In my opinion, I don't think what we do is getting easier. It is a true artistry and surfaces are being fabricated with more and more junkie type of stuff instead of quality which means we have to think outside the box and use newer techniques an products to adjust to these new age surfaces.
Loosing to a cheaper estimate is part of the game. It stinks, but always follow up with a kind thank you message for their consideration. I can promise, you will always remain in their mind for any future work. Why can a company work for so cheap? Because they don't see the value in their own work and they sell themselves short OR they know they do crappy work that isn't worth any more money. It is critical that you realize your own value, your own training, your own expertise. This isn't a business where people should have the "hang out at Home Depot to wait for a job" kind of mentality like these low bidding companies have. When the job is sold for really cheap, most likely, that customer is not going to be satisfied with the end results. As long as you focus on your value, your knowledge, your understanding of the customer's desires so you can present to the customer the best value for their dollars, that will always remain in their heads.
Commercial accounts typically don't care so much about quality as much as about budget. However, if the presentation is such that they understand how much money they will actually save when their surfaces are restored and maintained properly and possibly having different options for them, they will be more inclined to think more about your and your services.
Americans don't want to be sold but they want to buy. When in any communication with the customer you need to think about what CAUSED the customer to call in the first place.
Customer are looking for the following:
C - Comfort
A - Affordability
U - Utility
S - Safety
E - Economics
D - Dependability
This is all they are thinking about. If you present yourself and your company and your services correctly and the customer still decides to go with the cheaper estimate, at least you saved yourself from having to work hard for little to nothing. Some people are the type that if you extend your hand, they want to take your whole arm. Some people are just looking for the best deal possible. Having the cheapest estimate isn't the best deal. But what do they know? Customers aren't typically educated in our industry. If they were, chance are they would be doing it all themselves anyway. There is a lot of psychology in closing sales. One thing I learned the hard way, walk away when all they are looking for is cheap. They will be the most difficult customer and you and your profit margin will suffer greatly as a result.
What sets you aside from those super low bidders? Are they Certified? Are they educated? Are they dedicated to quality? Do they use the same methods and products? Do they offer the customer an education? Are they a specialist or a jack of all trades? Do they cut corners? Do you? As a customer, people mainly look for that specialist. They wouldn't go to the dentist to get foot surgery. But they at least understand that dentists and foot surgeons are both doctors, yet do completely different things. It is our job to educate the customer about what we do and who we are.