Always prioritise helping and giving to others ahead of taking and receiving for yourself.
With practice you will learn how to interpret what people will need and what will help them and how to respond in a way that will be helpful. However, when you are starting out you simply need to begin by asking helpful questions.
These typically begin with ‘what’ and ‘how’, and address an area of interest to the other person, not you. Begin with open questions to give the other person a chance to speak and then use closed questions to help clarify things.
You might be less inclined to help out someone you see as a competitor. However, competitors can be potential allies and useful contacts.
There are often opportunities to work together, in areas where you do not compete, and even possibly in areas where you do compete. This is particularly so for small businesses and entrepreneurs who can work together with like-minded competitors.
So always be helpful where you can.