The idea of working toward a PhD came to me very late in my Master's program. As such, my primary professors and adviser didn't necessarily coach me into PhD preparation and may have even seen me as somewhat of a black sheep in the academic community. I don't doubt that they would believe in my ability to research, but rather that it'd be somewhat of a surprise that this was an area of interest for me.
Having said all of that, while I believe that they could give me a good reference, I don't believe it would be the "great" reference that would be characteristic of this internationally-recognized expert in their field. With this in mind, are there things that I can do to make myself a more appealing candidate to a PhD program?