The Director of Risk and Quality Management at Affiniax Partners, Yvonne Spiller’s BNI journey started seven years ago. As Secretary-Treasurer of the core team of the first export BNI in the UAE – BNI Continental – she remembers the launch even today!
“The room was absolutely buzzing! In those days, there was no BNI Connect so we used the ticket system. I gave the first ticket for thank you for closed business during that launch. It was 325,000 AED to a fish distributor. That was simply awesome!” she exclaims. “It was the start of my BNI journey.” Since then Yvonne hasn’t looked back.
BNI has opened so many doors in Yvonne’s career. BNI and BNI Continental members inspired her to become an entrepreneur in her own right. “BNI members guided me through opening my own company and gave me referrals. Honestly, I was over the moon. Having my company established was just amazing!”
In March 2020, Yvonne was approached by Abeer Syed from BNI Synergy with a new opportunity at Affiniax Partners. “They wanted me to be the Director of Risk and Quality Management. I was quite blown away by this,” she says. “So, I wondered, why not? Things are going in the right direction and I’m pleased I made this move.”
Yvonne has had the unique experience of being a part of multiple chapters. So how has she taken these insights to her new chapter? “I’m a process and procedure-driven person. I track everything and make sure I know how things should be run,” she states. “It’s really important to me that we run the chapter by what is stated internationally and nationally. We follow the processes from that manual.”
This approach has clearly been reaping dividends as BNI Energizers is the first Hall of Fame chapter in the UAE.
Invest Your Time
Lifelong Learning is a core value at BNI and it’s interesting to see what Yvonne has learned over the years. She points out the importance of giving time to BNI. “Referrals won’t start coming to you overnight. Members don’t know who you are; so gaining their trust is the first step. Have one-to-one’s with them, get to know them first before you start talking about yourself. You need to be able to give to them first. Once they see that you’re doing that, they’ll start looking for what they can give you too,” she says.
Yvonne has a suggestion for fellow members trying to get better at giving referrals. “Listen closely and write down what members say in their 45-seconds,” she adds. “This will help you remember and refer back to that person in the future.”
An incredible networker, Yvonne signs off by telling us the one thing she asks every new connection. “I always ask people if there is anything I can help them with to help grow their business. Everyone has something and that’s how I create my trusted network.”