This is a Quora question I was asked and my answer is below.
These are the major considerations when selling to distributors, resellers or retailers.
Demonstrate prior sales results of your product either direct to your consumer, or through other distributors, resellers or retailers. You want to prove that your product sells.
Demonstrate prior marketing to help drive sales of your product and have a commitment to continue to market.
If you can demonstrate prior marketing, then at some level, it must be working, otherwise you would not be doing, and this can help convince a distributor, reseller or retailer that you are serious and have a history to prove it.
Show the distributor, reseller or retailer how your product fills a hole in their category or current offering.
Maybe your product appeals to a different demographic niche that might help the distributor, reseller or retailer better capture those buyers.
In the absence of sales results or marketing history, differentiation might be enough to help get you in.
Terms and Tradespend
Offer better pricing and support through tradespend to the distributor, reseller or retailer.
I have found this alone will not do it, but it can help close the deal if I have the above 3 in place, or some combination of the above 3 in place.
I cover more about tradespend here.
Have you been in business for awhile to prove to the distributor, reseller or retailer that you have experience running your business and can adequately meet their volume demands?
They need confidence that you can be a good vendor over the long haul. It is time consuming and expensive for distributor, resellers and retailers to bring on new vendors, so they want someone with staying power.