One of the easiest ways to differentiate buzzword-using people who declare themselves “experts” from actual marketing experts is to find proof of their experience in actually getting the work done. Expert status is earned and given to you by your clients, not because you say it.
If your pitches are telling you that you lost by a few grand, and you thought you had a good relationship or rapport with them, you didn’t. If you don’t even get a chance to counter, you had no relationship at all.
If you aren’t creating a compelling reason to work with you besides money, then you are always going to lose to a lower bid.
Stop worrying about the percentage of jobs you are closing and focus on closing more jobs you want to do. If you live off of referrals, sorry, you’re a slave to whatever walks in the door.
If you get a chance to do one job you like vs. two jobs you don’t, take the one. There’s more to this game than money. Besides, doing the job you like means you will probably do a better job which means more referrals.
If you are a high volume shop who needs to keep a lot of people fed and a lot of trucks on the street, you should pay attention to the type of jobs you are attracting. That comes from paying attention to your marketing, your salespeople, your upsells, your cross-sells, your website.