The truth of this business, like any business, is that folks getting competitive bids have the choice to do what they want. Will they choose me? a bid awarded solely on price, no. but...
I know this for a fact: In my area, no one presents themselves for lighting better than me, and I mean no one. I have the knowledge and expertise to answer any question ( though I try hard not to come across as a know it all) I arrive in a professional vehicle, and I am dressed like a professional. and all the things that surround me reinforce that I am the top professional they will meet with. The bid sheet, the presentation folder, the literature and business card in the folder along with the bid. the website and postcard that brought them to me. The fixtures I bring as samples.
The other reality is I often meet with only one spouse, and then they present my bid to the other. so often the decision maker does not meet me, or see my truck, or look at the website. And everyone that makes a lighting decision has a budget, be it a 100k home or a 10m home. and I have done lots of both and in between . and lots of both have chosen to not do it at all or they hire a loser. and that is just the way it is.
I try to do enough marketing that I do enough bids and close enough work to stay busy, and that helps me move on about the bids that don't close. I have yet to see a home I lost the bid on look even remotely as good as it could if I did it, so it is always their loss. and when they get the postcards in the mail every couple of months with the photos of our work, and they are honest with themselves, they know.