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    CCO Cromwell Littlejohn Talks Luxury Yachts, Success Tips and What Inspires Him at Northrop & Johnson

    CCO Cromwell Littlejohn Talks Luxury Yachts, Success Tips and What Inspires Him at Northrop & Johnson

    Cromwell Littlejohn serves as Northrop & Johnson’s Chief Commercial Officer overseeing all commercial activities of the company, including sales, charter, charter management, and crew services, globally.

    Crom’s passion for yachting, in-depth understanding and knowledge of the industry garnered throughout his many years of service, good-natured spirit, and confident, ambitious attitude help to propel Northrop & Johnson and bring together offices around the world, all working toward the same successes.

    Crom has dedicated more than three decades of his life to the yachting industry, starting with his tenure as a captain in the 1980s. He spent many years cruising the US East Coast, Great Lakes, and The Bahamas before making the transition to a shore-based career as a yacht broker and charter broker with Merle Wood & Associates. Crom spent more than 15 years with the firm, amassing an incredible network of clients and associates, selling multitudes of yachts, and booking hundreds of charters.

    He then joined Northrop & Johnson as a yacht broker, continuing his exceptional record of success within the sales sector of the yachting industry. Furthermore, Crom is a dedicated member of the International Yacht Broker’s Association (IYBA) where he spent 11 years on the Board of Directors; he also held a two-year term as president of the organization. In 2015, he was named Yacht Broker of the Year.  In 2018, Crom was named Northrop & Johnson Commercial Director North America due to his exceptional brokerage skills, outstanding organizational skills, and penchant for leadership.

    Read more about what inspired Cromwell Littlejohn’s role at Northrop & Johnson, what it’s like on luxury yachts, and his tips for success.

    Where are you from originally?

    I am a fourth-generation Floridian from Indialantic, a beach town nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River along the Space Coast.

    What was your inspiration for joining Northrop & Johnson?

    I joined Northrop & Johnson because of the technology and culture of the company and the team that went with it. The cutting-edge tech, including our website that has excellent search options for things like superyachts for sale and more, digital tools, and marketing provided to our brokers are next level. Eight years ago when I joined, N&J was the only brokerage providing brokers the ability to work anywhere from the cloud. And beyond that, the culture and people of N&J are second to none.

    What was one thing you did that exceeded your expectations when you joined Northrop & Johnson?

    All of the reasons I joined N&J are the aspects of the company that exceeded my expectations. I moved from a role in sales and charter to a leadership role and no matter what position I have held in the company, N&J’s incredible attributes continue to exceed expectations. I didn’t realize how much further along the company was in the areas that drew me over when I made the move.

    Are your luxury yachts pet-friendly? What special amenities are available onboard?

    These are two very different questions. On the pet-friendly side, a number of yachts are pet friendly. Clients need to confirm with their charter brokers regarding the individual yachts, but a number will take pets, typically smaller pets, but we’ve seen all kinds of varieties. We had one charter guest who used to bring a ferret on all his charters.

    As for special amenities, the sky is the limit. Each boat has its own set of amenities and offerings but if the boat doesn’t have what you’re looking for, it’s always beneficial to ask because we’ve seen yachts acquire amenities that they will rent or bring aboard for a particular trip – like a slide, treadmill, stationary bike, etc.

    Amenities range from a plethora of water toys to 24/7 high-speed Internet and full Wi-Fi capabilities that allow those who desire a more connected and tech-friendly experience aboard than they have at home or in their own office. A lot of people have to come chartering because they can continue to stay connected while on holiday; we can also arrange to shut off all communication, TV, and social media access if desired.

    Can you describe a typical day for a guest onboard one of your luxury yachts?

    This is one of the wonderful things about yacht charter – nothing is typical. Each charter is completely bespoke and due to the in-depth info we collect on the guests’ preferences and wants before the charter, we can match them with the right boat. We have guests who want to sit on the aft deck and read all day long and guests who are thrill seekers and spend more time in the water than on the yacht. Depending on the location there are amazing excursions. On one charter, guests could be hiking the rim of a Caribbean volcano, and on the next charter exploring the ancient ruins of Turkey or Greece. There truly is no typical day.

    What does success mean to you? What are your rules for success?

    Success to me means being able to reward yourself for the hard work you’ve put into life and having the luxury of time to enjoy time on the water with family and friends.

    What are my rules for success…enjoy life to the fullest.

    How do you handle comparisons between your charters and that of other companies? What is one way you continue to distinguish your brand and stand apart?

    I would say that the strongest area in which N&J stands out from the competition is our people. On the charter front, our charter brokers are the most knowledgeable and experienced in the industry. The vast majority of them have worked as captains or crew in the past and, in that capacity or in their current roles, they have traveled to and experienced the locations they book for charter so they can advise their clients as to what’s available, the best places to go, the best places to eat, etc. They spend a tremendous amount of time learning about the yachts and the crews and are fantastic at connecting charterers with the right yacht with the right guests for the experience the guests are expecting. Without question, our people are what set us apart.

    Another distinguishing characteristic, however, is our strategic partnerships. They provide an extra level of service to clients. Take our partnership with NetJets, for example. For many of our clients, the question of how to get to their yacht is one that must be answered, and through our partnership with NetJets, we can provide a seamless door-to-yacht experience taking them from their home to a private jet to the yacht with ease.

    The Fox Magazine is all about inspiration, what/who inspires you the most?

    Our clients inspire me the most. They have found the optimum way to spend time with loved ones aboard the water and share those experiences with others. We repeatedly hear that the charter experiences our clients share with their families are the holidays of a lifetime.

    What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?

    That I had dreamed about doing this job since I was 13 years old and I continue to pinch myself every day to remind myself that it is real.

    What is your favorite or original innovation-related motto, quote, or words to live by?

    That’s what a ship is, you know – it’s not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that’s what a ship needs. But what a ship is,… really is, is freedom. ~Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow

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