When it comes to a highly regulated product like cannabis, having the right depth and wealth of knowledge is critical when selling to dispensaries. However, as a wholesaler, having the time to build relationships with retailers, maintain those relationships, and convert those relationships to ongoing sales is oftentimes nonexistent. Many wholesalers face the struggle of working to stay compliant and keep up with state regulations, while trying to sell their product to retailers, which realistically requires more cooks in the kitchen. Ultimately, this leads to a decline in sales. Don’t let this get you down though, there is a way to increase sales while still focusing on all the other backend regulations that come with growing and selling cannabis — and that’s, hiring a cannabis outside salesperson.
What is an outside salesperson, anyway?
An outside salesperson is just what it sounds like; a salesperson a company hires to handle sales out in the field. Outside salespeople often make their own hours and aren’t confined to the walls of a cubicle (or a home office in this pandemic age) and make face-to-face or virtual face-to-face meetings with potential customers.
How do I choose the right candidate for my business?
In the world of cannabis where the path to a successful sale is vastly different than other industries, choosing the right salesperson can make or break your business. It’s important to keep in mind that whoever this person is will be the face of your cannabis business — they need to know your cannabis product inside and out in order to sell to retailers and others. With that in mind, it’s crucial this person reflects your values, your type of product, and your corporate culture.
For example, if you’re selling medicinal products to dispensaries, you want a sales rep who focuses on the health benefits of your products. On the flip side, if you’re selling high-potency concentrates to an adult-use shop, you might want to look into hiring a former budtender or extractor who can speak to the customers’ experience.
You can put the job description on regular job sites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter. But cannabis-specific job sites like Vangst, Leafwire, and CannabizTeam will connect you with those who have cannabis industry experience. In addition to posting on job boards, using social media to recruit prospective candidates is a great way to find highly qualified candidates, while simultaneously increasing your brand’s visibility.
I’ve hired an awesome salesperson! Now what? Time for training
Once you’ve found the right person, they’ll need training that’s unique to your wholesale business and products. Spend some time understanding the competitors’ products next to yours on the shelves of the dispensaries you sell too. What sets your product apart from theirs? This is critical information to coach your sales team on.
Better yet, secret shop at the dispensaries you don’t sell to yet, but want to. Are there gaps in their product offering that you can fill? Could you create a whole new product that you know will sell well in the shops you aren’t in yet? Your brand and unique product offering and product attributes should be something your whole sales team can repeat in their sleep. Make sure you dial this information in for yourself, and then train it into your whole sales team.
Hiring and training a new sales team member can be time consuming, but the rewards are well worth it when you find the right fit for your brand, company culture, and style. To learn more about how to find, hire, and train an outside salesperson for your cannabis wholesale business, download our free guide, “How to Hire and Train a Cannabis Outside Sales Person” now.