The need was certainly there but her humble surroundings implied that finances could be a problem. For the amount of coverage she wanted it was going to cost $100 a month. When she heard the price, she immediately shut down and became very frazzled. She said rather abrasively, "I guess I will have figure something else out."
She continued on for a minute or two, half lecturing me and half sharing her feelings and frustrations. I listened, and listened, and listened until she had nothing else to say. At that point I empathized. I really did feel for her; it was sad. I forgot about the insurance for a few minutes and simply tried to make her feel better. I think I did it too.
Tactfully, I returned to the insurance, asked her what she could afford, and wrote the application.
To be successful at sales, you need to have a healthy balance of empathy and self confidence. Too much of one or the other will murder a sale. Take time to listen to your prospects but maintain your closing attitude.