Gene Johnson

Gene Johnson

Beer Sales Professional Heidelberg Cincinnati  

For Sales Professional Gene Johnson, running his off-premise beer route in the Hyde Park and Oakley neighborhoods of Cincinnati is like game day. In his mind it’s the closest thing he can think of to being on a sports team.

“I love this business,” Gene says. “The group of people we have in our division and on our team creates a great culture to be a part of. It’s like being in athletics. We have the opportunity to dominate our accounts and frustrate the competitors. I wake up each morning and can’t wait to get out there and take care of business.”

In May of this year, Gene will celebrate his 26th anniversary with Heidelberg. He has spent his entire career in Cincinnati and all of it with the AB sales team. “I started as a beer merchandiser and then got promoted to a sales pro position,” Gene said. “I think in the time that I have been here, I have had about every sales route in the company!”

The beverage business and in particular sales, according to Gene, is all about developing the trust of the customer by backing up your words with actions. “Sales is all about relationships and for me relationships with people come naturally,” says Gene. “When you’re immersed with your customers and knowing what they’re looking to do with their business, the actual selling is easy. The brands that we have are amazing. Being able to go into an account with the book that we have is second to none.”

2020 was unlike anything that Gene has ever experienced in his career with Heidelberg. The initial uncertainty of what was going to happen when the pandemic first hit and then the explosion of business all in short period of time was amazing. “2020 was crazy. It seemed like starting at the end of March and going through the summer,  with the amount of beer we were selling, it was like every week was a holiday,” Gene said. “With the on premise business shut down, initially we got help from the on premise sales teams. Their help was fantastic. None of us could have handled the increase in volume and business we did without them.”

Gene’s hope is for a return to ‘normal’ at some point in the near future. Until ‘normal’ returns, he is keeping himself busy with plenty of projects around his house. “Long before COVID hit, my wife and I bought a fixer upper,” Gene said. “We found a place in Cincinnati with two and a half acres of land. The lot is fantastic, but the house was outdated and needed a lot of work. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into it and hopefully by this July, we’ll have it to where we want it.”

In addition to working on his house, Gene and his family are planning a big family trip to Key West in July. “We are really looking forward to it,” he says. “We haven’t been able to do any traveling with the ways things are now, but it will be great to get the family all together and relax on the beach.”

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Since 1938, Heidelberg Distributing has relied on its Associates to make our company great. We’ll spotlight some of the hardworking men and women who not only excel in their everyday jobs but also go above-and-beyond in exemplifying Heidelberg’s core values.

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