When people in the cannabis industry say, “weed sells itself,” I want to scream NOOOOOOO at the top of my lungs.
“Weed sells itself” is the most dangerous sentence in this industry. And not because it isn’t completely true, but because if you are in the business and you embrace that sentiment it won’t be long until you will be outsold by someone who doesn’t.
If you want to get technical, then the truth is that weed doesn’t sell itself. The ‘effect’ of marijuana, whether it is recreational or medical, is actually what sells itself. But that isn’t even the point.
The real point is that as normalization continues consumer choices increase. So the primary question cannabis customers have has shifted from “Do you have any weed?” to “Why should I buy weed from you?”
If you don’t have a great answer to the latter question, it may be the reason why you are struggling (or will be).
The good news is, if you want to begin dominating the industry sooner rather than later there are plenty of ways to increase the value of your product through branding, through sales training, and most importantly through customer experience planning that adds on to the ‘effect’ of using cannabis.
Here are just a few ways you can do just that…
- Empower your customers - Give them the education they need to take full control of their cannabis experience. Don’t just bury them with too much information, find a way to educate them that is fun and entertaining.
Why not create the ultimate starter kit for newbies? Give them some accessories they are going to need, maybe a journal, and plenty of information about marijuana and how they can use it to improve their experience.
- Build a tribe - Start a membership club and offer special events, classes, even first dibs on popular strains or new strains. Found your group on a solid belief about cannabis use like ‘use all organic’, or a vape only. Don’t be afraid to ‘limit’ the group, a strong enough ‘special interest’ within the weed world can be the foundation of a very large customer base.
- Create rituals - Like your morning coffee ritual, cannabis is ripe with opportunity to be ritualized. Whether it is savoring the terpenes in a certain way before partaking or loading a pipe or vaporizer.
I’ve got a friend that says a quick prayer to mother nature, thanking her for her bounty. He says this every time he lights up. Do you, or can you imagine a ritual that could take hold within your customer bases that you can encourage?
- Generosity - One of my favorite dispensaries almost make it a mission to throw a little something extra in the bag.
If I have to wait more than 10 minutes they throw in a joint or an edible. In fact when a few of us patients let an elderly and sickly patient ahead of us in line, they rewarded all of us with a free gram of our choice. Generosity is a surefire way to create loyalty.
- Novelty - Carry products that are fun and interesting (in addition to the weed) and unique to your location(s), or decorate your store in a manner that stands out. If you are a farmer or wholesaler create unique packaging or create a brand that stands for something.
Of course there are more ways to create value in your product, but keep in mind, if they are not genuine and authentic and do not resonate with the customer they will not work. Know thy customer, and know thyself.
In the next article I will explain another way you can dominate the industry, by tapping new and different audiences that are on the fringes looking for reasons to add marijuana use to their list of activities