Now that you have a certificate, can you sell it?

“I don’t like the idea of selling”

“I don’t like the idea of marketing”

“I am not a sales man”

“I just don’t like the idea of convincing anyone”

“Do I have to cajole them? If yes, I am not interested”

“I just can’t sell”

“If it is sales, then count me out”

Ok.. the list of sentences that people come up with to express their negativity/unwillingness to sell or learn the art of selling goes on.

There are some that are nonchalant, to some who mildly oppose, to some who vehemently oppose the idea of selling. Like always, I don’t like convincing anyone to learn how to sell too, but I like to be objective in my point of view.

I heard this sentence this week, and it makes so much sense to me, I hope it does to you too.

“Now that you have a certificate, can you sell it?”

Now that you have a Bsc, Beng, Msc, Mphil, Mres, MBA, Phd, short course certificate, training certificate, professional certificate, etc. Do you know how to turn it into a sales machine to market your worth,   your skills, your services, your exposure, to market yourself?

Ok, maybe your latest certificate was to add a few letters to pad your name and you are not interested in the certificate getting you a promotion, or a job or a contract or increase your charges as an expert, then you don’t need this information.

However, if you are actively in the job market, finishing a degree, a course, a certification so as to increase your marketability (did you read that last word?), then you must learn how to market that certificate and this post is one you should print and post on your wall as constant reminder of what needs to be done.

The No 1 marketing tool for certificates and skills is your CV!

While I am not going to teach you how to write a CV in this post, there are many resources available online that you get, plus I will run a mini CV clinic very soon.

As a special offer to readers of Mind and Mouth, I am currently working with the team at and very soon we’ll be able to provide a subsidized CV clinic service. In the mean check out the website and make use of their services that is affordable to you.

Back to selling!

Now that you have a certificate, can you sell it?

Let me touch on 3 things that you need to pay attention to and master when it comes to selling your certificate.

1.)    Change your mindset! – A company is not likely to hire someone whose sole aim is to exchange his certificate for a monthly salary. Companies don’t do trade by barter exchanging certificate for salary. Companies are not certificate collectors; they are looking for problem solvers. Find out how your certificate positions you as a problem solver. What problems are you now equipped to solve because you obtained a new certificate, if you can find it, you have found a selling point. I can hear some people say ‘but I’m a young graduate, with no experience’. My advice is “as you begin to see yourself as a problem solver, you will know what activities will boost your marketability.”

2.)    You were not taught how to sell your certificate! – It is very uncommon that a module or a course or a portion of your newly obtained certificate was for ‘how to sell your certificate’. So understand that you probably don’t know how to. And as a literate person, you need to learn. Speak to experienced people in the industry and learn how to sell what you earned as a certificate. For young graduates, make good use of mentors and careers advice departments in the institutions that you studied at. We are in the information age, use search engines to find relevant information on how to market yourself in your industry.

3.)    Understand the difference between responsibilities and achievements – People that understand ‘selling’ of certificates and skills understand the difference between the two. In a simple way, responsibilities are what your employers/voluntary organisations/internship opportunities asked you to do, achievements are what you actually did with measurable outcome. A quick example.

  1. Responsibility –

          i.      The candidate will hold the keys to the office and open and close the office doors

          ii.      The candidate will be responsible on servicing customer requirements

          iii.      Front desk opportunity to answer customer queries

          iv.      Promote the company brand

  1. Achievements in relation to the responsibilities could be

         i.      I was responsible for holding office keys and opening and closing of the office doors. In 5 years of working at the company, I was never late and the office was open to colleagues 1 hour before opening times.

         ii.      I was responsible for servicing customer requirements and 90% of my customers increased their orders from the company by 27% and above in 6 months of managing them.

         iii.      As a front desk assistant I reduced waiting times in the office lobby from 10mins to 6mins in 5 weeks.

         iv.      As a brand manager, after implementing the social media strategy, there was a 10% month on month increase in our site visitors for the past 7 months.

These examples may not be applicable to all situations, but one thing you must learn is this, whatever you are doing now, track your progress and measure it, because you will need it to sell your new certificate.

I hope you have a starting point on how to sell your new certificate now!

Best Wishes!

To your success


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