CEOs and upper level people don't refuse to meet with people because of their level or position. They reject them because there is no credibility. Titles indicate credibility, and that's why it may seem easier for a senior executive to get a meeting with another senior manager. However, title credibility only lasts until the titled person opens his or her mouth.
C-level and other powerful people will almost always grant a meeting if someone they trust set's up a meeting. The trusted person transfers their credibility to the other person which establishes an entry premise. This is why networking is so effective. See, it's not about you're level as much as it is who you know. So find people that have credibility with the person you want to meet and have that person set-up a meeting. This is the most sure fired way of securing a face-to-face with a leader.
After the initial introductions, leaders want to meet again with people who can get the job done - deliver their desires. Titles gain access because their position assumes they have the power to insure results are delivered. For a lower level person to be readily received s/he has to show s/he can get the job done. Once this is proven, his or her credibility will be established and s/he will be able to gain access again and agin.
So use your Golden Network to promote your capabilities and introduce you. That is, have them transfer their credibility to you. Be confident when asking for someone to introduce you. It enhances your credibility which makes it easier to help you. Then face-to-face, find out what's wanted and deliver it. Level will no longer be an issue.
You Believe Upper Levels Only Want to Meet with Upper Levels
You're reluctant to ask for high level meeting because you think you're at the wrong level. Likewise you acquiesce when someone gives the slightest indication that these powerful leaders are too important to see a sales person. Your thinking is that you're only a sales person, and high level people only want to speak with their equals. Finally, you think it's a good strategy to entice a meeting by offering-up your senior executives.
You'll Never Build Your Credibility or Your Relationship
The senior executives of your company only have the credibility of their position to get them in front of other senior people. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't. Since your executives are not as close to the situation as you, they can screw up the opportunity the minute they open their mouth. Then you're dead and you'll never gain access again. Besides, once your manager gets involved, s/he will be the one they call when they want answers or assurances, which further shut you out. Finally if the person you want to meet has no reason to see you, s/he probably has no reason to see your upper managers and your offering will fail.
Score: 4=Always; 3=Most Times; 2=Usually; 1=Sometimes; 0=Never.
1. Do you meet with executives that are 2 or 3 levels above your title? ____
2. Do you feel senior managers want to meet with those at their same level because they are too important or arrogant to meet with lower level people? ____
2 is good; less means you need to work on your confidence and actions
And now I invite you to learn more.