Sales representatives have the unique task of simultaneously building their own professional portfolio, championing the company they work for, separating themselves and their brands from those of other competitors and maintaining a focus on sustainable practices to keep new prospects coming in through the pipeline. In many ways, this is becoming a bit more difficult amid the surging economic recovery the United States is currently experiencing, as there are simply more businesses and, subsequently, a greater level of competition. 

As such, sales reps need to get creative in the ways they approach their responsibilities, especially should they hope to make a good impression with prospects and their employers all in one fell swoop. Without the right approaches to marketing and sales collateral in their pockets, suffice it to say that this will be an ominous and perhaps even impossible objective to achieve, as modern client relations are so firmly rooted in the communications and forms being exchanged between businesses and with consumers. 

While all the others are putting all of their chips on digital assets, progressive sales representatives will likely begin to bridge the gap between physical and online marketing and other customer-facing collateral. 

Here are five quick tips to help creative-minded sales reps separate themselves from the competition with unique print items:

1. Custom calendars
These do not have to be the proper 12-month calendar, but instead sales reps might want to go to the printer and create one page hanging calendars that touch upon the specific preferences of their prospects. For example, if one client or prospect is in love with German Shepherd puppies, printing out a long, one-page calendar that has pictures of these little fellows can be a perfect in during meetings. 

2. Clean case studies
All too often, sales reps will rely upon tablets or other gadgets to show their prospects case studies in an initial or intermediate meeting, which is leaving quite a bit to chance. Perhaps networks are down or the device is simply malfunctioning, what happens then? Consider bringing printed copies – as a back up at the very least – to ensure the message is delivered in the originally intended fashion. 

3. Swanky posters
Whether you choose to create a small poster that reflects your brand's image and missions, or want to customize the picture per your client's preferences, this can be a great way to personalize sales and marketing meetings with customers. Making these posters visually appealing, yet not all that loud, will be important, as the end goal should be to get your clients to hang them up in the office, acting as a constant reminder of your presence. 

4. Brochures
Brochures can be a bit useless when they are not properly crafted or creatively designed, but forward-thinking sales reps should certainly put in the effort to get these assets in motion. In many situations, the best plan of action will be to work with a reliable printer that has been in the business-to-business space for a while, seeking out their guidance on everything from the content on the page to the end design and how best to distribute it to prospects. 

5. Handbooks
Depending upon which types of products and services you are selling for your employer, the contents of these handbooks will need to be adjusted somewhat. However, getting involved the development and printing processes associated with making informative handbooks can simultaneously boost your personal brand and drive your company's position as a thought leader in the eyes of prospects and current clientele. The end product, either way, is more opportunity to sell at higher levels. 

6. Personalized writing ledgers
Few types of print collateral can compare to the functionality of these simple items, as everyone in the business world will always need something to write on. By making sure your creative spirit siphons into the creation of these writing ledgers, and also clearly reflects your company's image, your logo will essentially be placed on the desk of your prospect to remind them of the meetings you have had, which is always a major driver of successful and profitable relationships. 

These measures have appeared to go out of style of late, but you can turn the tables on the competition by making them your own.