March 2020

View all on this date written articles further down below.

Selling Solutions vs. Products – Peter Elliott, Elliott & Associates

Peter Elliot speaking at Total Door Sales Meeting

From time to time, we’d like to share stories and tips from our sales reps in the field. For this month’s issue we talked to Peter Elliott of Elliott & Associates in Golden, Colorado. Peter has been a Total Door sales rep since September 2014. Besides running his own agency, he is also a member of your Total Door Systems Rep Advisory Council. Here’s what he had to say:

I think as sales reps, we tend to get very focused on our products. Rightfully so, but if you want to sell more product, I would say to be more solution oriented, regardless of product.

When you’re talking to an architect or design professional, we often want to rush in and show them our product and how knowledgeable we are. But, they’re often worried much more about an overall solution, versus a product. They often don’t care if the end result is a door or a curtain or whatever. Their goal is to ensure code compliance, show their clients that they’re spending their money wisely and if they can achieve aesthetics, too – that’s great. So, if you can supply them with a solution first and it happens to also include your product, they’re going to be more apt to embrace that because it fits into their overall solution.

That’s my tip for selling product overall. For Total Door, specifically, I always try to emphasize the design aspects. So, for instance, in the case of cross corridors or corridor separation, the code’s going to tell you that you need a door here that has these specifics and ties into the life safety and security systems, etc. So, if the code’s telling you that you must do this, wouldn’t you prefer to have something that is more acceptable from a design aspect and more integrated into your overall design concept?

So, for Total Door, you can lead with design and help the architect or designer to arrive at the point where they’re thinking, yeah I have to put a door there, but wouldn’t it be great if it looks just like a wall instead of a door? So, it’s presenting a combination of solutions: it’s code, it’s design intent, it’s presenting the design as a code compliant architecturally correct solution. To me, that’s the essence of Total Door.

If you have a story or tip you’d like to share, let us know, we’d love to talk to you.

DoorBuilder Tool Tip #2: Performing Searches

Total Door DoorBuilder Tool Tip

Our DoorBuilder tool is the fastest, easiest way to configure Total Door Systems and deliver a quote. And we’re sharing tips to make using this tool even easier.

Last month, we talked about how you can add or subtract the columns you want to review on your quotes page. In this month’s newsletter, we have some tips to help you find different items you want to review within the DoorBuilder tool.

One way to find things is to search by keywords in the search bar on the upper right side of the page, with the magnifying glass in it. Just enter your keyword, which could be a project name or a quote number, for instance, and then hit the return button.

DoorBuilder Tool Tip 2 - Search

If you want to do a search by distributor, just click on the filter icon in the upper left, next to where it says current filter. Then select which distributor you’re searching for from the dropdown menu on the right.

DoorBuilder Tool Tip #2 - Filter Function


Giving you Installation & Service Support

total door installation

We all know that repeat business is the best kind of business. One of the keys to having happy customers who come back for more is making sure their Total Door Systems are installed properly. We have your back – by giving you total installation support, including how to videos for installation and replacement parts.

On our website, you’ll find an installation video series that provides your installers quick visual guidance on how to install Total Door’s integrated door systems.

We also have service videos that cover step-by-step instructions on how to replace or service our components, including cylinder installation, latch 2 installation, grip install and a locking channel video.

Your service techs can watch the videos, download technical sheets or call our dedicated staff, who will answer any questions you may have about the process. They are available each weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time.

#KnowYourCode in Virtual Reality

virtual reality smoke containment

As you know, we take fire safety and life safety codes very seriously. Total Door Systems is the only integrated assembly that exceeds the testing and rating requirements for elevator, hoistway, and elevator lobby codes. To demonstrate this, we showed a group of architects at ARC/US last November a virtual reality hotel fire emergency simulation.

It all relates back to making sure we meet the standards for code UL 1784 and making sure you #KnowYourCode when it comes to the testing of air leakage through door assemblies and other opening protectives installed in wall openings where air leakage is intended to be controlled.

In this virtual reality demonstration, the person is transported into a hotel hallway near the elevator door. As a fire burned on another floor, smoke moves through the elevator shaft and starts pouring into the hallway. Soon you can’t see through all the smoke.

Then, we show the scene again, but now the elevator door had a Total Door System fire door. Once the smoke starts to enter the hallway through the elevator shaft, our fire door closes and shuts off the flow of smoke. It was a very real difference the architects saw in this virtual reality simulation.

It is a good demonstration that Total Door Systems meet all life safety and compartmentalization requirements without sacrificing the architect’s vision. Our doors meet all fire codes and ADA guidelines, are BHMA-certified, and are sustainably manufactured with a UL EPD.

We recorded a video of someone experiencing this demonstration. It will give you a glimpse into what happens.

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Jack Robbins Training Tour Update

Jack Total Door Training Update

Our educational tour with Jack Robbins visiting each sales rep team for a four-day session is about halfway done. As of now, Jack is not scheduled to travel again until April 13 at the earliest. If travel concerns remain, due to the Coronavirus, we will look at setting up web trainings to keep the momentum going.

In the meantime, we thought this would be a good time to get some feedback to share with you. We talked to agencies who have already been through one of Jack’s training sessions to see how it went. Here’s what we found out.

The feeling was that committing your agency to this much time was a big ask, but well worth it. Total Door has spent recent years growing, changing, innovating and creating new product, new tools, a new website and more. So, the agencies felt the time was right to get trained up and absorb everything so they can go out and put it into the field. They felt it was good to get their whole team together to really see and understand the complete Total Door toolbox.

Agencies started out listening to and watching Jack present the PowerPoint tools. Then, they were able to do it themselves. It was sort of a dress rehearsal presentation that Jack could observe and critique. By the time they were done, everyone felt comfortable enough to go out and present the information.

After going through the training sessions, Elliott & Associates had a couple of really great lunch and learn events. One had over 70 people attend from a big firm and they came away with two very large projects.

“Total Door has been developing all these new tools and products and making these investments and commitments,” said Peter Elliott. “You have to make sure you can take advantage of that and leverage that. You can’t do that through osmosis. As great as webinars, teleconferences and YouTube videos are, nothing replaces that in person, face-to-face presence. It was a great few days we had. We felt like we got a lot done and it’s helped us increase our momentum moving forward.”

Thank you to all of you who have completed your training with Jack and for sharing some of your stories. For those of you still on the schedule, we look forward to meeting with you and hope you find it increases your momentum moving forward, too.


Total Door Systems 6145 Delfield Dr, Waterford, Michigan 48329
Ph: (800) 852-6660 | Fax: (248) 623-6866 |

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