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On my way home from a going away dinner for my supervisor today, I had a chat with my coworker as he drove me home in his car. Apparantly, they had some sales discussions with EBay about the product that we’ve developed at BEA (Aqualogic) a few months back. The negotations were intense, with the people in our department having to make a few trips over the coures of several weeks. Finally, after hundreds of man hours, EBay decided to use our product!
So by this point, you’re probably wondering, “What the heck does that have to do with me?” Well, the interesting part of this story is how much EBay paid for the product that BEA spent millions to develop… $0! That’s right, not a single cent!
So why would BEA spend weeks negotiating a contract that nets them no money? Not only that, but there’s also the costs of supporting the product and continuing to develop it – all for free! Why, why, why would anyone do that?
Well, here’s what BEA got: EBay allowed them to tell other people that they (EBay) were using BEA’s product!!
A multi-million dollar product.
In exchange for being allowed to tell other people it’s being used!
Here’s a great example of how generosity yielded a company a lot of money. In fact, there’s actually two examples of generosity here!
Generosity From BEA’s Side
So why was it so worth it for BEA to let other people know that EBay is using its product? Well, because of the wide exposure of the EBay brand, people will have more trust towards BEA’s products if a large company like that is using them. This’ll allow BEA to sell more of its products to other customers, more than making up the costs of giving EBay a free license and support!
By being generous with EBay, BEA has put itself in a position to attract many more potential deals.
Generosity From EBay’s Side
On the other side, EBay’s branding is a perfect example of how generosity pays off! By being a company of integrity and trust, it’d established itself as a company that’ll go the extra mile to please its customers. By being generous with its time and effort, EBay has gained the trust of the consumer base. When you hear about an EBay product, you know it’ll be innovative and well done!
As a result, precisely because of this trust gained through hard work and a generosity of effort, companies like BEA throw themselves at Ebay in order to work with them!
Isn’t it nice to have two or more competing companies throwing their products at you hoping you’ll pick them to satisfy your needs? Not only that, but they’re doing it eagerly, and for free!
That’s what generosity does for you – it makes people really want to work with you!
And then you get to pick who you’d like to work with
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