Building Trust and Sales Ethics Kelly Meyers Dilemma

Building Trust and Sales Ethics Kelly Meyers Dilemma

Kelly Meyers’ Dilemma


Kelly Myers has spent the past three months trying to gather all the information she needs to submit a bid on an order that is very important to her company. Bids are due tomorrow and the decision will be made within a week. She has made a great impression on the purchasing agent, Janet Williams, and she has just ended a conversation with her sales manager who believes Kelly needs to make one more call on Williams to see if she can find out any additional information that might help her prepare the bid. Kelly’s boss specifically wants to know who the other bidders are.

Current Situation

Later that day, Kelly visited with Janet Williams. During the course of the conversation with Williams, Kelly asked who the other bidders were. Williams beat around the bush for a while, but she did not reveal the other bidders. She did mention the other bids were in and pulled the folder out of the filing cabinet where they were kept. Janet opened the file and looked over the bids in front of Kelly.

There was a knock on the door and Janet’s boss asked if he could see her for a minute and she walked down the hall with her boss. Kelly realized all the bids were left out in front of her. There was a summary sheet of all of the bids on top and she could easily see all the bids. When Williams returned she returned the folder to the file and the two made some small talk and ended their conversation.

Kelly returned to her office and completed her bid and turned it in to Janet Williams the next morning. Kelly knew her bid would be the lowest by $500.00. One week later Kelly learned she won the bid.


  1. What are the ethical issues involved in this situation?
  2. If you were Kelly Myers, do you think Janet Williams intended for you to see the competitive bids? What would you have done given this situation? Why?




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