Knowledge of the Guest
Every Guest will be completely different from the one before. Some guests will come in and already have a predetermined idea of what they will be consuming. These guests tradtiionally will not be up-sold. Some guests may not know exactly what they want. These guests are typically looking for suggestions or are willing to try something new.
Know the Guest
Up-selling is about benefitting the guest as much as it is about benefitting the bar. Do not over do it, or be pushy. If a guest, is specific about what they consume, more than likely - they do not wish to be up-sold. A short conversation will usually give you an idea what type of guest you are dealing with.
Knowledge in the Products
Behind every bar is a million stories of various different products. People love to hear stories of how a product was created or how a brand was developed. Know the specialty drinks and know the tastes of each one. Know the difference between the wines and beers on your lists. This type of information can be critical in crafting an up-selling bar.
Know the Product
Make suggestions instead of making assumptions. For example, most bars and restaurants have a well brand that is used for all cocktails without a mentioned liquor. This is what you call leaving money on the table. If a guest asks for a rum and coke, your next question should be "what brand of rum would you care for?" Or better yet, "would you care for Bacardi or Parrot Bay?" You may have not even mentioned the well brand.
Knowledge in the Game
An up-sell - is not seen as a high pressure sales pitch, it should be perceived as good customer service. Do not be aggressive and do not force the guest in any way that they do not wish to go. Make your up-sell enticing, exciting and most importantly be convincing.