Eleven Island businesses participating in virtual sales mission to Quebec

CHARLOTTETOWN – Oct. 15, 2020 – The 11 Island companies participating in RDÉE Prince Edward Island’s sales mission to Quebec this fall won’t need to pack their bags. They will simply have to turn on a video-conferencing app on their computers to try to sell products such as lobster, tuna, blueberries, jams, juice and health foods, cider, vinyl records and work safety wear to Montreal-area buyers.

Due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided to postpone the spring mission to this fall – specifically Oct. 19-23. And secondly, it was decided to hold the mission virtually. That is, Island entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to meet with 10 to 12 potential buyers each in one-on-one sales meetings. In total, 130 appointments have been fixed by Clientis, the Quebec firm hired to handle matchmaking duties.

« The advantage of a virtual mission is that Island sellers don’t have to invest two days to travel to Montreal and back, » said mission coordinator Robert Maddix. « Second, they don’t have to deal with city traffic to get to their appointments. Third, when they make appointments, they have the advantage of being in their own office where they have direct access to all their files. And finally, sellers are not limited geographically and can have appointments with buyers from regions other than Montreal. »

However, this new way of doing things poses its own challenges, notes Maddix. “Face-to-face meetings are always preferable because human contact is very important in building professional relationships. But with a little more effort, it’s still possible to establish trusting relationships during video-conferencing meetings. Sellers and buyers can still see each other and read each other’s body language and determine if they would like to do business together.”

The training offered to participating salespeople this year focused on this additional challenge, in addition to addressing the most effective ways to pitch their products and services to buyers.

Typically, the participants would bring samples of their products with them to give to potential buyers during their meetings. This year, the sellers will send their samples to the buyers who have shown a real interest in buying their products.

It now remains to be seen whether the virtual mission will be as successful – that is, whether it will generate as many sales – as the in-person missions. Maddix is keeping his fingers crossed.


The companies participating in the fall mission are:

• Atlantic Safety Wear of Montague (Rouben and Vicky Edgar) – work safety wear and boots;
• Bleuets Gagné Blueberries of Charlottetown (Sylvain Gagné) – dried blueberries;
• Distinct Magic Decor from Stratford (Solange Aké) – event decoration;
• Double Hill Cidery of Caledonia (Sebastian Manago) – bottled and canned ciders;
• EastCode of Charlottetown (Rafael Aguirre) – development of e-commerce software and block chain technologies;
• Forty Six North of Murray Harbour (Wade Little) – preservative-free jams, chutney, honey and spices;
• Glow Juicery of Summerside (Mélanie Dufour) – healthy juices and foods;
• Kaneshii Vinyl Press and RecordFund of Charlottetown (Ghislaine Cormier) – vinyl pressing service and online record presale service;
• Lobster PEI of Charlottetown (Charlotte Campbell) – fresh, frozen and canned lobster;
• One Tuna Inc. of North Lake (Jason Tompkins) – fresh tuna;
• ShopPEI Marketplace of Nine Mile Creek (Jacinthe Lemire, representing several vendors) – online sales platform primarily for arts and crafts products.

These missions are made possible through a great partnership with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Innovation PEI.



PHOTOS: Sebastian Manago of Double Hill Cidery and Solange Aké of Distinct Magic Decor are among the 11 Island entrepreneurs who will try to sell their products or services during RDÉE PEI’s fall virtual sales mission.



For more information:
Robert Maddix
Sales Mission Coordinator
RDÉE Prince Edward Island
902 367-8413