The year ends in just a couple of weeks (where did it go, already?). You can still drive in more business in December, if you use your limited time wisely and focus carefully on where you can get the best results.

For those selling to businesses:

1. Finish your proposals. Have any clients requested proposals from you that you haven’t written yet? Just do it. Some of your clients still haven’t locked their budgets down for next year. No time to do them all? Finish the two most promising ones.

2. Touch base with current clients. People like to socialize more during the holidays. Use this to your advantage. Invite your clients to lunch. Ask them what’s working well, what should be changed, and where else they might need help. If they are just as busy as you, drop off a gift and a handwritten card, thanking them for their business. Mention that you’ll touch base in January to see what’s working and what might need to change – and do just that.

3. Use the IRS – to your benefit. Some clients may need to spend money before the end of the year to reduce taxable income. Ask current clients if there are any projects that they need to begin in January that they’d like to pay for now.

4. Reach out to great clients you’ve worked with before. You can use the same tactics – lunch or a gift and card – to ask if these clients need help. No time? Send a handwritten card in the mail with a note that you’ll reach out to them in January. No time at all? Send a handwritten card to the top five you’d really like to work with again.

5. Just do a holiday marketing campaign. Send out holiday cards – but only to those clients or business associates you think will result in more business or referrals. Yes, there is still time. Our record for designing and ordering compliment-winning cards at is 45 minutes. Include a personal note and your business card. To save time, prioritize your list and send fewer cards.

If you’re selling to individual consumers, similar tactics work. Encourage your best clients to buy more. Send a reminder or promotion to those who haven’t bought in a while. Encourage everyone to buy from you for holiday gifts – for themselves, for their clients, for family and friends. Send out a promotional campaign featuring anything you have too much of, or that is not likely to sell after December.

Go for it!

And please keep sending in those success stories about how you use these emails to grow your business. We’ll be looking for a business to feature in a few months.