This is the real world. Business budgets are tight. Sometimes smaller companies want to work with me but feel an estimate is too much caviar for their pockets. The inevitable reaction is to slink away without saying anything. Is there a better way? Yes, of course there is.
The truth is, we are on the same team. So if price is an issue, sometimes I can modify a proposal by changing the scope. For example, if I have recommended a website with a certain number of pages, I have been honest in that recommendation. But often the website can be configured so it is implemented in stages instead of all at once. This may take some retooling, but there is always more than one way to skin a cat. The same thinking can be applied to estimates with more than one project. Maybe you can set aside a project until there is more money in the till. Let me know and we can prioritize.
Sometimes clients can save money by doing some of the work. For example, if you pull together all the needed research. I will be able to bill fewer hours. This requires that you source industry tends, competitor information, and items such as downloadable forms. If you pull together a collection of photos, you save hours of time. Time is money so when you save time for me you save money for yourself.
I don’t see this as bickering over price. I see it as a process of arriving at a workable solution to a challenge. My job is to be your business ally. I begin with working with you, not against you, on price.