There was a high level (by title only) marketing/salesman who worked for a sports team. The guy was considered a very good salesman. He dressed the part and worked an event room like a pro. A big part of his job included entertaining on game day and that was really his realm... great on his feet and always presented himself well. A business associate of mine went on a sales call with him to pitch a major piece of business. Now this guy was an opener and could always get in the door, but that is where the professionalism ended. He was a winner when working with a product that sold itself, but as soon as he was picked up and selling for a new player in the market he fell way short of expectations.
When this guy started a meeting he handled the introductions very well, but then he launched right into his pitch. No small talk, no questions about the potential client's business... no listening whatsoever. He did not ask one question, did not pay attention to any cues from the client, and simply told them over and over how great his product was for their business. The meeting ended and he did not learn one thing about the company he was pitching. Incredible that this supposedly senior sales guy barely acknowledged the people he was trying to influence.
When you are meeting new prospects, on a sales/marketing call, or simply meeting new people, you should be like a sponge and try to learn as much as possible. That is the key to building a brand, making a sale, building your network. Yes... you want to peak their interest in you, your product, service, and what you have to offer, but if you do not listen... you lose.
The key to developing any relationship is give and take... adding value is everything! You want to learn as much as you can in that first meeting... especially if it is you trying to peak the interest of the other. Wait to tell your story until after you hear theirs.
The guy/girl who talks the others ear off on the first date without hear anything the other has to say will be left standing at the door. The best sales/marketing/networking call is when you get invited in on the first date.