Gianna Gard
September 2, 2020

Keeping Up with Your Best Buds

Understanding how your budtenders perform can really elevate the revenue and reputation of your dispensary. Primary sales associates have the potential to increase customer retention and boost overall sales. As the face of your business, and particularly as the specialists for advice-dependent cannaconsumers, there are many important factors to consider in regards to the experience your budtenders are providing. 

While you may have your own performance indicators to go by, a universal sign of success in any retail business is increased revenues. We can take a closer look at whose performance is meeting that performance indicator, and who has room to improve, but we can also go deeper and uncover some causal factors for performance as well. We took a look at stores across San Francisco, Sacramento, and Colorado, to see how their budtenders performed in July of this year, to find out more about common misconceptions with employee behavior and achievement.

Among many interesting correlations, we found that budtenders on average show a 64% delta between the best-performing and worst performing employees. If retail locations worked to encourage their poorly performing employees to at least meet the average level of performance across all sales employees, their revenue per ticket size would grow dramatically, about 31% per ticket size.


The wide disparity of ticket size strongly suggests certain budtenders lead consumers to more lower-priced or higher-priced products (e.g. a budtender may always suggest budget flower where another might always suggest higher-end flower). It sounds like a no-brainer, but the budtenders who tend to sell higher end cannabis products often had that strategy reflect well in their overall performance. Furthermore, tenure has no clear correlation with ticket size. Experience does not necessarily equate with higher performance.

How else do these highly performative budtenders excel? Besides the obvious professionalism and product knowledge, budtenders that exhibit the following might be positioning themselves for success:


One selling technique for dispensary budtenders that can be extremely effective is segmenting and lifestyle profiling. Whereas many businesses look to age and gender as a key indicator of understanding the wants and needs of their clients, these factors are not causal in customer preferences. Recommending edibles, tinctures, or concentrates based on the customer’s past purchases, and inferring preferences on specific brands and product types, budtenders can get a much more accurate picture of what their customers are actually looking for. A bit of personalization goes a long way. A simple “We know you like this brand’s vapes” shows you’re paying attention, and can make a difference in the next visit. 


Each budtender has their own way of making the sale- but in understanding what products your customers purchase repeatedly, there’s an opportunity to bump revenues. While we explored the difference that selling more expensive products can make, there are other ways to promote less expensive products while still optimizing ticket size. Certain products lend themselves to add-ons like storage, devices, and bulk purchasing. Identify which products provide opportunity for logical upselling and suggest pairing products to the customers organically, only if it makes sense, of course. 


Not all customers will take the time to read instructions before consuming the product, so advising on safe practices is paramount to building a trusting relationship with the customer. For medically and recreationally licensed budtenders, confidence in making claims that are backed with evidence and research is key not only out of necessity, but also in cementing your role as a trusted specialist. 


Another key factor in exceptional budtending is mastering dispensary software. Gaining a comprehensive knowledge of software feature will give you the tools necessary to make more custom recommendations, and build a closer relationship with your customers. 

Learn more about how the use of technology can improve you or your dispensary’s performance. Reach out to us at for more information.