Why your dispensary needs budtender sales training

As a retail dispensary and any business for that matter, your sales team is the face of the company. They are the ones who deal with potential customers and are the reason your customers return or not. Without great salespeople and employees, you probably have few to no customers. And without customers, you have no business. A great salesperson communicates well, ask the right questions, knows their customer, are knowledgeable about what they are selling, has a great attitude and provides an amazing customer experience.

Selling cannabis is unique because it is so new to many customers coming in to try it, it can be considered medicinal and/or recreational, and there is still the whole stigma part we are trying to get past. Therefore, having a trained and educated team is critical to the success of not only your business but the industry as a whole.

There are a lot of cannabis enthusiast that want to be budtenders and they may be knowledgeable on cannabis, but how good are they at dealing with people? And I’m talking all types of people from 21 years old to the mid-40 housewife up to the 75-year-old grandpa because every customer that comes in ranges and has different needs. Being able to communicate and sell cannabis effectively is critical for a business to succeed and grow. Especially as the industry flourishes and competition rises.

MJ Hybrid Solutions has put together a list of the top 5 reasons why you should get the MJ Hybrid sales training program for your dispensary team.

1. Customers who have a bad experience with a budtender are less likely to return

Customer experience matters no matter what industry. The number one reason customers do not return to a store is because of the poor experience they had with the employee. Your dispensary could have the best product in the best location, but a poor experience will drive your customer away. On the flip side, your store could have mediocre products and higher prices but if your employees make each customer feel special and provides an amazing experience, then those customers will continue coming back and will always be loyal. People are loyal to people!

Proper sales training gives your employees the tools and skills to provide the ultimate customer experience. Understanding the importance of this and making small changes in how they communicate can generate explosive results for your store. The customer experience starts the second the customer walks through the door. How they are greeted, the level of comfort they feel, being understood and listening to their needs, educating and guiding them to the right product for their needs is what determines how much they will purchase, how often they will come back, and who they will refer to you. Customer experience is key to success in this industry.

2. Employees need to know how and when to upsell

Many retail sales people often have the wrong idea of upselling, therefore, they aren’t comfortable doing it. What many people fail to understand is that upselling is not a bad thing and many customers want to be upsold on products, especially if it is a product they actually need. It never hurts to ask if they want to purchase more of the product they are getting and/or if they are interested in another product or special of the day. How many times have you been to an airport bar and they ask if you want a double for $4 more? Most the time people will say no but guess what, some people will say “yes, why not” and all because the bartender asked a simple follow up question to their order. If you make a habit to ask every single customer a follow up question to their order about purchasing more, there are going to be a few who end up saying YES. And those Yes’s add up and increase sales.

The MJ Hybrid Sales training gives your employees the confidence and skills to be comfortable upselling and understand the importance of upselling for your business (without being pushy or rude). It can be as small as asking a customer if they prefer to do the 30 pack of capsules VS. the 10 pack because it actually saves the customer money per capsule or even suggesting a new product that has come in that is similar to what a returning customer always purchases. Without giving your employees the proper training, you are losing out on additional sales. Upselling is key to increased sales.

3. With a broad array of cannabis products, customers need guidance

As the cannabis industry expands, we are seeing a variety of cannabis products and brands on the shelves in dispensaries. For a new cannabis consumer, this can be very confusing. And for a seasoned cannabis user this can be exciting. However, they both need guidance from their budtender or sales associate to be made aware of the products and educated on them as well. Although there are many new different products and brands, there can be similarities in these products as well. By having effective sales skills to ask the right questions and understand your customers’ needs, your employees are able to guide them and help them understand how certain products might best fit their needs. Remember, you don’t want to overload your customer with too much information or too many products, it only confuses them more.

Many times customers will come in looking for a specific product that your store may not carry or currently have in stock, therefore, it is important that your budtender knows how to ask the right questions to determine why the customer wanted that product, and then be able to use that to guide them towards a similar product the dispensary might carry. A lot of times it’s not about what you have but why you have it. When you create value with what you do have and are able to relate it to the needs of your customer, then they will feel confident in the purchase and trust your budtender and come back to your dispensary often. (Just make sure it meets the needs of your customer especially if they are a medical patient).

4. Medical cannabis consumers have specific needs

Even if your dispensary Is considered recreational, many customers will come in looking for cannabis for specific reasons and to help with their medical ailments. We have to remember that as dispensary employees we should not be giving medical advice or dosing and definitely not try to push the wrong product on a medical cannabis patient. If someone comes in looking for a specific product or ratio, it is important to learn more about why they are looking for that product and understand their issue. Being able to get personal with medical patients can be difficult, however, with asking the right questions, empathizing, and building rapport budtenders and sales associate can learn what the customers’ needs are and why they would need a certain product. Proper training and education will help budtenders understand their medical patients’ needs and be able to guide them towards what it is they are looking for.

Many customers and patients want to be told what to take and how much, but it is important that we step back to understand each individual customer, and help guide them to the best product vs just asking them what they want and pushing products on them. When we are able to do this, medical (and recreational) customers will likely purchase more and come back often.

5. Proper training will reduce liability

Employee mistakes can be detrimental for any company. With cannabis being so new to many people it is imperative that employees ensure their customers understand the effects of cannabis and how to consume safely. THC and many other cannabinoids can affect people differently and dosing amount ranges widely so it is crucial that budtenders understand the effects of cannabis and know how to relay that message to the customer to ensure they don’t accidentally take too much and then drive to pick up their kids or get paranoid and hurt themselves. Being able to communicate, know your customers, ask the right questions and understand their tolerance level is extremely important and crucial to prevent any liability issues that could close down the dispensary.

The MJ Hybrid Training System is designed to set your team up for success. The sales training and cannabis education training modules will give cannabis sales professionals the skills and knowledge they need to increase sales and customer loyalty while reducing liability. Training and development of employees should be a top priority. They are the face of the company and deal with the customers who keep your dispensary in business. Employees literally can make or break a business so why not set them up with the tools they need to be successful. It will only help your business grow.

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