It might look like this: someone calls for a quick estimate but company policy is to request tons of preliminary information. But somehow you sense company policy isn’t going to appeal to this particular caller. What do you do?
Nervously you ballpark the project adding that “this is only off the top of my head” and the caller says, “I understand.”
Mistake? I don’t think so.
I’d go with your gut instinct and ballpark it. If we all try to fit everyone into our little corporate boxes we might just lose a really large opportunity with someone who doesn’t enjoy anyone’s box but his own.