How To Future Pace Prospects
By Mike Jezek Copyright 2007 Mike Jezek. All rights reserved.
Professional copywriters worth their salt know the importance of writing lively, benefit-laden copy. They also know that they need to be creating agreement in the mind of the reader from the beginning of the copy to the end. You want your prospect in a "YES" frame of mind.
One of the best techniques to do that is "Future Pacing." Here's how this technique works. You start off pacing Mr. Prospect, you state an action that he's already doing or involved in and you start introducing possibilities that keep advancing the idea of him seeing himself with your product or service. Probably the best way to understand this technique is through an example.
Picture this: You’re a sales person at a car dealership. You say to Mr. Prospect, "Why don’t you sit inside this Chrysler Concorde you’re interested in.” And so Mr. Prospect sits. You then say, “Can you imagine how it would feel to drive this beautiful car? How the leather seats would snuggle close to you as you make turns and take curves. And how great it would feel to drive by the beach with your windows down showing off your new car. Wouldn’t that be great? I know I’ve done it with this car. It definitely gets a lot of looks when you drive it. Especially at the beach. You know with the additional XYZ sound system this particular Concorde has, it would be even more fun driving this car with your stereo cranked up to your favorite song. I love doing that, don’t you?"
Did you see how this language pattern made the copy more compelling? It took you by the hand and gently led you from your current state to the next state of seeing yourself with the product, on and on until you developed a strong sense of what it would be like to own said product.
Keep in mind, the human mind operates like a smart bomb. Give it an objective a vision and the mind steers the person towards that direction. It's the same concept with future pacing. Let's take a look at another example of this technique in action.
Imagine, you’re marketing a portable air conditioning system. In your copy, you can apply your future pacing in the following manner: "This summer has been especially hot. With energy bills rising it's hard to keep as cool as you'd like. Luckily, you don't have to suffer through this heat like you are. That's because you can put our XYZ system in your home and feel the cool air fill up to 500 square feet of your house in 5 minutes or less. When the weather man warns of impending high temperatures, you'll shrug it off knowing you can flick the "ON" switch and in moments enjoy the coolness of your rooms."
Did you notice how the copy took the reader from his current state and eventually took him to another state where he's mentally turning the product on?
Future pacing can be summed up in getting your prospects to picture themselves going from their current state (agitate it) and then involving them in the process of using your product or service to solve their problems. Lead them from pain to relief.