January 24, 2011 Program Summary

“How to Differentiate Your Products, Your Services, and Yourself in Ways the Customer Cares About”

Speaker Dr. Tom SantDr. Tom Sant,
an extremely popular returning STC presenter and a highly acclaimed speaker, trainer, consultant, author, and technical communicator, “hit it out of the ballpark” for the third time with another electrifying and edifying presentation

“How to Differentiate Your Products, Your Services, and Yourself in Ways the Customer Cares About” gave us a wealth of insights on ways to stand out from the crowd.

Why is this topic so important?

One reason is that it's timely! The start of a new year offers fresh opportunities to bring your creative talents, concepts, and solutions to the attention of your clients or managers in your organization. Regardless of what you aim to do — write a proposal, float a new project or product idea to your management, or launch a new offering — you must describe the value of your proposition.

For example, as a member of a corporate team, as a freelancer, or as a small business owner, you might need to sell an approach or make recommendations to external or internal audiences. In any of these situations, it's crucial to understand how to create value in the minds of your target audience members and differentiate what you're offering in meaningful terms.
To address these situations, Tom walked us through simple steps to establish compelling value. The art of distinguishing yourself, your ideas, and your organization determines whether a proposal will beat the competition's, whether your ideas will be embraced by your management, or whether your offerings will stand out in the marketplace.

During the event, Tom zeroed in on the following main ideas:

a. Audience-centered content – How to identify who your target audience is and exactly what each subgroup needs to know and wants to hear. Tom explained the importance of establishing a positive first impression and of focusing on results that the decision maker cares about.

b. A compelling value proposition – Unless you're selling a commodity, you will want to offer high value, not low price. Tom shared the four principles of effective value that you can use immediately, in any context. Another critical angle he covered is proof — how to back up your claims in highly credible ways.

c. Avoiding major differentiation mistakes – We learned how to recognize the biggest errors and how to avoid them, using real-life examples.

"Persuasive Business Proposals" by Tom SantThe ideas Tom presented at the event reside in his book, Persuasive Business Proposals. For example, Chapter 10, Presenting a Winning Value Proposition, explains:

  • The main components of establishing value
  • How to identify your own “differentiators,” and
  • How to link your differentiators to the customer's values.

For more information, download Tom's presentation, below, which also contains the charts and tables he used to explain many of the key points above.

For summaries of Tom's previous presentations to STC, please see:

Downloads & Resources:

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Questions? Please e-mail:

  • tsant@hydeparkpartnerscal.com
How to Differentiate Your Products, Your Services, and Yourself in Ways the Customer Cares About
Date: Monday evening, January 24, 2011

Tom Sant has been called "America's foremost proposals expert" by the American Management Association and was named one of the "Ten Best Trainers in the World" by Selling Power magazine. He is the author of Persuasive Business Proposals, which has revolutionized the way businesses write proposals and has increased win ratios for hundreds of companies all over the world.

Tom's latest study of the fundamentals of professional sales, The Giants of Sales, traces the evolution of modern sales techniques, showing which techniques work and why, linking them to fundamental principles of human psychology. His newest book, The Language of Success, shows how to produce writing that informs, persuades, and gets results. Tom has helped thousands of people around the world improve their ability to deliver the right message the right way. He has been a popular keynote speaker at conferences around the world, from New York and London to Istanbul and Perth.

As a proposal consultant, Tom has written over $30 billion in winning proposals for both private sector and government contracts. Tom's clients include Procter & Gamble, AT&T, Microsoft, Johnson Controls, Booz Allen, NCR, Accenture, Dell, HSBC, Motorola, Kaiser Permanente, and hundreds more. Tom is the principal of San Luis Obispo-based Hyde Park Partners (http://hydeparkpartnerscal.com).

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