Print assets can help you up to your networking game and build stronger business relationships. Here are seven ways you can use printed materials to make a positive impact with your business contacts and stand out from the crowd.

1. Make an impact with a business card

You never know when you're going to meet a new business contact. When it happens, the last thing you want to be doing is scribbling your email address and mobile number on a crumbled Post-it Note. That's why it's a good idea to keep business cards on hand. Ensure yours is professionally printed and makes an impact with bright colours, textures and a premium stock weight.

2. Send a physical thank-you note

Sending a thoughtfully designed thank-you note to a business contact or client can help you cut through the noise of their over-stuffed email inbox. Going to more effort than simply clicking 'send' on an email is an effective way to show your genuine gratitude. And printing your thank you notes with your company branding front and centre is likely to help boost brand awareness.

3. Get personal with direct mail

Variable data printing (VDP) technology has changed the game for direct mail. VDP makes it easy to mail personalised invitations, special offers and other marketing materials you can use to build your business relationships. You can even include QR codes on your print invitations to direct recipients to an online RSVP form or other supporting information on your company website.

4. Show clients you understand their needs

Personalisation is also transforming how businesses are thinking about printed product catalogues. Sending key clients a personalised product catalogue tailors your offering to suit their specific needs, and shows them they aren't just another sales account. This helps them see you genuinely care about their business and have put the time and effort into understanding what they want and need from your company.

5. Make your presentations pop

There's a lot of software out there to help you create excellent presentations, but leaving a printed document with your audience can help keep you on their minds well after you leave their office. A simple flipbook will put some professional polish on your next presentation, or take it to the next level with a saddle-stitched pitch book.

6. Say thanks with a branded gift

Promotional products have come a long way in recent years. Give your business contacts a branded gift as a thank-you present or simply to welcome them to your network. And a branded pen, mug, USB stick or mouse pad sitting around their desk can help keep you in their minds for longer.

7. Seal the deal with a book

Why not go a step further and create a branded coffee table book to give to your business contacts? It could tell the story of your company, share business insights and advice, or simply present a collection of beautiful photographs related to your industry. It can be an effective way to add a sense of authority or luxury to your brand.

Whether you're handing out business cards, sending thank-you notes or gifting branded promotional items, printed materials can be an excellent way to show the business contacts you care about your relationships and are willing to go the extra mile.