Recognise the client!
Another critical success factor when considering your strategic insight and database partner is that intangible thing called 'the relationship', or the question 'can I work with these people?'
The 'chemistry session' is a well-established practice in the direct marketing agency world, where the client team pays a visit to prospective agency team for a 'get-to-know-you' meeting.
This gives the agency the opportunity to understand clients' issues and aims, to go through some brief credentials and to espouse values. The agency throws out some ranging questions in order to stand on some common ground and start to demonstrate its grasp of the business issues to be faced. Client names and track record will casually be cast into the conversation.