Ahh, I feel for you my friend...dealing with the ignorant is never an easy thing to do - in fact, it's a judgment call you'll need to make early in the qualifying stage of the relationship. During your initial phone conversation with the potential client, you'll want to question them about what kind of shopping around they've done, how they found you, what they're looking for, what they're budget is, etc...What often comes to light during this crucial time in the qualifying process is how much they know or don't know about working with someone in your industry - whether you're a programmer or graphic designer.
For example, if you get someone saying, "I found you in the yellow pages, my boss just asked me to try to find a creative freelancer to work with because he'd heard from a colleague that we might need one", you've got someone that doesn't know a lot about you or your industry. This translates to you having to do a lot more work to educate the client, which you may find worth it or not worth it depending on their budget, their project, their personality and your current workload. In some cases you'll find it's worth it to work with "the ignorant" - it can be rewarding to work with and guide these people along. In other cases you'll end up pulling all of your hair out, and waste a lot of time. You'll want to make your decision early in the process: work with them or let someone else educate them.
One last but
Scott used the term "stupid"; I used "ignorant", as freelancers you're going to find both sets of people. The difference between the two is that the ignorant ones will catch on once you provide them some education. For example, when it comes to auto repair, I am a bit ignorant, but I'd like to think I'd catch on if taught. Conversely, the ones that aren't the sharpest tools in the shed won't get it no matter how much time you invest in them.
Special Note -
Finally made the big time, but I need your help:
Hey guys, you can now purchase the paperback version of Being a Starving Artist Sucks on Amazon.com. If you have already purchased or reviewed the eBook or spiral version, I'd like to ask you to help out bit. If you enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to other creative freelancers, would you be open to writing a 5-15 sentence review on Amazon.com?
I know you probably have a lot on your plate already, so if you're open to helping me I'll send you my new audio mp3 collection called, The Creative Freelance Designer's MP3 Audio Success Series for free.
Once you've written and posted the review, drop me an email indicating your review is up on Amazon.com and I will send you a hyperlink where you can download the audio files, be prepared though, it's a monster file...I've got over 2 hours of content in there! Thanks for helping - I really appreciate it!