The Last Mile Seller


Revenue growth happens where an NPI Buyer and an LM Seller intersect.

In my previous article on Artificial Intelligence (AI), I continue to argue that prospects or potential buyers are further into the buying cycle thereby achieving a level of what I’ve termed, Near Perfect Information (NPI). NPI means that the prospect has nearly all the information (and reasons) they need for making a buying decision.


The key term here is ‘nearly’. A prospect requires someone (sales rep, subject matter expert, customer support, etc.) to help them traverse the end of their buying journey (i.e., the last mile).


As an ex-engineer, when I was designing hybrid video networks (e.g., using coax/copper/fiber/wireless), the challenge was always to ensure the integrity of the ‘last mile’. The ‘last mile’ in a network is the final length of cabling (or antenna transmission) from the nearest distribution point to a home or workplace.


In sales and business, the last mile represents the last leg of the buyer’s journey. The buyer has NPI but is still reticent about something and needs help traversing that ‘last mile’ before making a final commitment. This is where salespeople who know their product/service well, make the difference!


When a prospect with NPI reaches out to a company, they do for one, two, or all three of the following:


  • Clarification: The prospect needs help in understanding something that they haven’t grasped.Example: “You mentioned that I would be able to view all my sales analytics through X dashboard but it requires Y. Can you explain to me how that works? “
  • Confirmation: The prospect wants to make sure what they’ve read/understood can indeed be done.Example: “You mentioned that I would be able to integrate all of my X and not have to do Y in order to achieve Z. Is that correct?”
  • Confidence: The prospect lacks the confidence to make a final decision and is afraid of what might happen if s/he is wrong.Example: “Is there something I should know that I’m not seeing or haven’t considered? I’m concerned about the transition.”


It’s worth noting that in this example I’m talking about complex products (services) with a relatively high price point for the buyer (e.g., enterprise data platform, manufacturing equipment, network operating system, etc.). As opposed to simple products with a relatively low price point that carries a lower risk and requires NO sales rep intervention.

In a world of expanding AI tools and NPI buyers, the most important person for a company will be the ‘Last Mile Seller’ (i.e., the Subject Matter Expert with Sales Skills); the person who can clarify, confirm, and give the buyer enough confidence to make a buying decision.


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