shakers, leaders and rule-breakers in Canada's travel agent community. Wanna be profiled? Wanna nominate someone? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Name: Denise Stahl
Company: Click The Mouse
How long have you been a travel agent?
My travel agent journey is a bit unique. I have a social work degree and work as a child protection worker. Due to the stressful nature of my full time job, I fell in love with the Disney products and travelled extensively on Disney Cruise Line (to date I have completed 24 Disney Cruises) and to Walt Disney World. It is after all the happiest place on earth!
Sandra (owner of Click The Mouse) and I met over a joint volunteer venture when she started out with Click the Mouse. She was looking for Disney “people” and asked me to join. At the time, I felt I couldn’t commit. A few years late, after seeing Sandra’s success, I wanted to be a part of it doing what I love. Coincidence or not, I sailed on a nine night Alaskan Disney Cruise with Sandra and told her I was ready (over drinks) and she hired me! I have been a travel agent since August 2018 and it has been the most rewarding and fun job I have ever had.
Speciality: I feel Disney Cruises are my second home! I am the Disney Cruise Line Specialist and Adventures By Disney Specialist for the Click the Mouse team.
What do you love most about being a travel agent?
I studied social work because I wanted to help people and make children happy. Being a Travel Agent specializing in Disney Vacations does just that without the emotional stress, the politics and the sad stories! I get to make people happy and when I put together the gifts and plans for families, I do so knowing and imagining the children’s faces when they arrive at Walt Disney World or a family goes on their first Disney Cruise.
What's one travel trend you've noticed in consumers as of late?
I believe that travelling the world builds character! Families want to enrich their children’s lives by providing them with a different understanding of the world. They look for culturally immersive and family interactive engagement. Disney through their cruises and through Adventures by Disney provides these wonderful opportunities. Families are looking at making lasting memories, spending quality family time and incorporating educational opportunities into their vacations.
What's the most creative thing you've ever done to secure a sale?
I share my own experience and put a little bit of myself into every potential sale. For me it's not only about the sale, but the human connection. I want my guests to connect with me on a personal level. I want them to see me as part of their ‘travel experience’. This, I believe will make them come back. When one is passionate and positive about something it shows and this attitude can be infectious.
I moderate a Mom’s group on Facebook where the entire purpose is based on Disney travel/experiences. I always have my business cards with me and since I am a talker (just ask my family who have bets out on how long it will take me to start talking about Disney with a stranger). I always wear at least one Disney item - usually a purse, and I advertise Click the Mouse on my car.
My very first sale occurred because I started a conversation with a stranger in a restaurant who mentioned to his friend that he was going to plan a trip to WDW for Christmas and had not booked yet.
What's your proudest sales achievement to date?
In less then a year, I have become both the Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney Specialist at Click the Mouse and been assigned the MVP (Magical Vacation Planner) status. I have sold the most Adventures by Disney Packages in my agency and will be going on my first FAM with Adventures by Disney at the end of July.
What's your number one piece of advice for other travel agents?
Believe in yourself! Specialize in an area, whether it's Disney, or another product. When you become knowledgeable in one area you become confident, positive and your passion about what you do will shine through.
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