How To Find The Best Lead Source For Your Retirement Planning Business

How to find a reliable and qualified source of leads.

Today I will address the biggest concern we hear from advisors: how to find a reliable and qualified source of prospect introductions.  Many advisors have become disillusioned with the entire lead generation landscape, having fallen for one false promise after another from lead vendors who prey on both the advisor and the IMO who promoted their offer.  

The IMO and the advisor ALMOST NEVER get the return they were promised, or the client introductions they expected and paid for.  It’s a real problem! 

Advisors know they need a steady stream of prospects to keep their business growing, but often they are unable to find a vendor they can trust and who can deliver the necessary age and asset qualified prospects.

This is why Unkefer decided to change the lead generation market forever by offering our direct advisors unique and consistent ways to meet with qualified prospects regularly.  

But first, let's look at the key points every advisor needs to consider when deciding on a lead generation source or vendor partner.


This isn’t as easy to answer as you might think. That question is, “What is a fair price to pay for a lead?” One thing to remember - even with reputable lead gen programs - is, “You get what you pay for.”  Cost is the biggest concern, ALWAYS!  If the cost is prohibitive and the average agent is priced out, it is doubtful the program will flourish over time. There will be a significant drop off in both quality and quantity of the leads being generated and you will also see a high percentage of resold or recycled leads come your way. This is a big reason most lead programs don’t work. The cost is too high for the inconsistent quality most advisors see.

A fair cost for a “Raw” lead - one that is generated through an unfiltered, mass data collection and distribution effort, which might also utilize 10% to 20% of recycled leads - shouldn’t cost more than $69 - $99 per lead.  

The next step up is a “Basic” lead. This is a unique lead that is age qualified where the prospect has responded to a specific digital offer but has not been filtered or call-screened. A fair price for a Basic lead should be in the $109 - $149 range. 

The optimal tier is categorized as “Advanced'' leads. These are pre-screened using various methods, but most importantly, leads are CALL VERIFIED for age and asset qualifiers. An Advanced lead could also be set up as a direct appointment or follow-up with an Advisor.  These leads are never recycled and typically position the advisor as a trusted advocate, often resulting in faster sales.

An Advanced lead typically runs from $190 to $400. That high-end  cost of $400 is something to consider, so please be sure you are being properly positioned with the prospective client as a trusted retirement advisor.  My advice is to find a program around the $190 - $225 per lead. That is the sweet spot!



Quality is very important as it directly relates to the success of the system you are using. You need to make sure you are comfortable with how the leads are generated and what parameters are in place regarding the targeting of specific age and asset demographics. You should always ask about recycled leads and what percentage of them are being sold to you mixed-in with the fresh leads. The more questions you can ask, the better.  Make sure you are getting value!

You will want to be sure you look to understand the needs of the prospect, and how you will bridge that first appointment discussion. 

Ideally, you would have a customized campaign targeting the kind of clients you are looking to work with.  This will always work better than a mass data collection and distribution effort. REMEMBER: A customized campaign is designed to get you the exact prospects you want to speak to. Advanced leads with customized campaigns require less sweat equity and allow advisors to work much more efficiently. Again, you get what you pay for, and my advice is to pick a lead generation source that includes every component necessary to give you the best chance to make a sale. 


Obviously, Advisors want to speak to as many qualified prospects as possible. How you do that can vary based on the type of lead you are purchasing and working. If you are working Raw leads, you will likely be making a ton of calls every day trying to find that diamond-in-the-rough. If you are working a Basic lead, you will still be making calls, but at least they will all be the right age. You just need to hope they have assets and a desire to meet.  If you are working Advanced leads, you should be working a maximum of 30 of those per month.  Advanced leads are higher quality so yield a higher percentage of client meetings. You should see a consistently full calendar after 90 days working in an Advanced lead sales system. 

Goal Alignment

What does goal alignment have to do with picking a reliable lead source? Well it might be the most important factor when evaluating which lead system might give you the best opportunities. Remember, most lead vendors are only interested in one thing: selling an advisor another lead, right?  It’s only the advisor and their IMO who are truly interested in making the sale. The lead vendor’s goals are not aligned with the advisor making a sale. As you can see, goal alignment is critical!

Unkefer has changed this unbalanced dynamic! Our exclusive lead programs offer something no other service offers: enabling all parties to prosper when a sale is made - nothing less. The lead partners who assist us in providing the best exclusive lead options also have skin in the game. Just like you and me, they only get paid when a sale is made!  When everyone in the process has the same goal, success happens faster and can be maintained for a longer period. 

If you are a licensed Retirement Planning Advisor and you are looking for exclusive lead opportunities that fit all the criteria we’ve discussed, please look at a couple of offers our Unkefer Direct Advisors have been using successfully to meet the right type of prospective clients.  

These high-quality leads will get you the sales you need, and with the team here at Unkefer standing behind you, you will have all of the support you need to make it happen!