Here’s the thing: most people, including your staff, think of upselling as obnoxious salespeople convincing customers of things they don’t need. So while you’re thinking of upselling as one of the most effective ways to maximize revenue, they’re thinking of it as a dreadful task. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, upselling shouldn’t be this way. It should be a value-add to your customers’ life … that also happens to boost your club’s results.


Here are 4 ways you can use upselling to boost results across all areas of your club:

1. Be focused

Studies show the majority of guests appreciate upselling when it’s focused on their needs. Offering a VIP guest a complementing mixer to the bottle they ordered or another bottle they may be interested in shows the server is focused on and cares about their needs. It’s perceived by the guest as a premium, highly personalized level of service which enables them to stay longer, spend more, and come back often.


2. Be attentive

Paying attention to detail makes it easy to determine the best path to upsell a customer. Perhaps a guest’s behavior in line alludes he will spend a lot in your club – upsell him to a VIP table. Perhaps you can identify a guest has visited your club every week for the past month – offer a free VIP table and upsell him to bottle service. There are technology services available that track most of this information for individual guests, including number of visits, average spend, and favorite liquor types. A VIP guest will appreciate the attentiveness of a server saying, “I noticed you ordered a bottle of Belvedere last time you were here. May I start you out with that and another bottle of your choice?” Now you have his attention, have made him feel important, and have likely sold him on a second bottle.


3. Be educational

While all this sounds great, it can’t be done without your servers and other staff being educated on these steps. Train them to be a focused and attentive seller rather than just an order tracker. Teach them the right questions to ask to get the best responses. And above all, train them on any technology you use to access powerful guest information. The more they know, the better off your club will be.


4. Be rewarding

Servers and staff are likely to perform when they are incentivized for a job-well-done. What’s more, when you focus on the bigger picture of upselling based on customer needs vs. upselling based on a product you want to sell, you’ll see a bigger boost in staff morale, customer loyalty, and club revenue. The same technology platform referenced above can also track how much each server is upselling a customer. This allows you to make better decisions on how and when to reward staff as well as comment on specific moments to truly maximize results.


​Whitney Johnson is the global director of marketing for BookBottles. Contact her at