There are a lot of differents thoughts on what gets you a ball contact, being a great bowler, being a great ambassador, being a pro shop owner. These are just a few things I hear thrown around at league and on social media. Although all of these things are correct, there is really only one thing that gets people a ball contract. Being an influencer.
“Individuals who have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position, or relationship.”
Who are influencers that ball companies are looking for? To answer that question, we need to figure out the sales funnel customers go through when purchasing a bowling ball. To do this, we’ll work backwards from the bottom of the funnel, where the customer actually purchases a bowling ball.
Bowling balls are purchased at the pro shop. “Point of Purchase Influencers.” The #1 influencer on a customer making the decision to purchase one brand bowling ball over another is the pro shop operator. The pro shop operator has a level of authority over the customer and the ultimate influence on their purchasing habits.
Continuing to move up the funnel we need to figure out who ultimately drives people into the pro shop. These regional influencers are industry experts, local professionals and people closest to the bowler. Examples are respected competitors, tournament directors and anyone who is directly connected to a large audience of bowling ball purchasers.
Moving nearer to the top of the funnel are people who have a large audience of bowling ball purchasers but are not directly connected to them. National influencers. Examples include bloggers, internet radio personalities, and people who review bowling balls online.
The very top of the funnel is advertising like TV commercials, national touring pros, people who have the broadest reach of customers but are furthest from the point of sale.
What did we learn from this? The people nearest the bottom of the funnel (the point when a bowling ball is actually purchased) have the most influence and the more likely you are to get a ball contract. The further up you move in the funnel, your influence decreases and you are less likely to receive a ball contract. Getting a ball contract is about influence, influence near the point of sale.
Check back Monday 3/11 to see the top 5 ways to become more influential and give yourself a better chance of getting a ball sponsor.