We’ve all been there. You’re telling a story to a group of people, and one-by-one they stop listening and start having other conversations…until you’re eventually just talking to yourself. That doesn’t only happen in social settings, but in marketing as well. Remember – Just because you feel the need to say it, doesn’t mean your customers want to hear it.

Make sure your messaging checks all these boxes to avoid losing their attention:

Valuable and Interesting: Customers listen when you provide value and share what interests them. Take a hair stylist for example. Her clients may enjoy tips for keeping their hair healthy, styling tutorials and examples of her work. What they don’t want to hear about is the chemical composition of hair dye or the new line of clippers that just came on the market. These topics may be fascinating to the hair stylist, but they really don’t matter to customers who don’t deal with hair for a living. Before you speak (and certainly before you spend marketing dollars), follow the age-old advice to put yourself in your customers’ shoes.

Positive: If you want your customers to feel happy when they think of you, avoid negativity. Humans are naturally attracted to positivity, and we like to tune out the Debbie Downers. Think of political ads. There’s a reason no one likes them. Your customers don’t want to hear about your beef with the competition, your bad experience with a vendor, or (we shouldn’t have to say this) your difficulties with another customer. Keep the message and tone positive and you’ll have a better chance of customers coming back to hear more.

Fresh: You know that family member who’s been telling you the same five stories for the past 20 years? They get tuned out a lot, don’t they? This also goes for the business always saying the same old thing. Message repetition is important, but keep it fresh and vary your delivery with new information and entertaining stories.

Whether you’re at a family dinner or writing a sales pitch, show your audience you value their time and attention by providing new, positive, valuable and interesting messages.