I finally took the plunge last month and joined Orange BNI.  Even though I knew people from other chapters, I chose this one because of the people in it.  It’s important for me to feel welcome and to experience genuine warmth in a group.  I understand that there are rules to be followed, but to be so stringent as to push away prospects defeats the purpose of networking.  I was invited to a BNI group, I won’t mention which one, I was so turned off by their treatment of a first time visitor (me).  I believe in building relationships when I join groups.  I don’t look at a group as a source of people that I can sell to.  If people are so bound by rules that they cannot “see the forest for the trees”, it is not a good group.   The experience I had was so embarrassing for that group (not for me) that I thought, wow, you just lost a great prospect.

If you are inclined to join a BNI group, I suggest you make the rounds and find the one that you click with.  Do attend Orange BNI because I believe it IS the best BNI!