Whenever someone is wondering about the process and purpose of networking, I typically recommend that they read Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts into Sales. It is one of the top three best books on the topic (and I don't recall the other two).
Here's an interview of the book's author Bob Burg from an earlier post.
I see that Bob Burg will be in Denver for a public seminar on September 14. Click for all the details and to register. If you want to improve your business development, It will be a morning well-spent.