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A friend called me this morning and asked, “So, what are your plans for the holidays?”

“The holidays?” I replied. Then I casually glanced at the calendar. Uh oh. The holidays are next week. How did I miss that coming so fast?

For most people, planning for the holidays concerns family, gifts and travel.

But for us business owners, it may also involve landing a new client (or two) before the new year begins.

So let’s take a look at some proven strategies for landing clients quickly… strategies that can work within just a few days.

1. Active prospects.

Active prospects include anyone you have quoted, submitted a proposal to, or had a good meeting with – plus anyone else who has expressed a serious interest in your services – within the past six months.

These prospects are your best source of new business. So if you haven’t followed-up with them recently, do so now.

Keep in mind that some prospects may have budgets that need to be spent before the year ends. So now is the ideal time to remind them of an outstanding quotation or proposal, or let them know that they can book you now for work in the new year.

2. Lost opportunities.

Think back over the past couple of years. How many leads and referrals did you get that went nowhere? How many projects did you quote on that ultimately went to someone else? How many clients were you “this close” to landing, but didn’t?

Believe it or not, those lost opportunities are a great source of new business. After all, these are people who, at least initially, were interested in your services. So give them a call and say hello.

Whatever the reason you lost the opportunity back then, things change. And these prospects could now be in a position to do business with you.

3. Raid your email inbox.

I hope you don’t delete your emails. Because they contain a goldmine of potential new clients – in the form of old enquiries, previous prospects, and other people who have contacted you with an interest in your services.

I suggest you go back two years. Identify everyone who has emailed you that could potentially become a new client. Then reply back to those original emails – don’t send a new email – apologizing for not staying in touch and giving each an update on your services.

I bet if you do, you’ll get a couple of friendly replies. And perhaps even a new client.

4. Spread the word.

Let everyone in your network know – via social media, your e-newsletter or blog, your contact database – that you have room in your schedule to take on a new client.

One of my coaching clients did just that a few months ago. She sent an email to her contacts explaining that she had room in her fall schedule for two new clients. She got seven replies that same day, resulting in two referrals and one new client.

5. Reactivate old clients.

Reach out to clients you haven’t done business with for a while, even if it’s been a few years. I suggest you phone rather than email. Keep it friendly. Ask about their business, and give them an update on yours.

Of the five, this is probably the most effective strategy of them all. It’s amazing how many times I’ve touched base with an old client and ended up with new work.

So there you have it. Five quick ways to land a new client, even during the holiday season. Put these ideas into action and you might just be giving yourself a great holiday gift: new business for the new year.