Retailers in the south have spoken and Synergy Reps’ CM Slocum has been awarded South Rep of the Year 2012. Slocum took a few minutes to fill us in on his stoke for receiving the award and overcoming the challenges of the past year.
What’s the name of your sales agency and what brands do you represent?
Synergy Reps, aka SynReps. We represent Billabong, Connelly and CWB, Von Zipper and Dot Dash, Aquaglide, and iON.
How long have you been repping and how did you get into it?
I first tried on my rep shoes in 1998, working part time as a sub-rep for Jeff Hammett before I started running full time in 1999. Interestingly enough, my wife pretty much got me into repping. She was a hair stylist at a salon and worked with Jeff’s wife, Katy. He needed some help and the rest is history. Jeff was a great business influence and set me on track to build my career.
What’s the most rewarding thing about working with your brands and retailers?
Seeing the brands grow within the retailers’ walls has to be a top shelf reward for me.
What’s your philosophy on your role?
I work hard to balance the triangle of the brands’ agendas, the retailers’ business needs, and my sales agency’s goals for the territory. Every day is a new opportunity to impact the brands’ strength as well as the retailers’ business plan. At the end of the day, if I’ve done my job, SynReps’ goals are met, as well as the brands’ agendas and the retailers’ business models seeing a positive impact.
Why do you think your retailers nominated you for this?
As a kid, all I ever dreamed about was being a professional athlete, and repping became my sport. Receiving the nod for TransWorld Business by being nominated “Rep of the Year” by retailers in my region is like winning that coveted contest or event; The one you dream about. I’m so stoked, humbled, and honored that the retailers gave me that nod. I put a genuine interest into the retailers success by working the brands hard for them in the store and in the territory. I hope the retailers nominated me for this because they see my hard work and genuine interest in their business’ success.
What do you think makes you excel in this role?
I don’t have that mental filter that let’s you know when enough work is enough. Also, brand building and territory build out is a passion of mine. Those two elements together keep me in a progressive mindset.
What have been the biggest highlights and lowlights of 2012?
We experienced great brand growth for Billabong and Dot Dash in our region in 2012, that would hit the highlights board. Von Zipper and CWB also took solid steps forward in the brand build out plan. As for lowlights, the seas are still a little rough for the specialty retailers. Navigating a two year drought in Texas and tighter credit lines as an industry has us keeping a keen eye out for the lighthouse in search of smoother water in the future.
This year was another tough one for core retailers. How do you support your core accounts specifically?
Our agency model is built around supporting the brands’ agenda at the territory level. So, we put a ton of fertilizer on the grassroots of the territory. That farming effort ultimately yields our retailers a bigger crop of brand demand.
What are your predictions for 2013?
I dropped my crystal ball awhile ago. I’m just following my plan one day at a time.
Anything else you’d like to add?
First, I’d like to thank my wife Mel. She has supported me from day one and keeps me moving; Thanks Mel! Second, it takes a team to do it all. None of this would be possible without the daily efforts from Charlie, Mel, Matt and Derek.