How to Circumvent Gatekeepers Using Voicemail System Features
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Now the fun begins. With the keys you just pressed, you can now
enter an extension and be transferred to the desk of the
person you wish to speak to. After pressing *8 you have the
option to press * and then 2 on your phone and you will hear
“Enter last name and pound sign.” This will allow you to
transfer by spelling their last name.
The real gold behind an AudixTM
system is its directory. After pressing *8 or *2, try pressing
**6 (two asterisks and a six), and again you will hear “Enter
last name and pound sign.” The difference this time is that
instead of being transferred, the system will confirm the
person’s name and give you their extension. After this it will
patiently wait for you to enter another name. With this, one
could literally collect extensions for everyone in their
I will provide a link at the end of this article for a
reference card with instructions for other voicemail systems, but
usually it is a matter of pressing * or # during the
initial voicemail greeting and listening to the options it
Now that you have an extension, let me show you how
to dial it directly.
Often it is a simple matter of replacement. For example, if
a company’s main number is 650-327-8000 and the extension
you have is 78239, then dial 650-327-8239. Other times it may
have a different prefix. Take a look at the company’s fax number
to see if it will “plug in” there.
Try seeing if it has a contact on its website for
investor relations. This phone number will most likely conform
to the other extensions.
If all else fails, Google can frequently give you the answer
you need. Try searching using the company name and the area
code, using the Google “-” operator to exclude the final
four numbers of the phone number. Using the above example,
you would search for: “XYZ Company” +650 -8000. This will
usually yield direct dials for other people at the company that
should conform to the extension you have.
The information provided in this article should give you a
hint of the power of voicemail surfing to avoid gatekeepers.
That being said, there are many, many more techniques and tips
for surfing voicemail then we have space for here in this article.
I have made a PDF available on our website that will give
you directory commands for other voicemail systems, as well as
more tricks and tips, and more comprehensive instruction on
voicemail surfing. It is free and no registration is necessary
to download it. Just go to
and click on the “Voicemail Surfing” link below the “Download .PDF” header.
Please be aware that companies can modify their
voicemail instructions and new versions of voicemail systems
also appear, so you may need to modify your techniques slightly
at different companies or as systems are upgraded.