Manage difficult pitch questions with the ABC approach
No matter how much you have prepared before your pitch, you are going to be asked questions that you didn’t think about. Not only did you not think of the question but the answer probably doesn’t immediately come to mind. In these situations, you should use the ABC approach when answering. ABC stands for Answer (or Acknowledge), Bridge and Communicate.
Answer (or Acknowledge) – You may not have an answer to the question being asked, but you should still acknowledge what has been asked. If you can answer the question do so. And do so directly and with data where possible.
Bridge – Shift your answer by moving away from the tricky question and instead deliver a positive message that is beneficial for you. You can do this by saying something like so “I am not sure, but what I can say is this”
Communicate – Communicate your message, change the topic and refocus on your soundbites.
When delivering a response there are 2 things that you absolutely must not do.
Don’t Get Defensive. The question may very well be targeted to see how you deal with stress. So, don’t get defensive or you will be sure to turn investors off immediately.
Don’t BS. Your investors are professionals. They have seen and heard it all before. If you try and lie to them or make something up on the spot they will know. If you get caught you will lose credibility and all chances of securing funding.
You won’t have an answer to every question. When you don’t have the answer, use the ABC approach to structure your response.