As you suggested, I've started querying widely, and I got a bite from an apparently-respected agent at a long-established boutique agency. While there has been no offer of representation yet, we've talked on the phone a couple of times and it's clear that she "gets" my nonfiction book, loves my platform, and has plenty of experience, expertise, and connections. She's asked for sample chapters and our next conversation will likely be The Call.
I may be getting ahead of myself, but I'm panicking because as great as this agent looks on paper, and as much as she seems to respond to my work, I found her really annoying on the phone--she talks nonstop in a whiny voice and won't stop bragging about her other clients and the great deals she's landed them.
I know she's trying to impress me as much as I'm trying to impress her, but I cringe when I imagine her pitching MY book to editors in the same way. Clearly, though, she's the real deal and has managed to represent plenty of writers effectively. I still have queries out there, but I've also had some rejections; would I be crazy to pass this up?
Most agents pitch by email, and no one cares what she sounds like anyway. Editors care about the books she's bringing them.
The other thing to realize here is you've talked to her only a few times. If she's making deals, she's on the phone to editors a lot, and they've gotten used to her voice if they ever noticed it at all.
And you're right to realize she was trying to impress you as much as you were trying to impress her.
We've all got flaws. If this agent gets your work, and you think she can sell your work, that's what matters.