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How Many Quotes are Print Buyers Getting Online for Their Print Projects?

How Many Quotes do Print Buyers Need

How Many Quotes are Print Buyers Getting Online for Their Print Projects?

Have you heard this from a potential print buyer at any point in your career… “I’m getting a few quotes before I make my final decision.”?  Of course you have.

And it makes sense for a buyer to want to get quotes if price is a concern, which it always is at some level.  But the question is how many quotes do they typically get? And is there a way to convince them to just use you?

The numbers are in and the short answer is 3 quotes, and Yes you can get them to work with you most of the time.


There are a number of reasons why 3 quotes is standard which we’ll discuss here and how you can get them to go with you more often.


Why Do Print Buyers Get 3 Quotes?

The reason most people get three quotes is due to our psychology.  It’s natural to go with 3 because 1 is a mandate (your being forced to go with it), 2 is an ultimatum (and to a lesser degree feels forced), but 3 gives the decision maker control.  With three options a buyers feels they are making an informed decision based on their own due diligence which they can justify.


There are a number of other factors that bleed into this decision such as…

  • Consumer agencies telling you to have 3 options
  • Leadership requesting 3 options
  • And the scientific method step of experimentation uses at least 3 tests for each variant


But consumer agencies and leadership are influenced by the same things, psychology and science.

It makes sense to mix in a little of the science thinking on this because if your primary focus is on price then the 3 quotes can be equated to 3 tests of price and the quote with the lowest is the potential winner, same with other variables such as timing / deadlines, finishing or binding capabilities, etc.


These customers are testing the marketplace!


In addition to the three quotes there are typically three types of print buyers getting quotes.

Below are the paths they take when getting their quotes.

*We are excluding loyal customers who go nowhere else but you

  1.  The Newbie
  • Search online
  • Search online again
  • Search online a final time


  1.  The Less Informed
  • Quote from a company they know / work with
  • Search online
  • Search online again


  1.  The Well Informed
  • Quote from a company they know / work with
  • Quote from a company they’ve heard of or gotten a referral to
  • Search online


How to Win the Quote Every Time.

AKA How can I close more deals / new customers / print projects

Here’s the really good stuff.

Now that you know the psychology of the buyer wanting to weigh their options it’s easy to use that in conversation.

But there are a few factors you need to deal with as you go in to close every lead that comes your way.


  1. Recency (or time to contact)
  2. Knowing what they want
  3. Having the knowledge to educate



Timing is everything.

If a lead comes through your website every minute you don’t contact that potential customer the less likely they are to become your customer.  This is true across all quoted businesses. It’s a Fact!

Same holds true for the phone.  Don’t let a message get taken if you can avoid it.

Pick up the phone by the 3rd ring


The sooner you get to them the better.

By doing this you’ll have the chance to close them before anyone else does and you can beat the 3 quote rule.


Know What They Want

This is obvious but easier said than done prior to contact.

There is a fine line between how much you ask for on a web form to not scare them off and then how much you ask for on the phone to get an accurate quote.

You don’t want to push too hard in getting information because it will feel like a burden to your prospective customer, but on the other side you don’t want too little so you don’t frustrate them.


So how do you do that?

On your quote forms ask for the type of piece they wanted printed and the quantity.

This will give you the perfect starting point and internally you should be able to have a go to range of costs that can be shared with them, but once you connect to get more detail now you can ask the few more questions you need to give them a fairly accurate quote.  Things like paper, finish, binding, etc.

And at this stage you can let them talk, because most customers will talk long enough to get the details you need.


Being Able to Educate The Print Customer

Now if you’re new to the industry this will be tougher and require studying on your part to become very knowledgeable, but you have to do it.

For the majority of us who’ve done this for awhile we have the go to knowledge to wing it and give them the answers they need for the most part.

But it’s a fact that you MUST be ready to answer every question the customer has in order to gain their confidence, trust and business.


This is where you can close the deal every time!

At this point you are able to tell them how you differentiate, what they’ll experience when getting other quotes in your market, the price differentials they will come across, etc.  Giving them all of this up front allows them to not have to go through the work of getting more quotes. You’re arming them with all they need to know.


Having PDF’s or videos explaining process, pricing and production are also HUGE helpers for you in this phase of the closing the deal.


The more you have and the more you know will dictate how much more you will close.

This too is a FACT!


Now that you know what the print buyer is thinking, how they intend to quote their project and what you’ll need to be their print partner every time it’s time to get back to selling! Go get it and make it happen.


If you want to read even more about marketing and sales for the print industry visit this page, it has a ton of other resources you can read, watch and download:



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