Don’t Overlook The Experienced Patient

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         Often when looking to cover patient needs, there is much focus on the new patient; helping a patient understand the basics of hybrids, indicas, and sativas, the different ways to consume cannabis, or just associating symptom relief with recommended strains.  However, as patient knowledge grows, their needs change.  In Arizona, patients enjoy the luxury of being able to visit different dispensaries and with that luxury comes additional knowledge and more choices.  Here are a few key points the more experienced patients look for when choosing what dispensary to visit:

Product Variety:  Now that the patient has narrowed down their taste preferences and consumption methods, they want to be able to purchase everything they need at one location instead of visiting multiple facilities.  A dispensary with a wide range of product inventory from flower to all the different concentrates and edibles is more likely to meet the needs and gain the business of a patient who prefers alternatives to flower.

Fair Pricing:  After months of purchasing the same common items from different dispensaries, patients begin to learn what a good price is and what’s not.  This is especially true for patients who purchase a product that is common to multiple locations like oil or edible manufactured from the popular brands.  A patient may be able to justify a dispensary with higher flower prices than another dispensary knowing that there could be a difference in quality, but when it comes to the same pre-packaged item, a patient leaves feeling ripped off if they know they could get that same pre-packaged item for $10 or $5 less than another location. 

Flower Preferences: When a patient has found a favorite flower or two or three, there’s something a bit annoying about being asked the same typical new patient questions or comments like describing what sativas are like.  A better question to throw in there or offer up is “If you have a favorite strain or two, I could suggest something similar.”  Hearing about the dispensary agent’s favorites is usually not of interest to the more experienced patient, unless the patient knows they have similar tastes as the budtender.

Keep it Fresh:  The experience patient enjoys being surprised with what’s new.  Whether it’s a new product line or various new flowers in stock, it’s always interesting to see what’s new and gives the patient the impression that things are fresh.  Returning week after week to the same general inventory can give the impression to the patient that things are old.

Something Unique: It’s nice to go into a dispensary and know that there are a few products or flowers that they offer that the patient can’t get anywhere else.  Although the patient is there to purchase the products that help their symptoms, it makes the process feel less like shopping at a Walmart and more like shopping at a mom and pop.  Many medical marijuana patients enjoy the charm of the process and supporting the medical marijuana cause, not big business.

Budtenders Matter:  When a patient is visiting weekly or monthly, it’s nice to have friendly faces and people that remember the patient and what they like. Beyond cannabis topics, most people in general enjoy a personal connection with others so having agents that can relate well with others can go a long way and can also make or break whether the patient chooses to visit one dispensary or another.

Specials: Everyone loves getting a good deal.  From the new patient to the more experienced patient, keep the specials coming, but easy to understand! 

All in all, the experienced patient is a bit harder to win over than the new patient with their distinguished preferences and knowledge of how the general process works.  However, once they’ve been won over, they can become the biggest fan and often provide quality reviews and feedback that dispensaries can use for their own growth.