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EG78: Limiting beliefs to fight against

Written by Emanuel Martonca
on December 5, 2022

Wouldn’t it be nice if things would just happen?

If by merely thinking about a solution the problem would be solved?

I’ve seen many people in my life that seem to believe that having the idea is enough. Just saying it or writing it in a presentation is enough. We all know it’s not enough.

Limiting beliefs are some of the obstacles that we need to overcome after we had that initial good idea.

To solve business problems and to improve, there are three distinct layers we need to work on:

  • Mindset
  • Methods
  • Tools

Mindset obstacles

A limiting belief is a thought or opinion that you think is the absolute truth and it inhibits or stops you from doing certain things. 

These beliefs are very powerful and most people have them. They could be about yourself or how the world works.

In my interactions with managers of software companies I have seen a few limiting beliefs that have a very big impact on how they manage pricing and sales.

1. The market sets the price

I don’t know where this comes from or why it’s so often used as an absolute truth, but nothing could be further from the truth.

There is no entity called “the market”. 

There is no hidden mechanism that sets the price for all companies in a given market.

There are competitive forces. There are direct competitors that you might need to keep an eye on. There are price levels to consider, based on what other vendors are doing. 

But this is completely different than saying and believing that there is a market price that you have to accept.

2. Clients come to our country for low prices

This one is especially visible in the typical Central and Eastern European countries that have well developed software industries.

Yes, no one can deny that some buyers will look for vendors in a specific country or geography because they expect to receive the same quality at a lower cost for them.

But this doesn’t mean that price is their only criteria or constraint.

In any given market, there is a percentage of buyers that is driven by price as their main buying criteria. For software services, it might be 15, 20, maybe even 30% of the buyers. I don’t think anybody really knows or can tell what the real number is.

But we can all agree that it’s certainly not 100%, not 80%, and almost surely not higher than 40%. 

This means that not all the prospects you interact with are looking for a low price and nothing else.

3. Buyers don’t want to hear ‘no’

I have personally struggled with this for a long time.

In the beginning of my sales career, I was convinced that I was there to please the customers and say yes to any demand.

I had to learn the hard way how that leads to disasters.

You can say no to a prospect, even if they don’t like it.

You can say no to a potential customer, and saying no will not automatically reduce your chances of getting the project.

There are many buyers who want you to say no, if that is the right answer to their question.

Other limiting beliefs

In the context of selling software services, there are 2 categories of limiting beliefs you need to consider.

Those related to money:

  • Money is hard to make
  • There isn’t enough money to go around
  • Wanting more money is greedy
  • If I make more money, I’ll lose my values.

And those related to sales:

  • Asking for referrals will annoy my prospects
  • ​​The service must be perfect before we can sell it
  • I don’t know enough about our services to sell them
  • Buyers won’t buy without a discount or incentive
  • I can’t challenge my prospects
  • I need to feel totally confident before moving forward.

How many of these do you believe to be true?

What about your team?

You could create a very simple survey with these statements and ask your colleagues to answer with a simple yes or no to each of them.

Just by doing this exercise and having a conversation with them, you can already start to limit the negative impact of limiting beliefs (pun intended).


The best plan, method or procedure, using the most efficient tools, are not worth much if people’s mindset is an obstacle.

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