Jane Smith submits her book to a bunch of agents, and ends up getting lots of favorable responses and offers of representation. Now she has to decide which agent to go with, and so she either meets with them personally for lunch or drinks, speaks with them on the phone, or corresponds via email to obtain more information. She asks all the important questions - agent biography, submission plans, commissions, general agenting strategy, etc., and then decides which agent to go with.
Agents call this a "beauty contest." We've all been in them, and we've all won some and lost some. They're no fun for us, but great for Jane Smith and writers everywhere. Editors have no sympathy for agents regarding this since they are constantly in beauty contests of the agent's making - i.e. auctions.