The Practice of Respecting Others: Shakubuku is a Struggle to Defeat the Devilish Nature Inherent in Our Own Lives and Those of Others (Part One)
President Ikeda: Soka Gakkai 2nd president Josei Toda once commented on this as follows:
There are two kinds of seed sowing [in Buddhism]: sowing the seeds by letting people hear the teaching and sowing the seeds by leading people to arouse faith in the teaching. Let's say you meet someone for the first time and tell them about the Daishonin's Buddhism, but the person does not take faith. This is sowing the seeds by letting people hear the teaching. But suppose that later someone else who practises this Buddhism approaches that person and talks to them about faith in the Mystic Law again, and they decide to receive the Gohonzon. This is sowing the seeds by leading people to arouse faith in the teaching. Both of these are equally sowing the seed of Buddhahood, and the benefit is the same.
One should by all means persist in preaching the Lotus Sutra and causing them to hear it. Those who put their faith in it will surely attain Buddhahood, while those who slander it will establish a 'poison-drum relationship' with it and will likewise attain Buddhahood. (WND, pg 882)
A 'poison-drum relationship' is also known as a reverse relationship. This refers to the case in which a person, for instance, upon hearing about the Lotus Sutra, does not take faith at the time and instead disparages the teaching. Hearing about the correct teaching causes the person to form a relationship with it, and later on he or she will be to attain Buddhahood without fail.
Saito: When we talk to others and enable them to hear about the Mystic Law, the Buddha nature existing in the depths of theri lives is unmistakably activated. Whether a person reacts against what we are saying or arouses a mind of faith depends on that individual; but in either case, the person's dormant Buddha nature is stimulated without a doubt.
President Ikeda: For instance, though someone may not be able to believe in the correct teaching right away, the time will definitely come when that person -- in whose life the seed has been sown as a result of hearing about the Mystic Law -- embraces faith in the correct teaching. This is just as a seed once planted, given the right conditions, will eventually sprout.
Therefore, regardless of whether people take faith, the important thing is that we pray for their happiness, sincerely exert ourselves on their behalf, and courageously explain to them the greatness of Buddhism. The Daishonin continued to calmly proclaim the correct teaching without the least hesitation, even to those who treated him with enmity and brought political pressure and brute force to bear on him.
(Source: World of Nichiren Daishonin's Writings, either v3 or v4, pgs. 139-141)