Ever called someone's cell but hoped you'd get voicemail...got finger cramps tapping out a terribly long text message...or disturbed a client or prospect too early in a different time zone? Slydial is a hot new service that entrepreneurs and small business owners are using to avoid sticky phone situations like these and go directly to someone's mobile voicemail without them knowing. The Slydial service connects you directly to the voicemail of any U.S. mobile user, regardless of their carrier or location. And it works from any phone, land line or mobile (but it doesn't connect to land line voicemail). It's free if you don't mind listening to a brief (but annoying) ad each time you use it. Or buy the service for $29.95 per year and skip the advertising aggravation. But Slydial isn't foolproof. When I tried it, the system said it was unable to connect me to voicemail. But moments later I received a return call from the person I was trying to leave a message for, saying his phone rang once and my number showed up. So be aware this might happen. Here's how it works, plus some user tips and "Slydial Situations" where you might find it handy for your business: In most cases the person you're slydialing simply receives a new voicemail alert a minute or so after you leave a message. However, with some mobile phones, the recipient may hear a brief "half ring" before it goes to voicemail. And with some mobile carriers, you may hear a ring while you are waiting to be connected to the recipient's voicemail. Slydial says this is not the recipient's phone ringing. Rather it's the mobile carrier playing a ring tone while it tries to locate the recipient. No signup is required to use Slydial Just dial 267-SLY-DIAL (267-759-3425) and you are ready to go. However, you need the MYslydial paid service to get advanced features including Slydial Apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile smart phones, as well as fast connection to voicemail with no ads. Voices are limited to 90 seconds with the free service; but there's no time limit if you pay. You can download the Sydial application of your choice on your smart phone by visiting the Sydial applications page. Slydial business scenarios: Your business partner is on vacation. You need to give her an update on what is going on in the office but you don't want to disrupt her R&R. Too much info to text? Instead leave a voicemail with all she needs to know. You are working on a dozen different projects and have as many calls to return. Instead of being stuck on the phone with just one, leave each a voicemail with an update. You need to call a client but he's a notorious talker and you don't want to spend an hour on the phone because you have an entire business to run. Your client or colleague is in a different time zone and you need to leave a message but don't want to bother them too early, or too late by having the phone ring. Now you can just leave a voicemail You have several meetings scheduled for the afternoon. You want to call to confirm but you don't want to disturb them or give them the opportunity to reschedule. Being able to just leave them a voicemail is not only polite, but advantageous. You just gave an awesome pitch to a potential client. You want to call him and thank him for the opportunity, but you know he is in another meeting and don't want to disturb him. Leave him a voicemail and this personal touch may just tip the scales in your favor.