When looking for distribution partners, spend time thinking about what those critical, measurable must-haves are. This makes it easier to yes-no each potential partner early in the process.
Then, consider how you can 'test' or 'prototype' with each potential partner to see how they handle different situations. A sincere partner will be willing to work with you a little as a proof of concept.
Example in Practice
We recently helped a tech startup here in Singapore to identify a set of distribution partners in Singapore, Ukraine and India.
They had an established presence in the region yet were struggling to make time to build vetted relationships with new partners in target markets.
After speaking with the founders about their business model, we reached out to a selection of people and evaluated their potential and partners. We then selected two for further verification with the founders.
Within two weeks, we identified suitable partners in each country and had made the connections.