For as long as the automobile industry has been around, new car dealerships have had to chase leads and work tirelessly to convert those leads into sales. This has included phone calls, in-person conversations, multiple follow ups and more – all hours spent to make one sale. In addition to this, dealerships also have historically spent countless dollars on advertising efforts in order to stay competitive and grow their operations.

LetYouKnow, Inc. created an online car-matching platform (LetYouKnow.com) that is revolutionizing the way buyers purchase new cars and the way dealers sell them. The easy-to-use platform allows dealerships to list their inventory at the prices they want anonymously and lets dealers sidestep the typical laborious tasks of chasing leads. Instead, when dealers join the LetYouKnow dealer network, they are delivered highly committed buyers with little to no effort on their own part.

What is LetYouKnow?

Although the website was just officially launched at the end of 2020, the highly innovative matching platform that LetYouKnow developed was years in the making. LetYouKnow was an idea years in the making. Created by Boris Zhukov, CEO and Aaron Shao, CTO, LetYouKnow is expanding rapidly due to its highly effective system and time-saving appeal. Currently, LetYouKnow has 31 dealers in its network across several regions, from the East Coast to the West Coast.

Zhukov and Shao first conceptualized LetYouKnow in 2004 and began vigorous work on applying stat, computer science, math and econ knowledge to perfect a highly rigorous matching model design. Not only did they create an easy-to-use platform for new car buyers to find the exact car they want at their desired price, but they also created an efficient platform for dealers to list their new car inventory. New car buyers go to the LetYouKnow platform, input their car specifications, choose their search radius and then submit their own price. If there is a match, the buyer pays a prepaid fee of $799 to secure the deal. At this point, the matching dealership information is revealed and the dealer will be in touch with the buyer to complete the remainder of the transaction and pick up their new car.

Through LetYouKnow’s model, new car buyers are not only empowered to submit their own price to get an instant result, they also save time and avoid negotiating. While it’s clear that this method is extraordinarily beneficial for buyers, there are also many benefits for dealers who use LetYouKnow to list their prices and clear their inventory. With LetYouKnow, dealers save time, money, optimize their teams, optimize their lot space to make room for new inventory and overall grow their business in the long term. 

Making it easier for dealerships to sell cars

LetYouKnow makes it easier for dealers to sell cars through a streamlined, easy-to-use process that allows them to anonymously list their inventory. Through the matching system, the dealership needs to only put in the minimum required effort to have access to highly committed buyers and sell cars. 

“The matching system does all the leg work,” said Zhukov. “Dealers anonymously list and buyers price bid to get instant results and we do the matching that results in deals, highly committed buyers and a flow of transactions to dealers. We’ve done a lot of homework to think through as many angles as possible to make this dynamic into a reality.”

The company is also making listing vehicles on the dealer portal more efficient by implementing a new one-step that removes the headache from the inventory listing process; while, still maintaining anonymity for dealers. The team is also actively employing marketing and promotional efforts, which end up benefiting dealerships in the LetYouKnow network at no cost to them. 

“We’re constantly refining marketing initiatives to boost their traffic,” Zhukov said. “We help dealers sell cars.”

Not only is using LetYouKnow beneficial for dealers in the sense that they can sell more cars quickly, but LetYouKnow is also able to help dealerships clear inventory without issuing dealership-wide discounts that normally would affect high markup sales. Dealers only discount what they need anonymously on LetYouKnow’s dealer portal and can utilize their lot space in a more efficient manner. In other words, cars that are not selling well are taking up lot space from cars that could have been sold in their spaces. With LetYouKnow dealers drive up their lot space utilization and can focus on selling cars rather than storing inventory. When dealers find themselves with cars sitting on the lot for a long period of time, they also need to invest time and money in maintaining and cleaning them.

Another way LetYouKnow helps dealers sell cars is by allowing them to list inventory they’ve received from manufacturers but don’t necessarily want given consumer preferences in their local market. If a dealership has a dark navy model that is not popular within that market, LetYouKnow helps dealers move those new cars to other consumers with different exterior color preferences.

“Sitting inventory incurs opportunity cost,” Zhukov said. “LetYouKnow allows dealers to maximize profit on every square foot of space. Dealers are in the business to sell cars, not store cars.”

Streamlining the listing process

With the upcoming one-step listing process, LetYouKnow’s method will streamline the experience even more for dealers to enable them to list more new cars and then LetYouKnow sends highly committed buyers who are ready to close the deal. Using LetYouKnow helps dealers bypass the usual tedious, time-consuming practices they have to endure during the traditional car-selling process. Dealers pour sweat and tears into converting leads into appointments and appointments into buyers without any assurances that their efforts will pay off every time they pick up the phone to start this lead-to-buyer journey.

“Dealers have to pay for leads, they have to ask the salesperson to make phone calls for leads, make appointments, coordinate when the buyer comes and then have to close,” Shao said. “That’s not easy.”

Shao said younger generations, because they grew up in the age of the Internet, want to shop online. With LetYouKnow, they can do just that while setting their own price and avoiding back-and-forth negotiations that can sometimes be uncomfortable for them. The process also reduces the wariness and trepidation buyers sometimes feel when they set out to find a new car. LetYouKnow puts buyers in the driver’s seat, so they can reap the benefits of price negotiations without actually negotiating. They price bid on their desired vehicles and receive instant results. Buyers feel relaxed and empowered, which in turn will make dealers’ job easier to offer their products and services to these buyers.

“LetYouKnow makes buyers more motivated to buy,” Shao said. “Since buyers don’t have their guards up, they will be more receptive to talking to dealers about financing and warranty-related services that dealers sell to their customers.”

Shao and Zhukov said LetYouKnow not only delivers dealers highly committed buyers, but also creates an opportunity for dealers to better optimize their salesforce. Zhukov said sales teams can focus on walk-in customer transactions with higher markup prices. Then they can have a separate team that is talented in making people feel welcome at the dealership and let those customer service-oriented experts call, meet and greet LetYouKnow buyers. Shao said with LetYouKnow, the only call the salesperson needs to make is to the committed buyer to schedule the pickup.

“Buyers expect top-notch service,” Zhukov said. “With LetYouKnow, dealers can utilize comparative advantage to repurpose their personnel based on their ability and talents in order to utilize labor and human capital in the most efficient manner possible.”

Not only does LetYouKnow help dealers in the present with their business, but it also makes them poised to grow over time. Leslie McGehee, CAO at LetYouKnow, said as dealers get higher volume sales, they’ll also have higher incentive attainment and won’t have to spend as much money and resources on leads and advertisements. 

“Higher profits will help dealers grow over time,” she said.