As the saying goes…“We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Active listening alone will set you apart from everyone else and make you remarkable. Ask a question and then ask the next logical question based on his/her answer (this is the active part of listening). You can literally continue to ask questions.
Find common ground and interests you might share as well as identify them as a potential resource for your alliance partners to refer out to others. Jot down notes on their business card or a note pad so you can recall your conversation at a later date, if needed.
People enter into relationships, work with, and refer other people to those they enjoy and have come to “know, like, and trust.” Make it a goal to learn something new about everyone each time you see them and avoid self-serving, me-centered conversations (you know… the ones where you are talking about yourself without being asked for the information).