KHM Travel Agent Spotlight: Laurence Pinckney
Written by: Amanda Bailey on February 12, 2016
There are many ways to gauge your success as a travel agent. It might be making a specific number of bookings, or hitting a sales goal. Or it could be increasing your client base by a certain amount.
Our featured Pinnacle Elite Agent, Laurence Pinckney of Zenbiz Travel, has reached a level of success and confidence in his travel business that many agents dream of. His vision and business savvy allow him to be selective about the clients he works with.
As a real estate broker in the New York City/New Jersey area for 20 years, his income was subject to the ups and downs in the market. He decided a second career would give him more stability, and in 2001, he got involved planning events for a non-profit organization in New York.
This provided a gateway to his travel agent career. He helped plan major events that drew thousands of people, and brought on globally-recognized sponsors like Verizon and Absolut.
At one point, he worked with a travel agent to coordinate a cruise, and found himself doing a lot of the work. Becoming a travel agent himself seemed like the next logical step.
He joined KHM Travel Group in 2009, and reached Pinnacle Elite Level two years later. Not surprisingly, his business focuses on group travel, and bespoke trips.
“When I looked at all the companies, I knew I didn’t want an MLM and I knew I wanted a family-oriented business,” says Laurence. “I didn’t want to be a part of huge corporation where I couldn’t just call up the owners and talk.”
He also was impressed with KHM Travel Group’s established relationships with travel suppliers. It’s allowed him to develop very customized, memorable trips for his clients that are unlike anything they’ll find anywhere else.
For instance, for one group cruise, the itinerary included 26 exclusive events for that group over the course of a week-long sailing. It’s this specific programming that goes above and beyond regular travel packages.
“What KHM really offers is tremendous, well-vetted vendors and that’s a big thing that I think a lot of people don’t realize,” Laurence says.
In addition to providing 24/7 service to his clients, he’s also big on demonstrating why budget should be secondary to having the experience they’ve dreamed of.
In 2016, he is escorting groups to Brazil and South Africa. He’s already curating a trip to Bora Bora for 2017.
Laurence has traveled the globe himself, so much so that it’s challenging for him to pick out a favorite destination. He’s already visited Brazil and South Africa, as well as Europe and the Caribbean. He’s also been on multiple Seminars-at-Sea and FAM trips.
It’s not just about the travel for Laurence. It’s about the people. Referrals are a crucial part of Zenbiz Travel’s growth, which is where world-class service and personalized programming set it apart.
It takes time and vision to establish this kind of rapport, but it’s well within reach for new travel agents. It just takes confidence.
“Believe in yourself,” says Laurence. “Do the training, FAMs and make it fun.”
Congratulations, Laurence, on building a thriving travel business! We are honored to have you as part of the KHM Travel Group family.
Start your homed-based travel agency with KHM Travel Group, and you’ll have access to all the resources you need to reach your business goals — including the expertise of our network of agents!
Fill out the form on the right or call 888-611-1220 to receive our free information packet with everything you need to know about becoming a travel agent.