People are increasingly asking about prices again, that's my impression. As a freelancer in electronics development, we had a few years now where people didn't ask about it at all, because the companies were happy to get anyone at all.
And exactly this is now becoming a problem!
In the last few years, there are also more and more experts - that's my term. You can meet more and more of the heated certificate holders, who are taught and confirmed dubious technical knowledge by the TÜV or other obscure educational institutions in quick passes. By the way: if you pay enough, you can get all kinds of certificates from TÜV and the like; they even confirm that a company has introduced a management system based on a product-related standard. Unspeakable!
And this experience is now arriving in the companies; and with it the doubts and skepticism.
So the experts often make great mischief on site in the projects, distribute wrong information and explain contexts wrongly, implement great effort and complicate methodologies; I could go on here for a long time.
If a professional then arrives, it becomes complicated and unpleasant: as a professional, I must of course uncover, address and correct precisely these grievances and errors, which leads to even more resentment and is left out on the professional (the expert is usually already off the boat again).
And from this mixture situation now the uncertainty comes regarding the hourly or daily rates, because the experts let themselves pay usually princely. Since the called hourly or daily rate of the professional's is now justifiably also princely, the customer this however before usually not estimate can, whether it is not nevertheless again an expert, gives it now discussions.
It is quite clear, as Leonardo da Vinci already knew: Knowledge is the child of experience,
and the remuneration does not reflect the hours to be worked on the project, but the hours already worked and the experience gained.