Ok, so we've debated the topic of whether to ask for a budget first or not. And many here have said it's always best to ask for a budget at the first meeting. Still, many others here say they never ask for a budget. They just give estimates for the work the customer asked for. I suppose this question is more for those who are in that latter camp - where you don't ask the customer for a budget. My question is this; what do you do when you give a bid for a landscape installation and then you get this, "Wow. This all sounds great. We're very impressed with everything. It seems like your company does great work, and we're impressed with your references and how thorough your design and estimate is. But here's the deal. Your total bid came to $22,000. But all we have to work with is $18,000. Is there any way we can make this happen for $18,000?" Before you answer - let's assume that doing the job in phases isn't an option. Let's also assume that cutting out a certain part of the project (e.g. lighting) isn't really an option either - there aren't really any "optional" aspects to this job. How do you overcome this obstacle and still get the job?