Answer: For $800 – This young caterer served up something pretty incredible on television’s most successful game show of all time.
Question: Who is Melanie Spratford on Jeopardy!?
Last week, my friend and colleague, Melanie Spratford, won on Jeopardy! She exchanged quips with legendary host, Alex Trebek, and rattled off correct responses in categories such as: Bestsellers, Historical Facts and Figures, and Musical Terms. As her winnings increased, Melanie’s strategy became evident. She later explained it is important to be very well prepared, to understand the show’s format and rhythm, and to learn the basics about the subjects the producers consider most important. While it isn’t necessary to know the capital of the Solomon Islands*, it is important to know all of the US state capitals.
I get dizzy merely recalling the subjects she says are most important, let alone their related facts and figures. However, as Jeopardy! progressed, I began to correlate Melanie’s strategy as a contestant to that of an effective catering salesperson. If, as catering sales experts, we follow Melanie’s cue, we’ll always be prepared when opportunity presents, be well versed in all major areas of our industry, and be able to guide clients through a series of subjects with pointed questions and answers. This approach, coupled with a bit of humor and high energy, will position us to become stars in our own right. While we don’t need to use phrases such as “chèvre fermier de vosges,” we should be ready to talk about goat cheese and even recommend a suitable wine pairing. The key is to apply our event expertise toward anticipating our clients’ main concerns which will help us win their confidence and business.
*The Solomon Islands are in the Pacific and their capital is Honiara. Of course, Melanie knew that all the way. If we follow her lead, stay prepared, and anticipate client's questions, we too can be returning champions!