I saw an ad in USA Today this morning for The TRADE Show (Travel Retailing and Destination Expo) to be held in Orlando September 10-12, 2006.

You may ask, “What’s that?”

Good question. When introduced to things new, we often don’t have a clue as to what they do.

The TRADE Show ad solved that problem by featuring a headline surrounded by white space that said, “IT’S LIKE a giant supermarket for vacation ideas.”

Aahh! I went from confusion to clarity in a second because the ad linked its unknown offering to something with which I was familiar and fond.

Are you marketing a new product or service? Are you pitching a new idea or championing a cause? If you’re worried that people won’t understand what you’re saying or selling, ask yourself “What is it LIKE?” and compare it to something your target audience regularly uses.

I came up with this Increase Your LIKE-Ability Technique while on a speaking tour in Denver, Colorado with my teen-aged sons. We had a night free so I asked our hotel concierge to suggest a fun outing. He took one look at Tom and Andrew and said, “You’ve got to go to D & B’s.”

We were from Maui at the time and had no idea what he was talking about. I asked, “What’s D & B’s?”

Instead of explaining it stood for “Dave and Buster’s” which wouldn’t have cleared up our confusion, he grinned and said, “IT’S LIKE . . . a Chuckie Cheese for adults.”

Perfect! Seven words and we understood what it was and wanted to go there. By linking something we didn’t know with something we knew and liked, he “told and sold” that place in one succinct sound-bite. They should have put him on commission.

Barbara Walters said, “There are few times in your life when it isn’t too melodramatic to say your destiny hangs on the impression you make.”

When people first hear or read about your offering, what type of impression does it make? If they don’t instantly “get” it, they won’t want it.

Ask yourself, “What is my idea or invention LIKE? How is it similar to something people frequently use?” For more ideas on how to compellingly describe your offering so people like it and are motivated to try it and buy it, visit www.SamHorn.com