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Here’s a real world case study regarding a deal WM Media was in last year, in which generosity would have been the better road to go. I’d written about it previously in Seven Mistakes In One Day.

The Problem

In the deal, we’d acquired a website but without the license, which we’d understood would come later. However, the seller, not quite understanding that the software on the website required a license, wasn’t aware of it as part of the deal. As a result, he didn’t have the license and didn’t want to buy a new one, leading to an unpleasant situation where we needed to collect $300 from a person who didn’t want to give it!

This is probably a relatively common situation that everyone experiences at some point in their lives! You lent money to a friend and he doesn’t want to pay you back. You did some extra work and the employer didn’t want to pay you extra. You bought a product online and didn’t get it. Learning to handle this situation better would be very beneficial since it happens so often!

What Happened

Normally, in these situations, we’d just forget about it and not really worry about it. Unfortunately, in this situation, the seller kept telling us that he would give us the license and that he’s working on it. We tried asking and there were always little progress that he’s somehow working on it. We set deadlines and they were just ignored. We tried settling it but that didn’t work either!

Finally, the seller just ignored us after continuously promising us that he’s not arguing and that he’ll do it!

How Generosity Would Have Helped

So in the above scenario of what actually happened, we expended a lot of effort and didn’t really get any results! Not only that, but it made the seller stop talking to us, preventing him from bringing us further deals.

Let’s consider a more generous approach though! Say when the seller asked us about it, we could have simply said that since he feels the licenses were not part of the deal, he doesn’t have to pay for them. What a difference that would have made!

Instead of an angry seller, we would have one that would be more open to our perspective and eager to do more deals with us. Since each deal is like $6000, $300 is only a small portion of the amount. And since we are buying websites at that price, we make a significant return on it!

Instead of trying to make him pay us $300, we could have allowed him some way to create $300 of value for us.

Not only would it have made us more money in the long run, it would have allowed us to keep him as a friend who’ll possibly sell us websites for the entire duration of his life! Isn’t that worth just a little more than $300 we didn’t get?

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