We've all been there where it's time to tell your client how much it's gonna cost and they come back with that you're too expensive.
First, before we even get into why that's not your problem I do want to tell you that if this happens to you all the time, then you really need to vet your clients better so you don't get into this situation quite so often.
Now let's dig into that phrase that "you're too expensive"... you can respond with:
"I don't accept the premise."
That phrase should be used more often.
It assumes that you actually do cost too much. They don't see the value.
You can show them the value of hiring an interior designer and specifically you through your marketing and portfolio. But if you've got nothing to prove that you're worth the coin, you will continue to hear this.
If you have the proof then you need to turn the tables on them by YOU not accepting the premise of their statement.
You're taking care of two very valuable areas when it comes to design.
Area One: You save them time and money. You prevent them from making mistakes. You guide them on the best use of space and materials. You are their most valuable resource to keep their project from going off the rails.
Area Two: You create a space wherein they can create memories. You craft a space that will uplift their soul. You craft a space that will make them proud to show off to friends and family. A space to show how far they've come.
Those things are valuable, not expensive.