Is it better to buy business leads from a lead generation company or generate your own sales leads yourself?

As the owner of a lead generation company that has both sold leads to business owners and helped business owners generate their own leads, I’m in a unique position to share the pros and cons of both options.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • The pros and cons of buying leads
  • Why I stopped selling leads to clients
  • Whether it’s a good idea for you to buy leads or not

Let’s get started!

The Pros and Cons of Buying Leads

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons of buying leads from other websites.

Pros of buying leads

  • Requires no marketing work on your end
  • It’s quick and easy

Cons of buying leads

  • It’s more expensive than getting leads yourself
  • Leads are sometimes shared with other business owners
  • Lots of business owners complain that the lead quality is very low
  • Leads are not always pre-qualified or interested in speaking to you
  • You need to chase leads to get an appointment
  • You’re not in control of your marketing

As you can see, there are a lot more cons to buying leads compared to getting your own exclusive leads.

So, why do so many business owners still prefer to buy leads?

Because it’s quick and easy.

You don’t have to do any work and you get leads delivered to your inbox.

If that sounds appealing to you, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying leads. It’s a simple and quick solution that can help you start getting appointments with potential clients immediately.

But the downside is that…

The leads are often more expensive than getting them yourself, and the lead quality is sometimes questionable (unless you can find a really good lead generation company that focuses on quality leads over quantity).

If you want to explore how getting leads yourself (instead of buying them) might be better for you in the long term, I highly recommend you watch the video here before reading the rest of this article.

The problems with buying leads

Here are some of the biggest problems with buying leads:

1. Lead quality is declining

The problem with buying leads

One of the biggest problems with buying internet leads is that the quality of the leads being sold has declined in recent years.

When I speak to people who have bought leads from other lead providers, they would often say:

  • “The leads are hard to get hold of on the phone”
  • “The leads don’t respond to emails/calls/messages”
  • “The leads are shopping around or not serious about working with me”
  • “The leads are not the right type of clients that I’m looking for”

If you’ve ever tried buying leads yourself, you might be able to relate to some (or most) of these problems.

As you can see, many lead generation companies struggle with delivering high quality leads. This makes it harder for you to convert leads into sales.


Many lead generation companies will sell you a database of leads. Be especially careful with these leads! Usually, the quality is very low. Instead, a better alternative to buying a database of leads, cold emailing leads or cold calling leads is to run a LinkedIn outreach campaign.

2. Buying leads is more expensive


If you buy leads, the lead generation company you’re buying them from will most likely charge you a markup on top of what they pay to generate a lead. This means that buying leads from a lead provider is more expensive than generating them yourself.

Here’s an example of how it works:

  • A lead generation company pays $10 for a lead on Facebook ads.
  • The lead generation company sells the lead for $100
  • The lead generation company makes a nice $90 profit!

Is there anything wrong with this?

Nope. It’s business.

The lead generation company deserves to make a profit because they are:

1) A for-profit business (not a charity)

2) They are doing all the work to generate the lead

But that doesn’t change the fact that the lead would still be cheaper if you could cut out the middle person and get the lead from Facebook directly yourself.

3. Leads are not always delivered

Leads hard to get hold of

Another problem with buying leads is that some lead generation companies don’t always deliver on the leads they promised to send you.

I’ve spoken to many business owners who have paid thousands of dollars for leads but never actually got all the leads they were promised.

So be careful before buying leads and ensure the lead generation company you’re working with has lots of positive reviews.

4. You’re not in control of your marketing

Marketing meeting

Another problem with buying leads is that you’re not in full control of your marketing. The lead company controls your source of revenue.

I’ve spoken to business owners who were once working with a lead generation company that delivered good quality leads, but then they suddenly increased the pricing or decided to stop selling leads to them.

So while paying for leads can be a good way to get quick wins, it’s dangerous to rely on this strategy forever.

Whereas if you control your own marketing, you can get as many leads as you like on-demand.

If one month you want more leads, you can do that.

If another month you want less lead, go for it.

And if you ever want to pause your lead generation campaign over the holidays, you can do so without any repercussions.

5. Leads don’t know you

Sales call

Another problem with buying leads is that they often know nothing about you. This makes converting leads into sales a lot more difficult.

They’ve just filled in a form online and they don’t know if they actually want to work with you or not.

This means you have to chase leads to speak to them constantly.

Whereas if they knew who you are, how you can help them, and why working with you is better than other options, they’re more likely to WANT to speak to you.

This is possible when you run lead generation campaigns under your own company brand rather than using a third-party lead gen company.

Watch this video to learn how to run your own lead gen campaigns.

My experience with selling leads

At this point, you might wonder whether it’s better to generate the leads myself or pay someone to do it for me.

It’s a good question.

In the past, my business model was based on selling leads to businesses.

However, I found that many clients wanted to be in control of their own marketing.

So, even though I still help some lead generation companies generate leads (through my white-label lead gen services), I mainly help clients generate their own leads.

Benefits of generating leads yourself:

  • Lower cost: you get the leads at-cost without paying a premium or any markup to a lead gen company.
  • Higher quality leads: leads are seeing your business and not a generic brand which builds more trust.
  • Exclusive leads: Any leads you generate won’t be shared with any competitors
  • Full control of your marketing: you are not locked into any contracts, so you can generate as many leads as you like on-demand.
  • New innovative ideas: you have room to experiment and test your own marketing ideas.
  • Education: once you know how to generate leads, you can use this knowledge for years to come in any business.

Benefits of buying leads:

  • Takes less time: the lead gen company does all the work for you
  • Less risky: the lead gen company is taking on most of the risk to generate the leads

As you can see there are pros and cons for both buying leads and generating leads yourself.

Ultimately it will be up to you to decide which option you think will be best for YOU and your business.

Warning: If you do decide to buy leads, just remember to do your best to avoid shared leads and make sure the leads are as high quality as possible (to avoid wasting money).

If you’re currently buying internet leads or thinking about paying for online leads… don’t just get a lead with someone who fills in a form online. Get a lead to watch a short video presentation about how you can help them and then get them to schedule a call with you straight in your calendar.

How to get your own exclusive leads

If you want to generate your own exclusive leads at cost, sign up for my free masterclass training. I’ll show you exactly how to generate your own exclusive, high-quality leads with prospects who actually want to work with you.