Rising Star Agent of the Year: Ashley Clark
Written by: Sydney M Crago on February 22, 2019
Since catching the travel bug, Ashley Clark’s passion for travel and her desire to see the world has only grown. After a friend started her own travel business, Ashley reached out to find out how she too could become a travel agent. After planning a life-changing trip to Hawaii for herself, she began Near and Far Travel Services with KHM Travel Group in 2017.
Ashley’s passion for seeing the world and sharing it with others had her diving headfirst into the travel agent life. Having never worked in the travel industry before, she knew that she would have to dedicate time and energy into learning travel suppliers, destinations, and the ins and out of running her own business.
Ashley focused her attention on segments of travel she is passionate about including all-inclusive resorts, Hawaiian vacations, European experiences, and international adventure travel.
“I did many practice bookings to help learn the different suppliers,” said Ashley. “Every new request that I got, I learned that destination or cruise line and took training as I went along.”
This helped her to build her knowledge while serving her clients. But Ashley’s learning didn’t stop there. She attended our Boot Camp and Destination Success in 2017. Attending these events gave her the chance to forge lasting friendships with several other agents at these events. This group of friends calls upon each other when questions and issues arise, pooling their experiences and knowledge to better serve their clients.
Ashley also took advantage of KHM Travel Group’s Coaching Program. In late 2017 she completed her first session with Jennifer Henneman and had another near the end of 2018.
“It was great to have those sessions to start thinking about goal setting and where I wanted to be at the end of 2019,” Ashley added. “She provided me with tips and strategies that I needed to work on and implement into my business.”
For Ashley and many other agents, the Coaching Program’s one-on-one and small group support is ideal for learning new skills and getting individualized help with specific aspects of running a business. The goal of Coaching is to empower agents to build their business with the advice and guidance of our team.
After a little over a year in business, Ashley’s hard work paid off as she was awarded our 2018 Rising Star Award at our recent Crystal Awards ceremony. This award is given to a 2017 Basecamp agent who has the highest growth from 2017 to 2018. She was also the top producer for Blue Sky Tours. Overall, her sales increased by nearly 70 percent in 2018 over the previous year, totaling almost $750K in sales. Ashley is now among our top-producing travel agents and has earned a spot in our reach our Pinnacle Elite Agent Program.
One of the keys to Ashley’s growth is always sharing the value she can bring to her clients. Through her business Facebook page, Ashley emphasizes the services that she provides, which go beyond what someone would have booked on their own.
Her clients also become her cheerleaders, which has boosted Near and Far Travel Services’ reputation in her community. She loves hearing feedback like, “You are truly passionate about giving people the best, memorable experiences. You put so much time and thought into making your clients’ vacations completely life-changing,” and “You followed up every single detail of our trip. And most importantly, once we were there everything you put in place ran like clockwork.”
For Ashley, what was once a dream job that she thought would be a fun side business is now a reality. It has already allowed her to reduce her hours at her position as a Registered Dietitian and spend more time with her daughters. The satisfaction of helping others experience new places and come home with incredible stories of their trip is the cherry on top!
Are you interested in starting your travel agent career and joining our network or agents like Ashley? To learn more about what KHM Travel Group has to offer you can fill out the form to the right or give us a call at 1-888-611-1220.