Choosing the Right Pitch for the Situation

Possibility Pitch Versus Pursuit Pitch

When you hear the word pitch, you’re probably thinking: “Oh my god, I’m going to have to sell myself!”

That is the typical use of the word, but there are actually two types of pitches. One is the usual one you think about—I call that the pursuit pitch. That’s when you are pursuing a specific opportunity.

The second type of pitch is what I call the possibility pitch—that is when you are looking to uncover an opportunity.

First, let’s talk about the possibility pitch. That is what you use when you are in the exploration phase. That’s when you’re not quite sure about what you’re looking to do or uncover. You have some ideas in your head, and you’re thinking “Maybe I might want to figure something out that might be a good fit for me.” That’s when you use this possibility pitch.

When you are doing a possibility pitch it is not about selling yourself, it’s about telling your story, sharing your skills and talents so that you can uncover opportunity. You can use the possibility pitch when:

  • You are exploring ideas
  • No specific opportunities have been identified—it’s used for general networking conversations
  • When you are clear on what you want but there’s no opportunity identified with whom you’re speaking

Your goal with the possibility pitch is to uncover ideas to see if there are options; to see if there are any specific opportunities. Other things to note about the possibility pitch:

  • There is no time constraint
  • There is no need to have your materials ready for a possibility pitch
  • It is “Me” focused: the skills and talents you’d like to use

Let’s contrast this with the pursuit pitch. Your goal of the pursuit pitch is to become a viable candidate for an identified opportunity. Key points regarding the pursuit pitch:

  • You have a very specific opportunity
  • There is a defined list of skills and talents needed for the opportunity
  • There is a time constraint
  • You need to have your materials ready for a pursuit pitch
  • It is “Them” focused: the value you bring to them

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