I echo James Youngs answer.
We are only buying the opportunity to quote!
You need to be able to sell yourself, instil in the prospective customer confidence that you can do a good job, and of course quote a fair price to do the job.
You will sometimes be quoting along side two other tradesmen, or sometimes against just one. Though the best scenario is to be first to buy, get round to see the job promptly, and convince your customer you are the guy for the job there n then. If they are confident that you are a capable, polite professional, they will often not seek another quote.
If you look after these (in fact any) customers, they will continue to use you for all their future work and your small initial outlay for the job will be replayed many times over.
But ultimately, we accept that we won’t win them all.....and that there is No refund unless after all your attempts to be able to quote, have been met with a dead end.
Personally, my quote/success rate is currently around the 6-7 out of ten, and if you are a personable chap and a good tradesman, I see no reason your stats won’t be at least as good.
Peter Williams - Home Projects.