3 min read

4 Tips for Training Cannabis Dispensary Staff

December 7, 2017

Hiring new employees at your cannabis retailer can be a challenging process but finding the right person to join your dispensary staff can be huge advantage. Training new team members is where the real work begins. Hopefully your new employee will have at least some experience, as this will be extremely helpful when showing them the ropes.

Today we’ll offer a few techniques you can use when training new budtenders or potential managers.

Dispensary Protocols

Most dispensaries offer similar services, however, every business has their own unique way of doing things. Teaching new dispensary staff members the specific protocols associated with each branch of the business is mandatory. Often times mistakes are made when steps are missed or misunderstood by new employees.

Setting up a system of how your business operates is essential in establishing company wide organization. Whether it’s purchasing from vendors, adding inventory, or serving patients, all team members must follow specific procedural protocols.

Product Knowledge

Inquiring about an applicant’s knowledge of cannabis in an interview should reveal the level of understanding the possess about marijuana products. Budtenders not only need to learn about every product in stock but they must be able to eloquently articulate its effects to customers. A basic knowledge of the different types of marijuana is a start but there are so many products filling the shelves it’s important to know the benefits of each.

Educating dispensary staff on products is vital to setting them up for success. Allowing new budtenders to sample different products is a great way for them to personally identify with them. Some dispensaries will even create a product catalogue that includes product descriptions, lab results, desired effects, and price point to help inform new employees. Increasing your staff’s marijuana IQ will be pivotal in persuading customers to purchase certain products.

Dispensary POS System

Training new budtenders to use your dispensary POS system can be a lengthy process if the interface is difficult to navigate. Hopefully, you’ve invested in POS software that is intuitive and straightforward. This will certainly reduce the amount of training time needed for new staff members to become acquainted with the system.

New employees should be working towards serving customers as soon as possible. Learning the basic checkout procedure is the first step. Fortunately, dispensary POS systems like IndicaOnline have been designed to be user friendly allowing minimal turnaround time for new trainees.

Once budtenders master processing transactions they can begin to explore more advanced features such as dispensary marketing tools, customer insights, vendor management, and expenses. It’s important to note, that cannabis retail owners have the option of placing permission restrictions on dispensary staff members who are new but can edit these as they develop into competent employees.  

Sales Techniques

Every budtender has their own style of making sales to patients. Two very traditional methods of selling are known as the hard sell vs. the soft sell. Budtenders who practice the hard sell technique can often come off as pushy or aggressive when making sales. Unfortunately, most customers seeking relief using marijuana aren’t very receptive to this technique. Modifying the hard sell by placing more emphasis on upselling or bulk selling is recommended.

Budtenders who adopt the soft sell technique will typically find this method more effective. Customers who are unsure of what products will help them or what they prefer will need guidance. Training your employees to make suggestions based on listening to what customers want is the best way to go.

Fostering this type of sales strategy will allow them to use their product knowledge and personal experience to educate and convince patients to purchase specific strains. Budtenders who are able to connect with customers on a personal level and provide them with a quality product catered to their needs is invaluable.