This is a question that comes up a lot on sales calls and one that you want to handle with care. As I've stated in other posts, questions are always driven by thoughts and never happen by accident. There is always a "context" from which the questions come and your ability to understand the context will improve your odds in developing the right answer. When I suggest that we work to create the "right" answer I don't mean that we are trying to fool anyone. Frequently, when we are addressing questions there are multiple answers and we just want to make sure that we have a higher likely hood of picking the right one.
In relation to price questions, it is always important to answer the question "in context". So usually, in order to understand the "context" in which the question was asked you'll need to ask more questions. Also, you'll often find that the question "how much do you charge" is really not the real question. Starting a dialog with the prospect about what they want will move them away form price and get you better information. Using a "reflector" or reverse will help you understand the real question.
Of all of the "reflectors" or reverses that we teach in relation to price one of the simplest has turned out to be one of the best. When asked about price try "...it depends". This simple phrase has an uncanny way of handling an awful lot of the price questions you'll get. Price often depends on a lot of things like:
When do you need it?
How many do you need?
What kind do you need? (good, better, best?)
Another great reflector, particularly effective on the telephone for inside sales people is "while I'm looking it up did you select that item for a reason?". Often times prospects calling in for a price on an item, hear it... and hang up. Engaging the prospect and getting better information will not only help you build rapport but eliminate a lot of those "get a price and hang up calls".
Talking about price before understanding what your prospect is trying to accomplish is sales suicide. Use some of these simple reflectors and you'll get better results!