Credit: Barry Blitt

It may represent as much as $5,000 in the first two or three weeks and more than $17,000 in two months. It's a major cost, yet it seldom if ever appears as a line item on a company's operating statement.

When you add up the costs of advertising for the position, the hours of the interviewer (yourself, your sales manager, others), then add the hours of training, plus training pay or advance, the total represents the basic cost each time you interview and hire a salesperson.

But an even larger investment comes when you include the cost of the leads issued to the trainee salesperson, many of which may be misused. Take note: In 2010 the average cost of an issued lead was more than $279 (your cost may be higher). So the cost of the first 10 or 12 leads alone could be over $3,000. Now, project those costs over two or three months.

SET HIRING GOALS Hiring the right person while avoiding the wrong one will boost your bottom line, create a positive environment, and reduce turnover.

Understandably, this may seem like a tall order, but consider this reality: There will always be some turnover, yet excessive turnover is mostly a result of improper selection or improper management (or both).

LIKE HIRES LIKE How would you evaluate your hiring skills? Our studies indicate that the manager or owner with mediocre hiring skills usually hires applicants with mediocre skills. This is particularly true when hiring salespeople. There are three key considerations when hiring: 1) Can they do the job? 2) Will they do the job? 3) Do they fit with the company?

To answer these questions, you need measuring devices. In the case of a sales hire, those would be an aptitude test and a behavioral profile. Hire for the behavioral profile that appropriately fits the sales role and defines how the individual will normally act in the job role.

—Dave Yoho is president of Dave Yoho Associates (daveyoho.com). His company developed the hiring program, How to Hire the Right Salesperson & Avoid the Wrong Ones. To acquire a trial copy of a profile, log onto daveyoho.com/profiles or call 703.591.2490.