Sales & Marketing Gap in the Cannabis Industry

The Marketing & Sales Disconnect

Houston… We Have a Sales & Marketing Problem!

Marketing and sales are critical tasks that need to be executed effectively if you are going to achieve and sustain the revenue you need to grow your dispensary.  It’s even more important that they are tightly combined to get the biggest bang for your buck but “Houston… we have a problem”.  In the Cannabis industry there is very little marketing or sales taking place, and this is not an opinion.  It’s the facts gathered after mystery shopping 40+ dispensaries (and counting) in Colorado alone and the results are scary because it’s costing dispensary owners thousands of dollars a day of profit.  If you don’t believe me, do a quick check for yourself.

First, go back and gather all of the ads you spent good money on in the past year to promote your dispensary and put them into two stacks:

Stack #1:  Advertising that promoted your dispensary, but you have NO idea if it produced a return on your investment.
Stack #2: Direct-response advertising that promoted your dispensary or a product that you can track a good return on your investment.

I am going to make a bet that most of you will only be able to create a Stack #1 and that is a problem.  We will come back to Direct Response Marketing in next months article.  For now, let’s take a look at sales.  I want you to observe and listen to your bud tenders helping customers.

•    Do you hear any probing questions?  
•    Do you see any upselling or cross selling?  

If it’s anything like we witnessed, the answer is No.  While most bud tenders know their product and can answer customer questions, they don’t’ sell.  They take orders and it’s costing you hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars a year and there is no reason for it.

If your bud tenders were to engage the customers in a way that increased every sales by just $20, what would that mean for your dispensary? I would bet that additional revenue would be a game changer for you.  Do the math; if you add just $20 to every sale and you have 50 sales per day your increased revenue would be $367,500 annually.  If you have 100 sales per day, your increase would be $734,000.  Imagine that!

So, how do we close this sales performance gap?  There are three things you MUST do if you want to see an increase in sales.

  1. Be clear that the bud tenders primary contribution to your business is sales and the job requires them to take a value-added approach to selling your products and promoting memberships.
  2. You need to ensure pay is tied to their performance.  Remember, compensation drives behavior so if you want them to sell, then you have to reward them to do it.  Now, here is where you will run into your first obstacle because not everyone is motivated by money.  If you currently have bud tenders who are not motivated by money or not goal achievement oriented than you need to replace them with people who are.
  3. Sales people are not born; they are made through training and coaching.  You need to develop a training program that includes:
  • Selling mindset
  • Relationship strategy
  • Product strategy
  • Customer strategy
  • Presentation strategy

If you want to know how to train properly then email me at and ask me for a copy of our special report “How to Train Your Bud Tenders to Become Cannabis Consultants™.
Sales training that is carefully planned and executed can make a major contribution to your bottom line. A major tobacco company developed a training program for their consumer reps and coaching for their managers that after careful evaluation increased sales by 46%.   Studies have shown that trained sales people have a more positive view about their job, greater commitment, improved performance and loyal customers.

Next month, we will define direct-response marketing and how you can get a better response.

To learn more about how to close this gap and drive your revenues skyward THC Magazine & 7 Leaf Marketing have partnered up to bring you the Cannabis Sales & Marketing Growth Program.  Visit to learn more and sign-up for your FREE, No Obligation briefing.

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