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LCO Client Fabienne Fredrickson in Investor’s Business Daily

Posted by Levine Communications Office on July 5, 2011

Sweat For That Progress

By SONJA CARBERRY Posted 06/30/2011 02:01 PM ET

How to boost your professional game? Tap a coach who will push your career forward. Tips from field experts:

Be recruitment ready. Want to land a spot with the firm of your dreams? Study the companies you respect most, and figure out how you’d fit in.

That’s what “Career Mapping” author Ginny Clarke tells her executive clients to do.

“I have them write down what organizations they might want to work for and why,” she told IBD.

The mental exercise prepares you for opportune moments.

Say a head hunter calls about a top position. If you’ve already considered the pros and cons of that particular firm, “you can talk to that recruiter with precision and clarity,” Clarke said. “Those are the people who impressed me as a recruiter.”

Have a plan. When a friend lost his job, Clarke was ready to offer sympathy and advice. He didn’t want either.

“He said: ‘I’m fine. There are three companies I’d like to work for, and you know the CEO of one of them. Would you introduce me?'” Clarke said. “He always had in the back of his mind what he’d do.”

Consider cross-training. That’s the advice of David Hoffmann, CEO of executive search firm DHR International.

“Executives, like businesses, have to change,” he said. “People need to reinvent themselves and stay ahead.”

Your field might depend on construction, which is still lagging in jobs. So tap a skill that’s needed in a related sector — and run with it. Real estate professionals might find their sales abilities fit with pharmaceutical employers.

“People have to be open to new industries,” Hoffmann said. “You have to evolve and you have to be constantly open to change.”

Exercise PR muscles. Top athletes increase their value by being portrayed positively in the media. You can too, Hoffmann says.

Position yourself as a leader in your field by writing trade paper articles or an industry blog.

“It gets your name out there,” said Hoffmann, who makes himself and his employees available to reporters needing job market information.

“Half of our consultant staff has been featured in some media outlet in the last six months,” he said.

The key is offering substance, not spin. “You have to give something of value,” Hoffmann said.

Bulk up. Entrepreneurs need more clients and buyers.

The muscle they neglect most is marketing. So says Fabienne Fredrickson, a business coach and the founder of ClientAttraction.com.

“They tap their pencil on the desk, thinking: Where are (the customers)?” she said. “Immediately a lot of self-doubt comes in.”

If your product or service is solid, spend more time on your pitch.

“Your biggest job is to attract clients,” Fredrickson said.

Change your game. If you’re not a natural at selling, reframe the scenario.

“Figure out who your ideal clients are and what their biggest problems are,” Fredrickson said.

Solving those dilemmas with your product or service feels less like a sales job and more like a win-win situation.

“It’s much more of a benevolent thing,” Fredrickson said. “My clients who do this — they enjoy selling now.”

Shake off strikes. Defeatists let misses affect their mental game.

“Each time they don’t get a sale … that inner critic comes in,” said Fredrickson.

Winners ditch the negative self-talk and step back up to the plate.

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