The Swing of Things
3. TRY SOMETHING NEW
You can't go wrong selling golf balls, umbrellas, divot tools and ball markers, but keep in mind that most other distributors will be selling that stuff, too. Why not shake it up once in awhile by pitching less traditional items (drinkware, putting mats, hand sanitizers, etc.) or new twists on the usual best sellers. Ask your supplier about their new or unusual golf offerings before you settle on a product.
"The industry is constantly introducing new items," said Wyskochil. "We offer a multitude of different custom packaging options that are always popular. Recently, one of our top sellers has been poker chip-style ball markers."
4. LOOK FOR LOW MINIMUMS
Not all golf promotions are for major tournaments or giant corporate events with thousands of participants. Many promotions—say, a car-dealership gift-with-purchase or a small charity tournament—require significantly fewer promotional items, making it unrealistic or unnecessary for buyers to purchase huge quantities of product. Find a supplier with low (or no) minimums, and you're more likely to gain business with companies on smaller budgets.
New Bedford, Massachusetts-based supplier AHEAD, for example, allows buyers to purchase logoed ball markers in low quantities and keep unused stock "on file" for use later on. These ball markers can then be placed onto divot tools, hat clips and other golf items, allowing buyers to create custom items on demand. "They can have a lot of items up on their company store but very little inventory, because all they have is the ball marker at AHEAD," said Jeff Waller, the company's senior director of global business development. "So when they want to order the product, they can order six wallets, six wine stoppers, six keychains. From that regard, the program is fantastic, because you have this menu of products you can draw from, and you don't have to buy them all [at once]."