Something that's preferential gives one person or group a big advantage over others. If your soccer coach never makes you sit on the bench and always hands you the first Gatorade, she gives you preferential treatment.
Giving preferential treatment or having a preferential attitude shows that you are partial to one person or group of people. And if you act in a preferential way, it gives the person you prefer an advantage over everyone else. Preferential treatment could include giving one party guest the first pick of party favors, or a state government giving one school district more money than other schools.