The Connectors: Tadd Tellepsen, Part Two

Yesterday, we introduced our new series, The Connectors, with former client Wayne O’ Neill Tadd Tellepsen. He worked for two years with Wayne O’Neill and Associates on The Connections Process, so he had more than one post’s worth of information to share about his experience. Today, we’ll pick up where he left off.

Tadd’s Take on The Connections Process, continued

(If you’re interested in reading Part One, click here).

Wayne is constantly having you reach and get out of your comfort zone. Having my name on the door makes it easier for me to get in front of clients, but if I don’t prepare, get my homework done, and connect dots ahead of time, I’ll walk into a conversation about nothing. It’s not bad, but it’s not strategic. Wayne brought a whole lot of strategy, discipline, homework and intention to the table.


He emphasized the notion of surrounding yourself with people who want you to win. We were already doing that—we’re connectors. But we began to do it in a way that was more deliberate and could be leveraged. He opened up our mind big time to seeking out new types of project delivery partners that are outside of our usual market sectors.

My existing partnerships changed, because Wayne was adamant about stopping the habit of connecting for leads. You show up in a group to share leads, but what does that do for you without client intelligence? You certainly can talk about leads, but remember: It’s not a lead anymore when it becomes strategic—it’s a strategic account capture. That’s when conversations change.


Not only did the conversations change with partners, he also taught me how to interact more deliberately with the decision makers of accounts that we were actively pursuing. I became more knowledgeable about them, deliberated our value offerings and approached the client in a way that was more focused on them than us. With this approach, we didn’t look as if we were heading in there to peddle our wares.

The human temptation is to come in and tell a potential client what a great mousetrap you’re selling, but that’s not respectful. What I’ve found, through practicing what Wayne taught, was to not come off that way and to not peddle your wares. Don’t be confident you’re going to solve their problems and you’re the right one for them.

The types of clients we were targeting and responding to changed as well. It gave us a deeper appreciation of those who go with us who appreciated value. We’ve had a saying for many years: “It’s important to have clients that appreciate value and are willing to pay for it.” And that’s what Wayne’s talking about. So we get it, but we needed that discipline and intention in our work. He gave us what we needed to implement our values on a higher level.

In the End…

When Wayne and I wrapped things up, we never disconnected. I stayed connected to him through this blog and his social media. When I see others struggling with the same areas in need of improvement that we had within our organization, I send them to his blog. In the last six months, I’ve connected with Wayne more frequently.

Are we better at what we do now, as a result of the coaching? Yes. Could we do better? Yes. That’s why I like to continue hearing from Wayne, because he keeps me sharp. Some people aren’t big improvers. There are people out there that don’t want to do better. That’s just not how they’re wired, but the leadership team here at Tellepsen isn’t that way. While we excel in some areas, there’s always room to improve, and Wayne and his team have the tools, knowledge, and strategy to make waves.


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