I ask qualifying questions during the initial phone conversation the primary
one being "What is you budget for this project?". This is a great question
because it keeps the door open on price. In a negotiating situation, you
never want to be the first one to put a price on the table. If they describe
the project to you and you offer a rough estimate of $20,000 they may not
select you because you're too low! I've heard of many instances where someone
did not get the project because the client thought that if their bid was
that low they obviously don't have the skills needed for this project. Many
people still believe they get what they pay for and if they're paying more,
they're getting more.

If you quote $20,000 (as an example) and the client has budgeted $500,000,
do you think they'll be happy that they'll have so much more money left over
after the project? Nope! They'll start wondering what it is you're going
to leave out. If you ask the qualifying question "How much have you budgeted
for this?" then you'll know what they're expectations are. If they're thinking
$500,000 then you know that there must be a lot more to it than what you're
thinking and time to ask more questions.

Anyway that's my opinion.

Hope it helps.