I write so often about the ‘improper’ reps who come cold-calling, trying to flog you everything from till rolls to a different flavour of telephone, gas or electricity service, that I forget there is one type of rep that retailers welcome. These are the chocolate reps. In fact, from time to time I get complaints from retailers because they haven’t seen the chocolate or crisp flavoured variety lately.
This was the case with Susmita Patel. She was having a devil of a time getting on to Nestlé’s official list for regular visits to her busy kiosk on the railway platform at Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.
She had had visits in the past and recently someone had been round to pick up some old stock. “But why do I always have to chase them for a visit? Now I’ve been told that it will take six weeks to get me back on the rounds and the rep says it would be quicker if I had the lottery machine because it’s quicker for her.”
This seemed to suggest that Nestlé reps are doubling as Camelot reps, so I got in touch with the company to ask.
It’s one of those admin hoops. Nestlé says it currently has no reference to Susmita’s outlet on its Confectionery Division’s call file, although it seems that the Foodservice team may have called on her last year.
As to the Camelot reference, a Nestlé spokeswoman says the rep probably meant that stores with a lottery machine generally get more footfall and therefore qualify for more visits.
Nestlé has now promised to visit Susmita’s store.