Making the right impression the first time you speak to someone is critical. Get it right and the relationship has a greater chance of progressing smoothly. Get it wrong and you will either never have the relationship you want, or you will need to invest valuable time and energy trying to re-build a relationship that you could have started better.
David recalls a situation a few years ago when he and a colleague, Simon, were visited by two salesmen. They sat with these salespeople for an hour and had a very open and relaxed discussion about how their business was faring and the challenges they were facing. The salesmen made a reasonable attempt at asking the right questions and never once pushed their offering.