Readers’ Lives: Richard Slater

Richard Slater has become one of an elite band of just 20 Disney specialist homeworkers in the UK.

For Richard, a travel agent with more than 25 years’ experience, becoming a preferred seller of one of the most-loved brands in the industry is not only exciting, but also gives him a chance to hone his knowledge of the resorts even further.

He is already a prolific seller of Disney holidays, which make up 5%-10% of his business – a proportion that is growing.

“It’s a product you can sell with confidence because everything works like clockwork. You know clients will have a perfect holiday because you are selling a dream,” says Richard, who had to submit a detailed business plan and come up with innovative marketing ideas as part of his application for the role.

He says the key to selling Disney is knowing the details of the product – being able to advise clients on the right Disney park for them and to pre-plan all the elements of their trip – rather than simply how many times you have visited yourself.

“Disney did not give me this position based on the number of visits I’d made, but on my knowledge and a sound business plan,” adds Richard.

“I don’t think it’s about the number of times you go, it’s about being able to answer the questions clients have and being able to talk to the right people at Disney to find out. You might have been 20 times, but someone still might ask you about a jazz festival you’ve not been to.”

As a specialist homeworker for Disney, Richard’s product knowledge is regularly tested. He also receives marketing support. But it’s up to him to come up with innovative ways to promote holidays within the budget.

He has run a leaflet campaign and a radio advertisement, and is working on an online campaign with a website that offers content specifically for mums.

Richard, who is planning a return trip to Disneyland Paris and a third trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in 2017, says: “It’s about thinking outside the box. We have to spend the money wisely.”

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