One of the biggest challenges businesses face is securing distribution in retailers across the country. Although this can be difficult for brands to tackle on their own, a wholesale distributor can handle it with ease, which is why so many businesses end up working with distributors. But with so many distributors out there, how can you find the best one for your product? Follow these tips:

Attend trade shows.

The best way to meet new wholesale distributors who are looking for products within your industry is by attending trade shows. A trade show will put you in front of thousands of retailers, distributors and other industry experts, so make sure you have an incredible booth to draw them in and sell them on your product. Collect as many business cards from qualified distributors as you can and use this list as a starting point to find the best fit for you.

Talk to retailers.

Are there any retailers you are really anxious to get into? The point of hiring a distributor is getting your product through these retailers’ doors, so why not ask them? Find out if there are any distributors who they have relationships with and prefer working with. If you have the chance to sign with one of these distributors, you have a better chance of getting on their shelves. If they don’t want to give any information on who they currently work with, try asking about distributors they’ve experienced problems with in the past or no longer want to do business with. This can help you narrow down your list of potential distributors for your product.

Ask for references.

Once you have a long list of potential distributors, start asking for references. Every distributor who is serious about taking on your product should be willing to provide around three references so you can talk to people who have already worked with him and hear more about his performance. Ask these references about the overall professionalism, friendliness and timeliness displayed by the distributor so you have a better idea of whether this distributor is the perfect match for you.

Talk to the distributor about your product.

Once you have a short list of distributors who you are interested in, let them test our your product and then schedule a meeting to discuss it. You should always look for a distributor who truly loves and understands your products, otherwise how will he be able to sell it to retailers? Look for distributors who actually believe in the benefits of your products, not those who are hoping to sign another product to get another paycheck. As you have these meetings, cross any distributor off the list who doesn’t convey the passion you want.

Choosing the right distributor is essential for success. How do you make this kind of business decision? Do you base decisions off of the distributor’s experience or your gut feeling? Share your thoughts in the comments below!