Client asking about price before the in-person consultation

I am a marriage specialist who sees couples in her office (or online) for a 6 month program. My process starts with two individual phone consultations (one with each couple, 30 min each), then an in-person (or zoom, depending) consultation (90 min) with the both of them at the same time. When we are together, we discuss how I work and they either sign up or they don’t. The last piece of my five of six item Spiel is talking about the investment. We talk about that after we established that they are on board with all the other parts of my program.

I used to do the initial phone consultations AND the initial in-person consultation (90 min in length) at no charge. Two years ago, I changed that and started charging for the 90 min in-person consult, and still leaving the phone consultations complimentary to the client. After I email couples (once I’ve talked with both of them), and inform them ahead of time what the cost would be for the 90 min consultation, they often ask some version of – “so that we can plan for finances, what is your 50 min per session fee? “

Do I answer? Do I not answer it? I feel myself caught between:

  1. I don’t want to answer because I’d want to talk about the program, what I’d expect from them, what they could expect from me, I would talk about the set up, what the program looks like as a whole and why – and the last piece of the conversation is my talking about the investments or answering the money question before they know all that seems totally out of context. And not the right timing.
  2. I feel like that’s a BS answer – if they are asking, why not give them the number and they can do with it what they will.

I have had clients ask the money question and sign up. And it wasn’t a problem. And they signed up to work with me.

I have had clients ask the question and come in for the initial in person and find out what working with me would look like and they didn’t sign up. SO it’s all over the place.

I just question it every time. Feeling unsettled about it.