“I sell experiences,” says Stacey Loftus Cohen of Royal Travel & Tours in Winnetka, IL.
“I want my clients to feel that everything is managed from the moment they get on the plane until the moment they return home,” she adds.
Despite being in the industry for only two years, Cohen was selected as her agency’s Trendsetter. “I believe [I was chosen] due to my commitment to making my clients’ travel experience a special one,” she says. She believes her business has grown so quickly because of her high level of client satisfaction.
“I know that a great experience can mean a referral and that can result in increased business,” she tells us.
But just how far will Cohen go to satisfy a client?
She once had a client flying through Chicago, after returning from a trip to the Maldives. After such a long flight, she says she knew they would be exhausted and would still have to then navigate the transfer at O’Hare. “I drove out to the airport and picked them up and drove them to the domestic terminal to make their travel day a bit easier,” she tells us. “I was happy to go the extra mile for my clients.”
Cohen adds that she likes to send “little things and notes” to her clients’ room so they know that she’s following their journey.
Prior to becoming an advisor with Royal Travel & Tours, Cohen worked at a large law firm in the litigation department. After having children, she decided to leave the field and work from home. And then, when her children had grown, she felt travel would be an ideal fit for her: “When I would organize my family’s travels, I would put together extensive itineraries,” Cohen says. “It seemed like a natural transition.”
We’re told that Cohen and Royal Travel & Tours are a great fit. Even though they are home-based, they have weekly conference calls and local advisors meet regularly. “We are a collaborative and share ideas and experiences,” she adds.
Many of Cohen’s clients are couples and multigenerational travelers. “They are usually experienced travelers…[who] also seek to create family memories and have cultural or unique experiences,” she says.
Cohen, whose parents were born outside of the United States, spent a lot of her childhood traveling. From this, she is very familiar with Europe and it’s her top sell; however, we’re told she also sells plenty of Asia, Africa, Caribbean and even the U.S.
Most recently, Cohen visited Germany for Oktoberfest, “which should be on everyone’s ‘must-do’ list,” she says. There, she stayed at The Charles Hotel (which is “lovely,” she notes). In summer, Cohen toured Provence and visited La Bastide de Marie; while in Aix-en-Provence, she stayed at the “majestic” Villa Gallici. Next, she’s on to the Dromoland Castle in Ireland.