Budtenders: Five Ways to Support Your Staff

You’ve done your due diligence and hired trustworthy, hardworking budtenders. But what can you do to help your budtenders be successful, knowledgeable employees? Here are five ways you can make sure your budtenders are the kind your customers trust and and are part of the reason they keep coming back.

1. Employ Managing Best Practices 

Are you efficiently managing your budtenders? By employing best practices, from standardized training to product education, you can make your employees a reason that customers keep coming back.

For instance, consider holding daily briefings to keep budtenders up to date on new products and refresh their minds on current menu items. Employees will be able to better answer customers’ questions and provide all-around more complete service.

NOTE: Cannabis retailers in California, have you hired enough employees to meet the new demand for legal cannabis?

2. Offer Your Budtenders Discounts or Free Samples

Budtenders must know your products to sell them effectively. Offer discounts on new strains or provide free samples, then have employees evaluate each product. Your budtenders will be able to intelligently discuss your products. And you can also use that data to improve and expand your menu.

NOTE: Check your state laws before any giveaways; for instance, in California, only medical patients or their caregivers may receive free cannabis products.

3. Begin (Friendly!) Sales Competitions Among Budtenders

Create a sales competition to increase budtender sales and improve your key performance indicators (KPIs). Set goals like sales amount per week, average amount per sale or number of a certain product sold. Post progress in the employee break room and create a bonus or prize for the winner.

Make it a big deal to win, but keep the competition fun and friendly. Inadvertently pressuring your budtenders into making sales could result in pushy tactics that may turn off your customers.

4. Prepackage and Barcode Your Products

In some states, barcodes are already a mandatory part of the seed-to-sale process. If they aren’t in your state, you can help avoid inventory mistakes (and theft) by prepackaging your flower and adding barcodes to your products.

Why You Should Add Barcodes to Your Cannabis Products

With barcoded products, budtenders simply scan an item when ringing up a sale, reducing the possibility of errors from manual entry. Barcodes also allow you to automatically track your inventory and menus. That way, your budtenders don’t need to understand the details surrounding traceability.

Prepackaged Cannabis Flower Has Several Benefits

Prepackaging reduces errors in measurement, human handling of the flower and overall transaction time. Properly stored and packaged cannabis flower helps extend its shelf life.

Some customers may miss seeing their buds weighed out in front of them, but you can display samples of each strain at your counter or station. Once a customer selects, say, an eighth, let them choose their eighth from a few you have for sale.

Your customers can still interact with the product before buying; your budtenders don’t have to take the extra time to weigh out each product.

Prepackaging your cannabis flower is one way to help your budtenders succeed
A customer selects the prepackaged eighth he prefers out of the two.

5. Upgrade Your Point of Sale System

This last option is by far the priciest, but it’s one well worth considering. Budtenders should be delighting customers and making sales, not tracking lot numbers or handling compliance. Consider investing in a cannabis-specific point of sale (POS) system. The best cannabis POS systems:

  • Have automatic compliance and traceability features, including daily/monthly transaction limits
  • Offer secure cloud storage of data – with proactive vulnerability testing
  • Have offline mode in cases where your store loses its Internet connection
  • Automatically take care of compliance and reporting, leaving you and your employees more time to focus on helping your customers

Though Jeff Sessions is leaving the Cole Memo intact for now, compliance will be king moving forward, and what may seem like a large investment now could pay off later.

(Editor’s Note: On Jan. 4, Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo. All bets are off, people.)

Have other ideas for supporting your budtenders and helping them succeed? Leave them in the comments or tweet us @cannabisandcaff.

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